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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(15)2022 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969217

ABSTRACT

The impacts of pandemics are recognized to go beyond infection, physical suffering, and socio-economic disruptions. Other consequences include psychological responses. Using a mental wellbeing lens, we analyzed COVID-19-related stressors in healthcare workers (HCWs) and community members who provided and regularly accessed health services in South Africa, respectively. From February to September 2021, during the second COVID-19 wave we conducted a qualitative study in one urban and one rural district. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect data among 43 HCWs and 51 community members purposely and conveniently selected. Most participants experienced mental health challenges regarding multiple aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdown, with a few reporting positive adjustments to change. COVID-19 impacts on mental health were consistent among both HCWs and community members in urban and rural alike. Participants' COVID-19-induced psychological responses included anxiety and fear of the unknown, perceived risk of infection, fear of hospitalization, and fear of dying. Physical effects of the pandemic on participants included COVID-19 infection and associated symptoms, possibilities of severe illness and discomfort of using personal protective equipment. These distresses were exacerbated by social repercussions related to concerns for family wellbeing and infection stigma. Lockdown regulations also intensified anxieties about financial insecurities and social isolation. At times when common coping mechanisms such as family support were inaccessible, cultural consequences related to lack of spiritual gatherings and limited funeral rites posed additional stress on participants. In preparation for future public health emergencies, recognition needs to be given to mental health support and treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Fear , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715799

ABSTRACT

Routine infant immunization with live, oral rotavirus vaccines (LORVs) has had a major impact on severe gastroenteritis disease. Nevertheless, in high morbidity and mortality settings rotavirus remains an important cause of disease, partly attributable to the sub-optimal clinical efficacy of LORVs in those settings. Regardless of the precise immunological mechanism(s) underlying the diminished efficacy, the introduction of injectable next-generation rotavirus vaccines (iNGRV), currently in clinical development, could offer a potent remedy. In addition to the potential for greater clinical efficacy, precisely how iNGRVs are delivered (multiple doses to young infants; alongside LORVs or as a booster; co-formulated with Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTP)-containing vaccines), their pricing, and their storage and cold chain characteristics could each have major implications on the resultant health outcomes, on cost-effectiveness as well as on product preferences by national stakeholders and healthcare providers. To better understand these implications, we critically assessed whether there is a compelling public health value proposition for iNGRVs based on potential (but still hypothetical) vaccine profiles. Our results suggest that the answer is highly dependent on the specific use cases and potential attributes of such novel vaccines. Notably, co-formulation of iNGRVs with similar or greater efficacy than LORVs with a DTP-containing vaccine, such as DTP-Hib-HepB, scored especially high on potential impact, cost-effectiveness, and strength of preference by national stakeholders and health care providers in lower and middle income countries.

3.
J Fungi (Basel) ; 8(2)2022 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699115

ABSTRACT

Despite available diagnostic tests and recent advances, diagnosis of pulmonary invasive aspergillosis (IPA) remains challenging. We performed a longitudinal case-control pilot study to identify host-specific, novel, and immune-relevant molecular candidates indicating IPA in patients post allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). Supported by differential gene expression analysis of six relevant in vitro studies, we conducted RNA sequencing of three alloSCT patients categorized as probable IPA cases and their matched controls without Aspergillus infection (66 samples in total). We additionally performed immunoassay analysis for all patient samples to gain a multi-omics perspective. Profiling analysis suggested LGALS2, MMP1, IL-8, and caspase-3 as potential host molecular candidates indicating IPA in investigated alloSCT patients. MMP1, IL-8, and caspase-3 were evaluated further in alloSCT patients for their potential to differentiate possible IPA cases and patients suffering from COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) and appropriate control patients. Possible IPA cases showed differences in IL-8 and caspase-3 serum levels compared with matched controls. Furthermore, we observed significant differences in IL-8 and caspase-3 levels among CAPA patients compared with control patients. With our conceptual work, we demonstrate the potential value of considering the human immune response during Aspergillus infection to identify immune-relevant molecular candidates indicating IPA in alloSCT patients. These human host candidates together with already established fungal biomarkers might improve the accuracy of IPA diagnostic tools.

