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1.
Exp Ther Med ; 24(5): 705, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099951

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a widespread impact on individuals' mental health through indirect psychological and social mechanisms, related to factors such as fear of infection or death, social isolation, lack of social support and financial instability. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has also been associated with the development or recurrence of neuropsychiatric symptoms, both during the acute phase, as well as during the post-acute 'long-COVID' phase. In addition to the COVID-19 survivors with a mental health history that are at a high risk of experiencing a range of neuropsychiatric symptoms following resolution of acute COVID-19, there is accumulating evidence that a diagnosis of COVID-19 may also be associated with new-onset neuropsychiatric morbidity among survivors without pre-existing mental health disorders. In particular, studies investigating the incidence of post-acute neuropsychiatric sequelae, based mostly on retrospective cohort study designs and data from national health registries, have reported the development of new-onset manifestations, including depression, anxiety, psychotic symptoms, sleep disturbances and fatigue. Nevertheless, when COVID-19 survivors were compared with SARS-CoV-2-negative controls and especially survivors of other disorders (such as influenza), the findings regarding the risk of incident neuropsychiatric manifestations varied among studies. While there is evidence of an association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the subsequent occurrence of new-onset neuropsychiatric symptoms, especially among patients with increased disease severity, further research using methodological approaches less susceptible to confounding bias is required to establish causal relationships.

2.
Front Public Health ; 10: 840984, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847237

ABSTRACT

Background: As the COVID-19 pandemic resurges affecting large numbers of patients, rapid, and accurate diagnosis using point-of-care tests is very important. Objectives: To evaluate the NG-Test® SARS-CoV-2 Ag (NG-Test) immunoassay for qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen in nasopharyngeal (NP) and oropharyngeal (OP) samples compared with RT-PCR, in patients attending the Emergencies of an academic referral hospital. Methods: All adult ambulatory patients presenting to the Emergencies of "Attikon" University hospital (Athens, Greece) within three consecutive hours per day between December 2020 and March 2021 and for whom SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing was requested were included. Two NP and one OP samples obtained from each participant were analyzed to determine the diagnostic performance [sensitivity, specificity, positive/negative predictive values (PPV/NPV)] of the NG-Test (NP/OP swabs) in comparison to the reference RT-PCR (NP swab). Results: Overall, 134/263 (51%) patients tested were RT-PCR positive, whereof 108 (overall sensitivity 81%, 95% CI 73-87%) were NP NG-Test positive (PPV 99%, NPV 83%) and 68 (overall sensitivity 51%, 95% CI 42-59%) were OP NG-Test positive (PPV 100%, NPV 66%). The test's specificity (95% CI) was 99% (95-100%) and 100% (96-100%) for NP and OP swabs, respectively. The assay's sensitivity (95% CI) for high viral load (Ct ≤25) was 99% (92-100%) and 71% (60-81%) for NP and OP swabs, respectively. Conclusions: NG-Test using NP swabs detected almost all patients with high viral loads, showing satisfactory performance as a point-of-care test for NP samples obtained from patients with acute infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antigens, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Emergencies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Frontiers in public health ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1823723

ABSTRACT

Background As the COVID-19 pandemic resurges affecting large numbers of patients, rapid, and accurate diagnosis using point-of-care tests is very important. Objectives To evaluate the NG-Test® SARS-CoV-2 Ag (NG-Test) immunoassay for qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen in nasopharyngeal (NP) and oropharyngeal (OP) samples compared with RT-PCR, in patients attending the Emergencies of an academic referral hospital. Methods All adult ambulatory patients presenting to the Emergencies of “Attikon” University hospital (Athens, Greece) within three consecutive hours per day between December 2020 and March 2021 and for whom SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing was requested were included. Two NP and one OP samples obtained from each participant were analyzed to determine the diagnostic performance [sensitivity, specificity, positive/negative predictive values (PPV/NPV)] of the NG-Test (NP/OP swabs) in comparison to the reference RT-PCR (NP swab). Results Overall, 134/263 (51%) patients tested were RT-PCR positive, whereof 108 (overall sensitivity 81%, 95% CI 73–87%) were NP NG-Test positive (PPV 99%, NPV 83%) and 68 (overall sensitivity 51%, 95% CI 42–59%) were OP NG-Test positive (PPV 100%, NPV 66%). The test's specificity (95% CI) was 99% (95–100%) and 100% (96–100%) for NP and OP swabs, respectively. The assay's sensitivity (95% CI) for high viral load (Ct ≤25) was 99% (92–100%) and 71% (60–81%) for NP and OP swabs, respectively. Conclusions NG-Test using NP swabs detected almost all patients with high viral loads, showing satisfactory performance as a point-of-care test for NP samples obtained from patients with acute infection.

4.
Exp Ther Med ; 23(5): 363, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1780105

ABSTRACT

There is accumulating evidence in the literature indicating that a number of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may experience a range of neuropsychiatric symptoms, persisting or even presenting following the resolution of acute COVID-19. Among the neuropsychiatric manifestations more frequently associated with 'long COVID' are depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbances, fatigue and cognitive deficits, that can potentially be debilitating and negatively affect patients' wellbeing, albeit in the majority of cases symptoms tend to improve over time. Despite variations in results obtained from studies using different methodological approaches to define 'long COVID' syndrome, the most widely accepted factors associated with a higher risk of developing neuropsychiatric manifestations include the severity of foregoing COVID-19, the female sex, the presence of comorbidities, a history of mental health disease and an elevation in the levels of inflammatory markers, albeit further research is required to establish causal associations. To date, the pathophysiological mechanisms implicated in neuropsychiatric manifestations of 'long COVID' remain only partially elucidated, while the role of the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as social isolation and uncertainty concerning social, financial and health recovery post-COVID, have also been highlighted. Given the alarming effects of 'long-COVID', interdisciplinary cooperation for the early identification of patients who are at a high risk of persistent neuropsychiatric presentations, beyond COVID-19 recovery, is crucial to ensure that appropriate integrated physical and mental health support is provided, with the aim of mitigating the risks of long-term disability at a societal and individual level.

