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1.
Int J Infect Dis ; 122: 420-426, 2022 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2015419

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We compared the characteristics and outcomes of vaccinated and nonvaccinated patients hospitalized with COVID-19. DESIGN: We analyzed patients hospitalized in a COVID hub during three one-month periods: (i) October 15, 2020-November 15, 2020 (prevaccination peak); (ii) October 15, 2021-November 15, 2021 (Delta wave); (iii) December 15, 2021-January 15, 2022 (Omicron wave). To define the epidemiologic context, SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers was analyzed. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 infection incidence in healthcare workers was 146 cases per 1000 persons in 2020 (prevaccination) and 67 in 2021 (postvaccination, when the Omicron variant caused most infections). There were 420 hospitalized patients in the prevaccination period, 51 during the Delta wave (52.1% vaccinated) and 165 during the Omicron wave (52.9% vaccinated). During the Delta wave, a significantly higher number of nonvaccinated (29.2%) than vaccinated patients (3.7%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) (p = 0.019). Nonvaccinated patients were younger and had a lower rate of concomitant medical conditions (53.2% vs 83.7%; p < 0.001) during the Omicron wave when 80% of patients admitted to ICU and all those who died were still infected by the Delta variant. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccine effectiveness in fragile individuals appears to be lower because of a faster immunity decline. However, the Omicron variant seems to cause less severe COVID-19.

2.
Virus Res ; 315: 198786, 2022 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852223

ABSTRACT

Studies are needed to better understand the genomic evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This study aimed to describe viral quasispecies population of upper and lower respiratory tract by next-generation sequencing in patients admitted to intensive care unit. A deep sequencing of the S gene of SARS-CoV-2 from 109 clinical specimens, sampled from the upper respiratory tract (URT) and lower respiratory tract (LRT) of 77 patients was performed. A higher incidence of non-synonymous mutations and indels was observed in the LRT among minority variants. This might be explained by the ability of the virus to invade cells without interacting with ACE2 (e.g. exploiting macrophage phagocytosis). Minority variants are highly concentrated around the gene portion encoding for the Spike cleavage site, with a higher incidence in the URT; four mutations are highly recurring among samples and were found associated with the URT. Interestingly, 55.8% of minority variants detected in this locus were T>G and G>T transversions. Results from this study evidenced the presence of selective pressure and suggest that an evolutionary process is still ongoing in one of the crucial sites of spike protein associated with the spillover to humans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Quasispecies , Respiratory System , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
3.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 33 Suppl 27: 93-95, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1840512

ABSTRACT

The pediatric population seems to be at a lower risk of developing severe clinical symptoms of COVID-19. However, the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 in children are yet to be fully clarified. This retrospective observational study aimed to evaluate the frequency of pediatric laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients from February 2020 to April 2021. A total of 740 (5.1% of total) pediatric COVID-19 cases were observed during the study period. The peak of pediatric cases was observed in November 2020, with 239 cases. During the first wave of pandemics, the frequency of pediatric cases was 0.89% (49/5877 cases), ranging from 0.6% in February 2020 to 1.3% in April 2020. On the contrary, after the beginning of the second wave, the frequency of pediatric cases raised from 5.3% in September 2020 to 9.4%in February 2021, with an overall frequency of 8.2% (690/8416 cases). A different rate of SARS-CoV-2 circulation was observed among the pediatric population between the pandemic waves. During the second wave, two peaks of cases were observed. The last peak was associated with the spread of a more transmissive SARS-CoV-2 strain (VOC 202012/01).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 33 Suppl 27: 89-92, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1840511

