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Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(41): e27418, 2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501202


ABSTRACT: The occurrence of COVID-19 pandemic had a significant negative effect on health care systems over the last year. Health care providers were forced to focus mainly on COVID-19 patients, neglecting in many cases equally important diseases, both acute and chronic. Therefore, also screening and diagnostic strategies for HIV could have been significantly impaired.This retrospective, multicenter, observational study aimed at assessing the number and characteristics of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy and compared characteristics of people living with HIV at diagnosis between pre- and post-COVID-19 era (2019 vs 2020).Our results showed a significant reduction of HIV diagnoses during pandemic. By contrast, people living with HIV during pandemic were older and were diagnosed in earlier stage of disease (considering CD4+ T cell count) compared to those who were diagnosed the year before. Moreover, there was a significant decrease of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men, probably for the impact of social distancing and restriction applied by the Italian Government. Late presentation incidence, if numbers in 2020 were lower than those in 2019, is still an issue.Routinely performing HIV testing in patients with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection is identifying and linking to care underdiagnosed people living with HIV earlier. Thus, combined tests (HIV and SARS-CoV-2) should be implemented in patients with SARS-CoV-2 symptoms overlapping HIV's ones. Lastly, our results lastly showed how urgent implementation of a national policy for HIV screening is necessary.

Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Adult , CD4 Lymphocyte Count/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , HIV Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
Front Immunol ; 12: 740708, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470758


SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy and immunogenicity, but limited information is currently available on memory B cell generation and long-term persistence. Here, we investigated spike-specific memory B cells and humoral responses in 145 subjects, up to 6 months after the BNT162b2 vaccine (Comirnaty) administration. Spike-specific antibodies peaked 7 days after the second dose and significant antibody titers and ACE2/RBD binding inhibiting activity were still observed after 6 months, despite a progressive decline over time. Concomitant to antibody reduction, spike-specific memory B cells, mostly IgG class-switched, increased in the blood of vaccinees and persisted 6 months after vaccination. Following the in vitro restimulation, circulating memory B cells reactivated and produced spike-specific antibodies. A high frequency of spike-specific IgG+ plasmablasts, identified by computational analysis 7 days after boost, positively correlated with the generation of IgG+ memory B cells at 6 months. These data demonstrate that mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine elicits strong B cell immunity with spike-specific memory B cells that still persist 6 months after vaccination, playing a crucial role for a rapid response to SARS-CoV-2 virus encounter.

B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Young Adult