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Med Lav ; 112(6): 444-452, 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667921


BACKGROUND:  The gold standard to identify SARS-CoV-2 infections is the Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) on rhino-pharyngeal swabs, but faster and cheaper methods such as antigenic swabs have been developed. A retrospective observational study on antigenic swabs included in the extraordinary health surveillance protocol of a large Hospital in Turin was aimed to assess their performance validity. Methods: From 30 October 2020 to 4 May 2021, 4000 antigenic swabs were carried out in three groups of healthcare workers (HCWs), respectively (i) asymptomatic, (ii) cohabiting with a positive case, and (iii) not recently exposed to the virus.  Results: Overall sensitivity and specificity associated with a prevalence of 1.30% were 26.9%, 97.2%, respectively, the corresponding positive (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) being 11.29% and 99.02% [95% IC (99.00 - 99.04)] respectively; a prevalence of 0.29% was observed in the asymptomatic group, among whom sensitivity and specificity were 25.0% and 98.9%, respectively, the corresponding PPV and NPV being 6.25% and 99.78% [95% IC (99.76 - 99.81)], respectively; the cohabitant group showed a prevalence of 21.11%, sensitivity and specificity were 47.4%, 81.7%, respectively, giving rise to a PPV of 40.91% and NPV of 85.29% [95% IC (85.18 - 85.41)] respectively. The prevalence in the not exposed group was 0.77%, sensitivity and specificity were 29.2%, 97.4%, respectively, and PPV and NPV 8.05% and 99.44% [95% IC (99.42 - 99.46)] respectively. Conclusions: Antigenic swabs reduced costs and provided reliable diagnostic results. In the cohabitant group, the higher-prevalence groups showed poor test performances, likely because of the high prevalence of pre-symptomatic illness in this group. Owing to the relatively low NPV, a negative result would still require confirmation with a molecular test to be acceptable for a surveillance program that effectively reduces the virus's intra-hospital spread.

COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 216-225, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068142


OBJECTIVES: to explore clinical and epidemiological characteristics associated with an imaging feature of COVID-19 pneumonia at disease onset, in order to identify factors that may be evaluable by general practitioners at patient's home, and which may lead to identify a more severe disease, needing hospitalization. DESIGN: this is a retrospective/prospective observational hospital cohort. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: the study population includes all patients consecutively admitted to the emergency department of Città della salute e della scienza University Hospital from 01.03 to 31.05.2020 with a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: patients were classified in two groups according to the findings of X-ray imaging, lung ultrasound and chest computer tomography, as pneumonia or not pneumonia patients. RESULTS: in multivariable analysis, factors most strongly associated with emergency department admission with pneumonia were age, oxygen saturation <90% (adj OR 4.16 ;95%CI 1.44-12.07), respiratory rate >24 breaths/min (adj OR 6.50; 95%CI 2.36-17.87), fever ≥38° (adj OR 3.05; 95%CI 1.53-6.08) and the presence of gastroenteric symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea). A delay (> 7 days) between the appearance of the initial lung symptoms (cough and dyspnea) and the admission to the emergency department was also related to a higher probability of receiving a positive imaging report (OR 4.99; 95%CI 2,02-12,34). CONCLUSIONS: in order to reorganize the management of COVID-19 patients in Italy, in view of the risk of a second wave of epidemic or of local outbreaks, it would be desirable to relocate the triage, and possibly the patient's care, from hospital to home. In this scenario it is important to identify all symptoms and signs associated with COVID-19 pneumonia that would facilitate the decision-making process of GPs leading to patients hospitalization.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , Comorbidity , Diarrhea/epidemiology , Diarrhea/etiology , Dyspnea/epidemiology , Dyspnea/etiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Leukocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Oxygen/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Rate , Retrospective Studies , Symptom Assessment , Time Factors , Vomiting/epidemiology , Vomiting/etiology