ABSTRACT

During the early phase of the pandemic (20 February-4 April 2020), we have investigated the temporal and geographical evolution of the virus in Lombardy showing the circulation of at least seven lineages distributed differently in the Region. In the present study, the molecular epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 was monitored in a period between two pandemic waves in order to track the circulation of new variants (April-August 2020). A great majority of SARS-CoV-2 strains (70.8%) belonged to lineages B, B.1, B.1.1 and B.1.1.1, and five strains belonging to four lineages were already reported in Italy (B.1.1.148, B.1.1.162, B.1.1.71, and B.1.425). In addition, 21 SARS-CoV-2 strains belonged to six lineages not previously observed in Italy were detected. No variants of concern were observed. A total of 152/1274 (11.3%) amino acid changes were observed among spike gene sequences and only 26/152 (17.1%) occurred in the receptor-binding domain region of the spike protein. Results of this study are indicative of ongoing transmission throughout the lockdown period, rather than re-introduction of novel lineages past lockdown. The use of molecular epidemiology in Italy should be promoted in order to provide additional understanding of the transmission of the disease and to have major effect on controlling the spread of disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Phylogeny
5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308676

ABSTRACT

Purpose: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the health care workers (HCWs) at the frontline have been largely exposed to infected patients, running an high risk of being infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This study investigates the epidemiological, clinical and lifestyles characteristics that might play roles in the susceptibility of HCWs to COVID-19 in a hit Italian hospital. Methods: Demographic, lifestyle, work-related and comorbidities data of 1447 HCWs which underwent a nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 were retrospectively collected. For the 164 HCWs positive for SARS-CoV-2, data about safety in the workplace, symptoms and clinical course of COVID-19 were also collected. Cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was estimated. Risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection were assessed using a multivariable Poisson regression. Results: The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among the screened HCWs was 11.33 (9.72-13.21). Working in a COVID-19 ward, being a former smoker (vs being a person who never smoked) and BMI were positively associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, whereas being a current smoker was negatively associated with this variable. Conclusions: Assuming an equal accessibility and proper use of PPE of all the HCWs of our Hospital, the great and more prolonged contact with COVID-19 patients remains the crucial risk factor for SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, increased and particular care needs to be focused specifically on the most exposed HCWs groups, which should be safeguarded. Furthermore, in order to limit the risk of asymptomatic spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the HCWs mild symptoms of COVID-19 should be considered when evaluating the potential benefits of universal staff testing

6.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295856

ABSTRACT

Vaccine breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection has been monitored in 3720 healthcare workers receiving 2 doses of BNT162b2. SARS-CoV-2 infection is detected in 33 subjects, with a 100-day cumulative incidence of 0.93%. Vaccine protection against acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 infection is 83% (95%CI: 58-93%) in the overall population and 93% (95%CI: 69-99%) in SARS-CoV-2-experienced subjects, when compared with a non-vaccinated control group from the same Institution, in which SARS-CoV-2 infection occurs in 20/346 subjects (100-day cumulative incidence: 5.78%). The infection is symptomatic in 16 (48%) vaccinated subjects vs 17 (85%) controls (p=0.001). All analyzed patients, in whom the amount of viral RNA was sufficient for genome sequencing, results infected by the alpha variant. Antibody and T-cell responses are not reduced in subjects with breakthrough infection. Evidence of virus transmission, determined by contact tracing, is observed in two (6.1%) cases. This real-world data support the protective effect of BNT162b2 vaccine. A triple antigenic exposure, such as two-dose vaccine schedule in experienced subjects, may confer a higher protection.

7.
Epidemics ; 37: 100528, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520903

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the night of February 20, 2020, the first epidemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside Asia was uncovered by the identification of its first patient in Lombardy region, Italy. In the following weeks, Lombardy experienced a sudden increase in the number of ascertained infections and strict measures were imposed to contain the epidemic spread. METHODS: We analyzed official records of cases occurred in Lombardy to characterize the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 during the early phase of the outbreak. A line list of laboratory-confirmed cases was set up and later retrospectively consolidated, using standardized interviews to ascertained cases and their close contacts. We provide estimates of the serial interval, of the basic reproduction number, and of the temporal variation of the net reproduction number of SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Epidemiological investigations detected over 500 cases (median age: 69, IQR: 57-78) before the first COVID-19 diagnosed patient (February 20, 2020), and suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was already circulating in at least 222 out of 1506 (14.7%) municipalities with sustained transmission across all the Lombardy provinces. We estimated the mean serial interval to be 6.6 days (95% CrI, 0.7-19). Our estimates of the basic reproduction number range from 2.6 in Pavia (95% CI, 2.1-3.2) to 3.3 in Milan (95% CI, 2.9-3.8). A decreasing trend in the net reproduction number was observed following the detection of the first case. CONCLUSIONS: At the time of first case notification, COVID-19 was already widespread in the entire Lombardy region. This may explain the large number of critical cases experienced by this region in a very short timeframe. The slight decrease of the reproduction number observed in the early days after February 20, 2020 might be due to increased population awareness and early interventions implemented before the regional lockdown imposed on March 8, 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6032, 2021 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469967

