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1.
Euro Surveill ; 26(42)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485002

ABSTRACT

BackgroundDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, public perceptions and behaviours have had to adapt rapidly to new risk scenarios and radical behavioural restrictions.AimTo identify major drivers of acceptance of protective behaviours during the 4-week transition from virtually no COVID-19 cases to the nationwide lockdown in Germany (3-25 March 2020).MethodsA serial cross-sectional online survey was administered weekly to ca 1,000 unique individuals for four data collection rounds in March 2020 using non-probability quota samples, representative of the German adult population between 18 and 74 years in terms of age × sex and federal state (n = 3,910). Acceptance of restrictions was regressed on sociodemographic variables, time and psychological variables, e.g. trust, risk perceptions, self-efficacy. Extraction of homogenous clusters was based on knowledge and behaviour.ResultsAcceptance of restrictive policies increased with participants' age and employment in the healthcare sector; cognitive and particularly affective risk perceptions were further significant predictors. Acceptance increased over time, as trust in institutions became more relevant and trust in media became less relevant. The cluster analysis further indicated that having a higher education increased the gap between knowledge and behaviour. Trust in institutions was related to conversion of knowledge into action.ConclusionIdentifying relevant principles that increase acceptance will remain crucial to the development of strategies that help adjust behaviour to control the pandemic, possibly for years to come. Based on our findings, we provide operational recommendations for health authorities regarding data collection, health communication and outreach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Perception , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Trust
2.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 14471, 2021 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1310815

ABSTRACT

Early detection of severe forms of COVID-19 is absolutely essential for timely triage of patients. We longitudinally followed-up two well-characterized patient groups, hospitalized moderate to severe (n = 26), and ambulatory mild COVID-19 patients (n = 16) at home quarantine. Human D-dimer, C-reactive protein (CRP), ferritin, cardiac troponin I, interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were measured on day 1, day 7, day 14 and day 28. All hospitalized patients were SARS-CoV-2 positive on admission, while all ambulatory patients were SARS-CoV-2 positive at recruitment. Hospitalized patients had higher D-dimer, CRP and ferritin, cardiac troponin I and IL-6 levels than ambulatory patients (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p = 0.016, p = 0.035, p = 0.002 respectively). Hospitalized patients experienced significant decreases in CRP, ferritin and IL-6 levels from admission to recovery (p < 0.001, p = 0.025, and p = 0.001 respectively). Cardiac troponin I levels were high during the acute phase in both hospitalized and ambulatory patients, indicating a potential myocardial injury. In summary, D-dimer, CRP, ferritin, cardiac troponin I, IL-6 are predictive laboratory markers and can largely determine the clinical course of COVID-19, in particular the prognosis of critically ill COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Ambulatory Care , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , Early Diagnosis , Ferritins/blood , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/analysis , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Longitudinal Studies , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Precision Medicine , Prognosis , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Troponin I/blood
3.
Int J Infect Dis ; 106: 265-268, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279605

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Use of hydroxychloroquine in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was widespread and uncontrolled until recently. Patients vulnerable to severe COVID-19 are at risk of hydroxychloroquine interactions with co-morbidities and co-medications contributing to detrimental, including fatal, adverse treatment effects. METHODS: A retrospective survey was undertaken of health conditions and co-medications of patients with COVID-19 who were pre-screened for enrolment in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled hydroxychloroquine multi-centre trial. RESULTS: The survey involved 305 patients [median age 71 (interquartile range 59-81) years]. The majority of patients (n = 279, 92%) considered for inclusion in the clinical trial were not eligible, mainly due to safety concerns caused by health conditions or co-medications. The most common were QT-prolonging drugs (n = 188, 62%) and haematologic/haemato-oncologic diseases (n = 39, 13%) which prohibited the administration of hydroxychloroquine. In addition, 165 (54%) patients had health conditions and 167 (55%) patients were on co-medications that did not prohibit the use of hydroxychloroquine but had a risk of adverse interactions with hydroxychloroquine. The most common were diabetes (n = 86, 28%), renal insufficiency (n = 69, 23%) and heart failure (n = 58, 19%). CONCLUSION: The majority of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 had health conditions or took co-medications precluding safe treatment with hydroxychloroquine. Therefore, hydroxychloroquine should be administered with extreme caution in elderly patients with COVID-19, and only in clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Comorbidity , Contraindications, Drug , Drug Interactions , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
4.
Trop Med Infect Dis ; 6(2)2021 Mar 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154500

ABSTRACT

We report a case of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in a patient asymptomatically co-infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In the current ongoing coronavirus pandemic, co-infections with unrelated life-threatening febrile conditions may pose a particular challenge to clinicians. The current situation increases the risk for cognitive biases in medical management.

