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1.
J Clin Invest ; 132(12)2022 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053516

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDPatients undergoing immune-modifying therapies demonstrate a reduced humoral response after COVID-19 vaccination, but we lack a proper evaluation of the effect of such therapies on vaccine-induced T cell responses.METHODSWe longitudinally characterized humoral and spike-specific T cell responses in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), who were on antimetabolite therapy (azathioprine or methotrexate), TNF inhibitors, and/or other biologic treatment (anti-integrin or anti-p40) for up to 6 months after completing 2-dose COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.RESULTSWe demonstrate that a spike-specific T cell response was not only induced in treated patients with IBD at levels similar to those of healthy individuals, but also sustained at higher magnitude for up to 6 months after vaccination, particularly in those treated with TNF inhibitor therapy. Furthermore, the spike-specific T cell response in these patients was mainly preserved against mutations present in SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) and characterized by a Th1/IL-10 cytokine profile.CONCLUSIONDespite the humoral response defects, patients under immune-modifying therapies demonstrated a favorable profile of vaccine-induced T cell responses that might still provide a layer of COVID-19 protection.FUNDINGThis study was funded by the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) Catalyst Grant (FY2021ES) and the National Research Fund Competitive Research Programme (NRF-CRP25-2020-0003).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination , Viral Vaccines/genetics
2.
Trop Med Infect Dis ; 7(5)2022 May 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862900

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, distinguishing dengue from COVID-19 in endemic areas can be difficult, as both may present as undifferentiated febrile illness. COVID-19 cases may also present with false-positive dengue serology. Hospitalisation protocols for managing undifferentiated febrile illness are essential in mitigating the risk from both COVID-19 and dengue. METHODS: At a tertiary hospital contending with COVID-19 during a dengue epidemic, a triage strategy of routine COVID-19 testing for febrile patients with viral prodromes was used. All febrile patients with viral prodromes and no epidemiologic risk for COVID-19 were first admitted to a designated ward for COVID-19 testing, from January 2020 to December 2021. RESULTS: A total of 6103 cases of COVID-19 and 1251 cases of dengue were managed at our institution, comprising a total of 3.9% (6103/155,452) and 0.8% (1251/155,452) of admissions, respectively. A surge in dengue hospitalisations in mid-2020 corresponded closely with the imposition of a community-wide lockdown. A total of 23 cases of PCR-proven COVID-19 infection with positive dengue serology were identified, of whom only two were true co-infections; both had been appropriately isolated upon admission. Average length-of-stay for dengue cases initially admitted to isolation during the pandemic was 8.35 days (S.D. = 6.53), compared with 6.91 days (S.D. = 8.61) for cases admitted outside isolation (1.44 days, 95%CI = 0.58-2.30, p = 0.001). Pre-pandemic, only 1.6% (9/580) of dengue cases were admitted initially to isolation-areas; in contrast, during the pandemic period, 66.6% (833/1251) of dengue cases were initially admitted to isolation-areas while awaiting the results of SARS-CoV-2 testing. CONCLUSIONS: During successive COVID-19 pandemic waves in a dengue-endemic country, coinfection with dengue and COVID-19 was uncommon. Routine COVID-19 testing for febrile patients with viral prodromes mitigated the potential infection-prevention risk from COVID-19 cases, albeit with an increased length-of-stay for dengue hospitalizations admitted initially to isolation.

3.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-5, 2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815396

ABSTRACT

Sporadic clusters of healthcare-associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) occurred despite intense rostered routine surveillance and a highly vaccinated healthcare worker (HCW) population, during a community surge of the severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) B.1.617.2 δ (delta) variant. Genomic analysis facilitated timely cluster detection and uncovered additional linkages via HCWs moving between clinical areas and among HCWs sharing a common lunch area, enabling early intervention.

5.
Am J Infect Control ; 50(4): 465-468, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1653966

ABSTRACT

Sporadic clusters of health care-associated COVID-19 infection occurred in a highly vaccinated health care-workers and patient population, over a 3-month period during ongoing community transmission of the B.1.617.2 variant. Enhanced infection-prevention measures and robust surveillance systems, including routine-rostered-testing of all inpatients and staff and usage of N95-respirators in all clinical areas, were insufficient in achieving zero health care-associated transmission. The unvaccinated and immunocompromised remain at-risk and should be prioritized for enhanced surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Inpatients , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Open forum infectious diseases ; 8(Suppl 1):S298-S298, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1602399

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the importance of contact tracing in outbreak management. Digital technologies have been leveraged to enhance contact tracing in community settings. However, within complex hospital environments, where patient and staff movement and interpersonal interactions are central to care delivery, tools for contact tracing and cluster detection remain limited. We aimed to develop a system to promptly, identify contacts in infectious disease exposures and detect infectious disease clusters. Methods We prototyped a 3D mapping tool 3-Dimensional Disease Outbreak Surveillance System (3D-DOSS), to have a spatial representation of patients in the hospital inpatient locations. Based on the AutoCAD drawings, the hospital physical spaces are built within a game-development software to obtain accurate digital replicas. This concept borrows from the way gamers interact with the virtual world/space, to mimic the interactions in physical space, like the SIMS franchise. Clinical, laboratory and patient movement data is then integrated into the virtual map to develop syndromic and disease surveillance systems. Risk assignment to individuals exposed is through mathematical modeling based on distance coordinates, room type and ventilation parameters and whether the disease is transmitted via contact, droplet or airborne route. Results We have mapped acute respiratory illness (ARI) data for the period September to December 2018. We identified an influenza cluster of 10 patients in November 2018. In a COVID-19 exposure involving a healthcare worker (HCW), we identified 44 primary and 162 secondary contacts who were then managed as per our standard exposure management protocols. MDRO outbreaks could also be mapped. Conclusion Through early identification of at-risk contacts and detection of infectious disease clusters, the system can potentially facilitate interventions to prevent onward transmission. The system can also support security, environmental cleaning, bed assignment and other operational processes. Simulations of novel diseases outbreaks can enhance preparedness planning as health systems that had been better prepared have been more resilient in this current pandemic. Disclosures All Authors: No reported disclosures