ABSTRACT

Vaccine breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection has been monitored in 3720 healthcare workers receiving 2 doses of BNT162b2. SARS-CoV-2 infection is detected in 33 subjects, with a 100-day cumulative incidence of 0.93%. Vaccine protection against acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 infection is 83% (95%CI: 58-93%) in the overall population and 93% (95%CI: 69-99%) in SARS-CoV-2-experienced subjects, when compared with a non-vaccinated control group from the same Institution, in which SARS-CoV-2 infection occurs in 20/346 subjects (100-day cumulative incidence: 5.78%). The infection is symptomatic in 16 (48%) vaccinated subjects vs 17 (85%) controls (p = 0.01). All analyzed patients, in whom the amount of viral RNA was sufficient for genome sequencing, results infected by the alpha variant. Antibody and T-cell responses are not reduced in subjects with breakthrough infection. Evidence of virus transmission, determined by contact tracing, is observed in two (6.1%) cases. This real-world data support the protective effect of BNT162b2 vaccine. A triple antigenic exposure, such as two-dose vaccine schedule in experienced subjects, may confer a higher protection.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/diagnosis , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Immunization Schedule , Incidence , Male , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Int J Infect Dis ; 109: 199-202, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385715

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection induced by SARS-CoV-2 anti-S1 and anti-S2 IgG antibody positivity resulting from natural infection was evaluated. METHODS: The frequency of SARS-CoV-2 infection (as determined by virus RNA detection) was evaluated in a group of 1,460 seropositive and a control group of 8,150 seronegative healthcare workers in three Centres of Northern Italy in the period June-November 2020. Neutralizing serum titers were analyzed in seropositive subjects with or without secondary SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: During the 6-month survey, 1.78% seropositive subjects developed secondary SARS-CoV-2 infection while 6.63% seronegative controls developed primary infection (odds ratio: 0.26; 95% confidence interval: 0.17-0.38). Secondary infection was associated with low or absent serum neutralizing titer (p<0.01) and was mildly symptomatic in 45.8% cases vs 71.4% symptomatic primary infections (odds ratio: 0.34; 95% confidence interval: 0.16-0.78). CONCLUSIONS: Immunity from natural infection appears protective from secondary infection; therefore, vaccination of seronegative subjects might be prioritized.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Antibodies, Viral , Health Personnel , Humans , Incidence , Italy/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Int J Infect Dis ; 102: 299-302, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060235

ABSTRACT

Real-time reverse transcription PCR is currently the most sensitive method to detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Defining whether a patient could be contagious or not contagious in the presence of residual SARS-CoV-2 RNA is of extreme importance in the context of public health. In this prospective multicenter study, virus isolation was prospectively attempted in 387 nasal swabs from clinically recovered patients showing low viral load (quantification cycle, Cq, value greater than 30). The median Cq value was 36.8 (range 30.0-39.4). Overall, a cytopathic effect was detected in nine samples, corresponding to a culture positivity rate of 2.3% (9/387). The results of this study help to dissect true virus replication and residual viral RNA detection in recovered patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Quarantine , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nose/virology , Prospective Studies , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Time Factors , Viral Load , Young Adult
11.
Eur J Ophthalmol ; : 1120672120977822, 2020 Dec 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955402