6.
Viruses ; 12(9)2020 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-789516

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) represents a global health emergency. To improve the understanding of the systemic component of SARS-CoV-2, we investigated if viral load dynamics in plasma and respiratory samples are associated with antibody response and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in plasma samples from 14 (44%) out of 32 patients. RNAemia was detected in 5 out of 6 fatal cases. Peak IgG values were significantly lower in mild/moderate than in severe (0.6 (interquartile range, IQR, 0.4-3.2) vs. 11.8 (IQR, 9.9-13.0), adjusted p = 0.003) or critical cases (11.29 (IQR, 8.3-12.0), adjusted p = 0.042). IgG titers were significantly associated with virus Ct (Cycle threshold) value in plasma and respiratory specimens ((ß = 0.4, 95% CI (confidence interval, 0.2; 0.5), p < 0.001 and ß = 0.5, 95% CI (0.2; 0.6), p = 0.002). A classification as severe or a critical case was additionally inversely associated with Ct values in plasma in comparison to mild/moderate cases (ß = -3.3, 95% CI (-5.8; 0.8), p = 0.024 and ß = -4.4, 95% CI (-7.2; 1.6), p = 0.007, respectively). Based on the present data, our hypothesis is that the early stage of SARS-CoV-2 infection is characterized by a primary RNAemia, as a potential manifestation of a systemic infection. Additionally, the viral load in plasma seems to be associated with a worse disease outcome.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/blood , Aged , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load , Viremia/blood , Viremia/pathology , Viremia/virology
7.
Front Immunol ; 11: 1870, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-776203

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which is caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus is a severe flu-like illness which is associated with hyperinflammation and immune dysfunction. The virus induces a strong T and B cell response but little is known about the immune pathology of this viral infection. Acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria also causes acute clinical illness and is characterized by hyperinflammation due to the strong production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and a massive activation of T cells. In malaria, T cells express a variety of co-inhibitory receptors which might be a consequence of their activation but also might limit their overwhelming function. Thus, T cells are implicated in protection as well as in pathology. The outcome of malaria is thought to be a consequence of the balance between co-activation and co-inhibition of T cells. Following the hypothesis that T cells in COVID-19 might have a similar, dual function, we comprehensively characterized the differentiation (CCR7, CD45RO) and activation status (HLA-DR, CD38, CD69, CD226), the co-expression of co-inhibitory molecules (PD1, TIM-3, LAG-3, BTLA, TIGIT), as well as the expression pattern of the transcription factors T-bet and eomes of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells of PBMC of n = 20 SARS-CoV-2 patients compared to n = 10 P. falciparum infected patients and n = 13 healthy controls. Overall, acute COVID-19 and malaria infection resulted in a comparably elevated activation and altered differentiation status of the CD8+ and CD4+ T cell populations. T effector cells of COVID-19 and malaria patients showed higher frequencies of the inhibitory receptors T-cell immunoglobulin mucin-3 (TIM-3) and Lymphocyte-activation gene-3 (LAG-3) which was linked to increased activation levels and an upregulation of the transcription factors T-bet and eomes. COVID-19 patients with a more severe disease course showed higher levels of LAG-3 and TIM-3 than patients with a mild disease course. During recovery, a rapid normalization of these inhibitory receptors could be observed. In summary, comparing the expression of different co-inhibitory molecules in CD8+ and CD4+ T cells in COVID-19 vs. malaria, there is a transient increase of the expression of certain inhibitory receptors like LAG-3 and TIM-3 in COVID-19 in the overall context of acute immune activation.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/genetics , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Malaria, Falciparum/immunology , Plasmodium falciparum/isolation & purification , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Acute Disease , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Cells, Cultured , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Malaria, Falciparum/parasitology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
8.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(4): 1640-1641, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-725539

ABSTRACT

The emergence and international spread of SARS-CoV-2 led to unprecedented challenges for international travelers including health-related concerns and international travel restrictions. Remarkably, overseas travelers consulted at our travel clinic during the first quarter of 2020 were apparently not disconcerted by the evolving pandemic with a continuously high rate of consultations at our center; 85% of travelers did not actively inquire about COVID-19 during the pretravel consultation including individuals with clinically significant immunosuppression constituting a high-risk group for COVID-19-related adverse health outcome. This experience demonstrates the societal responsibility of travel medicine practitioners to proactively provide unbiased information about the health-related and travel-related impact of newly emerging infections.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immunocompromised Host , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Travel/psychology , Adult , Asia/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel/statistics & numerical data , Travel Medicine/statistics & numerical data
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