5.
Exp Ther Med ; 23(1): 107, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580300

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been widespread concern that social isolation, financial stress, depression, limited or variable access to health care services and other pandemic-related stressors may contribute to an increase in suicidal behaviors. In patients who have recovered from COVID-19, an increased risk of developing suicidal behaviors may be noted, while post-COVID syndrome comprises another potential risk factor contributing to increased suicidal behaviors. Despite the initial alarming predictions for an increase in suicide rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of published studies to date suggest that experienced difficulties and distress do not inevitably translate into an increased number of suicide-related deaths, at least not in the short-term. Nevertheless, the long-term mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have yet to be unfolded and are likely to remain for a long period of time. Suicide prevention and measures aiming at promoting well-being and mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on mental health, particularly among vulnerable groups, should thus be a priority for healthcare professionals and policymakers amidst the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

6.
J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med ; : 1-4, 2021 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510819

ABSTRACT

This study comprehensively examines clinical symptoms, laboratory findings, and placental pathology in 40 cases of singleton full-term SARS-CoV-2 negative neonates. Their mothers, previously healthy, with uncomplicated pregnancies, were infected peripartum and presented COVID-19 symptoms of various severity. Neonates had predominately diarrhea, the yet unreported absent sucking reflex, elevated COVID-19 inflammatory and ischemia/asphyxia markers as serum ferritin, interleukin-6 and cardiac troponin-T, while placentas demonstrated mild vascular and/or inflammatory lesions. We hypothesize that the above placental lesions may be associated with transient perinatal hypoxia resulting in absent sucking reflex, as well as with inflammatory cytokines transfer causing diarrhea.

7.
Exp Ther Med ; 22(4): 1162, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377025

ABSTRACT

Since its outbreak, in December, 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has evolved into an ongoing global pandemic. Due to the novel antigenic properties of this virus, the world population could not develop immunity effectively and this led to the subsequent spread of COVID-19. This caused an unprecedented emergency situation with significant negative effects on health and well-being both on an individual and societal level. Apart from health, economic and social consequences, the impact of this pandemic on mental health is increasingly being reported in the scientific literature. The present review aimed to provide a comprehensive discussion of the possible neurological and neuropsychiatric manifestations of SARS-CoV-2, together with the related underlying molecular pathways. In addition, the present review focused on populations which are at a higher risk of developing psychiatric disturbances due to the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed possible routes of clinical management and therapeutics to minimize the burden associated with psychiatric disorders. Moreover, research findings exploring the prevalence of COVID-19-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms across vulnerable groups, including children, adolescents and COVID-19 survivors are presented, with particular emphasis on those with severe disease who required hospitalization and/or intensive care unit admission. Based on the available literature, the identification of potential determinants associated with PTSD across the different populations is underlined. Lessons learnt from the pandemics across the globe together with the ongoing research on COVID-19 and its impact on mental health, highlight the utmost importance for evidence-based, proactive and targeted interventions in high-risk groups aiming to mitigate the risks and manage vulnerabilities.

8.
mSphere ; : e0018021, 2021 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288358

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread rapidly during the first months of 2020 and continues to expand in multiple areas across the globe. Molecular epidemiology has provided an added value to traditional public health tools by identifying SARS-CoV-2 clusters or providing evidence that clusters based on virus sequences and contact tracing are highly concordant. Our aim was to infer the levels of virus importation and to estimate the impact of public health measures related to travel restrictions to local transmission in Greece. Our phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses included 389 full-genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences collected during the first 7 months of the pandemic in Greece and a random collection in five replicates of 3,000 sequences sampled globally, as well as the best hits to our data set identified by BLAST. Phylogenetic trees were reconstructed by the maximum likelihood method, and the putative source of SARS-CoV-2 infections was inferred by phylogeographic analysis. Phylogenetic analyses revealed the presence of 89 genetically distinct viruses identified as independent introductions into Greece. The proportion of imported strains was 41%, 11.5%, and 8.8% during the three periods of sampling, namely, March (no travel restrictions), April to June (strict travel restrictions), and July to September (lifting of travel restrictions based on thorough risk assessment), respectively. The results of phylogeographic analysis were confirmed by a Bayesian approach. Our findings reveal low levels of onward transmission from imported cases during summer and underscore the importance of targeted public health measures that can increase the safety of international travel during a pandemic. IMPORTANCE Our study based on current state-of-the-art molecular epidemiology methods suggests that virus screening and public health measures after the lifting of travel restrictions prevented SARS-CoV-2 onward transmission from imported cases during summer 2020 in Greece. These findings provide important data on the efficacy of targeted public health measures and have important implications regarding the safety of international travel during a pandemic. Our results can provide a roadmap about prevention policy in the future regarding the reopening of borders in the presence of differences in vaccination coverage, the circulation of the virus, and the presence of newly emergent variants across the globe.

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