4.
J Clin Microbiol ; 60(1): e0168921, 2022 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630019

ABSTRACT

This multicenter study evaluated the IMMY Aspergillus Galactomannan Lateral Flow Assay (LFA) with automated reader for diagnosis of pulmonary aspergillosis in patients with COVID-19-associated acute respiratory failure (ARF) requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission between 03/2020 and 04/2021. A total of 196 respiratory samples and 148 serum samples (n = 344) from 238 patients were retrospectively included, with a maximum of one of each sample type per patient. Cases were retrospectively classified for COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) status following the 2020 consensus criteria, with the exclusion of LFA results as a mycological criterion. At the 1.0 cutoff, sensitivity of LFA for CAPA (proven/probable/possible) was 52%, 80% and 81%, and specificity was 98%, 88% and 67%, for bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), nondirected bronchoalveolar lavage (NBL), and tracheal aspiration (TA), respectively. At the 0.5 manufacturer's cutoff, sensitivity was 72%, 90% and 100%, and specificity was 79%, 83% and 44%, for BALF, NBL and TA, respectively. When combining all respiratory samples, the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area under the curve (AUC) was 0.823, versus 0.754, 0.890 and 0.814 for BALF, NBL and TA, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of serum LFA were 20% and 93%, respectively, at the 0.5 ODI cutoff. Overall, the Aspergillus Galactomannan LFA showed good performances for CAPA diagnosis, when used from respiratory samples at the 1.0 cutoff, while sensitivity from serum was limited, linked to weak invasiveness during CAPA. As some false-positive results can occur, isolated results slightly above the recommended cutoff should lead to further mycological investigations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Aspergillus , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , Humans , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Mannans , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1634-e1644, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493766

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Fungal coinfection is a recognized complication of respiratory virus infections, increasing morbidity and mortality, but can be readily treated if diagnosed early. An increasing number of small studies describing aspergillosis in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with severe respiratory distress are being reported, but comprehensive data are lacking. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence, risk factors, and impact of invasive fungal disease in adult COVID-19 patients with severe respiratory distress. METHODS: An evaluation of a national, multicenter, prospective cohort evaluation of an enhanced testing strategy to diagnose invasive fungal disease in COVID-19 intensive care patients. Results were used to generate a mechanism to define aspergillosis in future COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: One-hundred and thirty-five adults (median age: 57, M/F: 2.2/1) were screened. The incidence was 26.7% (14.1% aspergillosis, 12.6% yeast infections). The overall mortality rate was 38%; 53% and 31% in patients with and without fungal disease, respectively (P = .0387). The mortality rate was reduced by the use of antifungal therapy (mortality: 38.5% in patients receiving therapy vs 90% in patients not receiving therapy (P = .008). The use of corticosteroids (P = .007) and history of chronic respiratory disease (P = .05) increased the likelihood of aspergillosis. CONCLUSIONS: Fungal disease occurs frequently in critically ill, mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients. The survival benefit observed in patients receiving antifungal therapy implies that the proposed diagnostic and defining criteria are appropriate. Screening using a strategic diagnostic approach and antifungal prophylaxis of patients with risk factors will likely enhance the management of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Mycoses , Adult , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/drug therapy , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Mycoses/diagnosis , Mycoses/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(9): e0086921, 2021 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288351

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been increasing reports of invasive fungal disease (IFD) in critical care, where rapid access to (1-3)-ß-d-glucan (BDG) testing may have enhanced diagnosis. The potential benefit of rapidly accessible BDG results is limited by local availability of BDG testing, with low demand resulting in testing being performed in specialist centers. The recent release of the Associates of Cape Cod STAT assay provides a simple, low-throughput BDG platform, potentially increasing accessibility. During the pandemic, BDG testing using the Fungitell assay (FA) was a critical component of screening for IFD in our critical care. The performance of the STAT was retrospectively determined through a case-control study of 107 serum samples from critical-care COVID-19 patients with IFD defined according to international guidelines. The STAT demonstrated excellent qualitative (observed agreement, 97.2%; kappa, 0.94) and quantitative (Spearman's coefficient, 0.8962) agreement with the FA. Sample positivity was greater (P < 0.0001) in samples from cases (67.7%) versus controls (6.1%). Using the manufacturer's threshold (≥1.2), sensitivity and specificity for the detection of proven/probable IFD were 67.9% and 93.9%, respectively. Using a lower positivity threshold of ≥0.87 increased sensitivity to 71.4% without compromising specificity. When the STAT BDG index was >2.86, specificity was 100%. The STAT provides a simple, comparable alternative to the FA for detecting BDG. Sensitivity is moderate, and specificity is excellent for the diagnosis of IFD in the critical-care COVID-19 patient. The potential for enhancing access to BDG testing through the uptake of STAT at centers where FA is not available is beneficial, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Invasive Fungal Infections , beta-Glucans , Case-Control Studies , Critical Care , Humans , Invasive Fungal Infections/diagnosis , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
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