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: To report a case of identification of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA in ocular specimen in a pediatric patient affected with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with no signs of ocular involvement. CASE DESCRIPTION: A 11-year old male patient with confirmed COVID-19 infection was hospitalized at the Pediatric Clinic Clinic of the IRCCS Foundation and Hospital San Matteo, Pavia, Italy. Three days after hospital admission, because of the patient complaining very mild ocular symptoms, an ophthalmological evaluation was performed. No signs related to conjunctivitis or keratitis were found but a conjunctival swab was collected as well, based on patient's medical history. The specific SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) was performed, unearthing the presence of viral RNA from the swab. On day 25 from hospitalization, the conjunctival swab was repeated, giving negative result. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of the identification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in ocular specimen in a pediatric patient without signs of ocular involvement. However, despite the transmission through tears is theoretically possible, it is still unclear whether this could be considered as an important route for the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

12.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 43(1): 26-34, 2021 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-900472

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the health care workers (HCWs) at the frontline have been largely exposed to infected patients, running a high risk of being infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.Since limiting transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in health care setting is crucial to avoid the community spread of SARS-CoV-2, we want to share our experience as an early hit hospital where standard infection control practices have been conscientiously applied and effective. We believe that our example, as first and hardest hit country, might be a warning and aid not only for those who have been hit later, but also for a second fearful wave of contagion. In addition, we want to offer an insight on modifiable risk factors for HWs-related infection. METHODS: Demographic, lifestyle, work-related and comorbidities data of 1447 HCWs, which underwent a nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2, were retrospectively collected. For the 164 HCWs positive for SARS-CoV-2, data about safety in the workplace, symptoms and clinical course of COVID-19 were also collected. Cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was estimated. Risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection were assessed using a multivariable Poisson regression. RESULTS: The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among the screened HCWs was 11.33% (9.72-13.21). Working in a COVID-19 ward, being a former smoker (versus being a person who never smoked) and BMI was positively associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, whereas being a current smoker was negatively associated with this variable. CONCLUSIONS: Assuming an equal accessibility and proper use of personal protective equipment of all the HCWs of our Hospital, the great and more prolonged contact with COVID-19 patients remains the crucial risk factor for SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, increased and particular care needs to be focused specifically on the most exposed HCWs groups, which should be safeguarded. Furthermore, in order to limit the risk of asymptomatic spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the HCWs mild symptoms of COVID-19 should be considered when evaluating the potential benefits of universal staff testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Personnel, Hospital , Adult , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Referral and Consultation , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Smoking
13.
JAMA Pediatr ; 174(9): 882-889, 2020 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-111187

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: The current rapid worldwide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection justifies the global effort to identify effective preventive strategies and optimal medical management. While data are available for adult patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), limited reports have analyzed pediatric patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate currently reported pediatric cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. EVIDENCE REVIEW: An extensive search strategy was designed to retrieve all articles published from December 1, 2019, to March 3, 2020, by combining the terms coronavirus and coronavirus infection in several electronic databases (PubMed, Cochrane Library, and CINAHL), and following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines. Retrospective cross-sectional and case-control studies, case series and case reports, bulletins, and national reports about the pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection were included. The risk of bias for eligible observational studies was assessed according to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology reporting guideline. FINDINGS: A total of 815 articles were identified. Eighteen studies with 1065 participants (444 patients were younger than 10 years, and 553 were aged 10 to 19 years) with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included in the final analysis. All articles reflected research performed in China, except for 1 clinical case in Singapore. Children at any age were mostly reported to have mild respiratory symptoms, namely fever, dry cough, and fatigue, or were asymptomatic. Bronchial thickening and ground-glass opacities were the main radiologic features, and these findings were also reported in asymptomatic patients. Among the included articles, there was only 1 case of severe COVID-19 infection, which occurred in a 13-month-old infant. No deaths were reported in children aged 0 to 9 years. Available data about therapies were limited. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review that assesses and summarizes clinical features and management of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The rapid spread of COVID-19 across the globe and the lack of European and US data on pediatric patients require further epidemiologic and clinical studies to identify possible preventive and therapeutic strategies.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Infant , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy
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