7.
Int J Infect Dis ; 114: 132-134, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509866

ABSTRACT

Retrospective contact tracing, enabled by the use of automated visitor-management systems and digital contact tracing, together with rapid antigen detection (RAD) for SARS-CoV-2 among visitors staying ≥ 30 minutes, identified COVID-19 cases in < 0.01% (6/72 605) of hospital visitors to a large hospital campus over an 8-week study period. The potential for nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from hospital visitors was thus very low, and could be further mitigated by universal mask-wearing among staff and visitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Contact Tracing , Hospitals , Humans , Incidence , Retrospective Studies
10.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis ; 40(12): 2489-2496, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293388

ABSTRACT

Easy access to screening for timely identification and isolation of infectious COVID-19 patients remains crucial in sustaining the international efforts to control COVID-19 spread. A major barrier limiting broad-based screening is the lack of a simple, rapid, and cost-effective COVID-19 testing method. We evaluated the feasibility and utility of facemask sampling in a cohort of 42 COVID-19-positive and 36 COVID-19-negative patients. We used a prototype of Steri-Strips™ (3 M) applied to the inner surface of looped surgical facemasks (Assure), which was worn by patients for a minimum wear time of 3 h, then removed and sent for SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing. Baseline demographics and symptomatology were also collected. Facemask sampling positivity was highest within the first 5 days of symptomatic presentation. Patients with nasopharyngeal and/or oropharyngeal swab SARS-CoV-2 PCR Ct values < 25.09 had SARS-CoV-2 detected on facemask sampling, while patients with Ct values ≥ 25.2 had no SARS-CoV-2 detected on facemask sampling. Facemask sampling can identify patients with COVID-19 during the early symptomatic phase or those with high viral loads, hence allowing timely identification and isolation of those with the highest transmission risk. Given the widespread use of facemasks, this method can potentially be easily applied to achieve broad-based, or even continuous, population screening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/virology , Masks/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , Cohort Studies , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Oropharynx/virology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Young Adult
11.
Singapore Med J ; 2021 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280945

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are a critical resource in the effort to control the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also a sentinel surveillance population whose clinical status reflects the effectiveness of the hospital's infection prevention measures in the pandemic. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study conducted in Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a 1,822-bed tertiary hospital. Participants were all HCWs working in SGH during the study period. HCW protection measures included clinical workflows and personal protective equipment developed and adapted to minimise the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission. HCW monitoring comprised staff contact logs in high-risk locations, twice-daily temperature monitoring, assessment of HCWs with acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) in the staff clinic and, in the event of an exposure, extensive contact tracing, detailed risk assessment and risk-based interventions. HCW surveillance utilised monitoring data and ARI presentations and outcomes. RESULTS: In the ten-week period between 6 January 2020 and 16 March 2020, 333 (17.1%) of 1,946 HCWs at risk of occupational COVID-19 presented with ARI. 32 (9.6%) screened negative for SARS-CoV-2 from throat swabs. Five other HCWs developed COVID-19 attributed to non-clinical exposures. From the nine COVID-19 exposure episodes investigated, 189 HCW contacts were identified, of whom 68 (36.2%) were placed on quarantine and remained well. CONCLUSION: Early in an emerging infectious disease outbreak, close monitoring of frontline HCWs is essential in ascertaining the effectiveness of infection prevention measures. HCWs are at risk of community disease acquisition and should be monitored and managed to prevent onward transmission.

12.
Am J Infect Control ; 49(6): 685-689, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279522

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Since December 2019, COVID-19 has caused a worldwide pandemic and Singapore has seen escalating cases with community spread. Aggressive contact tracing and identification of suspects has helped to identify local community clusters, surveillance being the key to early intervention. Healthcare workers (HCWs) have contracted COVID-19 infection both at the workplace and community. We aimed to create a prototype staff surveillance system for the detection of acute respiratory infection (ARI) clusters amongst our HCWs and describe its effectiveness. METHODS: A prototypical surveillance system was built on existing electronic health record infrastructure. RESULTS: Over a 10-week period, we investigated 10 ARI clusters amongst 7 departments. One of the ARI clusters was later determined to be related to COVID-19 infection. We demonstrate the feasibility of syndromic surveillance to detect ARI clusters during the COVID-19 outbreak. CONCLUSION: The use of syndromic surveillance to detect ARI clusters amongst HCWs in the COVID-19 pandemic may enable early case detection and prevent onward transmission. It could be an important tool in infection prevention within healthcare institutions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Disease Outbreaks , Electronic Health Records , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sentinel Surveillance , Singapore/epidemiology
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