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JAC Antimicrob Resist ; 3(3): dlab133, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371735


BACKGROUND: Procalcitonin is a biomarker that may be able to identify patients with COVID-19 pneumonia who do not require antimicrobials for bacterial respiratory tract co-infections. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a procalcitonin-guided algorithm in rationalizing empirical antimicrobial prescriptions in non-critically ill patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS: Retrospective, single-site, cohort study in adults hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 pneumonia and receiving empirical antimicrobials for potential bacterial respiratory tract co-infection. Regression models were used to compare the following outcomes in patients with and without procalcitonin testing within 72 h of starting antimicrobials: antimicrobial consumption (DDD); antimicrobial duration; a composite safety outcome of death, admission to HDU/ICU or readmission to hospital within 30 days; and length of admission. Procalcitonin levels of ≤0.25 ng/L were interpreted as negatively predictive of bacterial co-infection. Effects were expressed as ratios of means (ROM) or prevalence ratios (PR) accordingly. RESULTS: 259 patients were included in the final analysis. Antimicrobial use was lower in patients who had procalcitonin measured within 72 h of starting antimicrobials: mean antimicrobial duration 4.4 versus 5.4 days, adjusted ROM 0.7 (95% CI 0.6-0.9); mean antimicrobial consumption 6.8 versus 8.4 DDD, adjusted ROM 0.7 (95% CI 0.6-0.8). Both groups had similar composite safety outcomes (adjusted PR 0.9; 95% CI 0.6-1.3) and lengths of admission (adjusted ROM 1.3; 95% CI 0.9-1.6). CONCLUSIONS: A procalcitonin-guided algorithm may allow for the safe reduction of antimicrobial usage in hospitalized non-critically ill patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 636160, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156134


Healthcare workers (HCWs) are known to be at increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2, although whether these risks are equal across all roles is uncertain. Here we report a retrospective analysis of a large real-world dataset obtained from 10 March to 6 July 2020 in an NHS Foundation Trust in England with 17,126 employees. 3,338 HCWs underwent symptomatic PCR testing (14.4% positive, 2.8% of all staff) and 11,103 HCWs underwent serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 IgG (8.4% positive, 5.5% of all staff). Seropositivity was lower than other hospital settings in England but higher than community estimates. Increased test positivity rates were observed in HCWs from BAME backgrounds and residents in areas of higher social deprivation. A multiple logistic regression model adjusting for ethnicity and social deprivation confirmed statistically significant increases in the odds of testing positive in certain occupational groups, most notably domestic services staff, nurses, and health-care assistants. PCR testing of symptomatic HCWs appeared to underestimate overall infection levels, probably due to asymptomatic seroconversion. Clinical outcomes were reassuring, with only a small minority of HCWs with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization (2.3%) or ICU management (0.7%) and with no deaths. Despite a relatively low level of HCW infection compared to other UK cohorts, there were nevertheless important differences in test positivity rates between occupational groups, robust to adjustment for demographic factors such as ethnic background and social deprivation. Quantitative and qualitative studies are needed to better understand the factors contributing to this risk. Robust informatics solutions for HCW exposure data are essential to inform occupational monitoring.