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1.
Trop Med Health ; 50(1): 48, 2022 Jul 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957073

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on delivering essential health services, including HIV service delivery. Among the challenges encountered and addressed by the HIV and AIDS Department of the San Lazaro Hospital were ensuring continued access to antiretroviral therapy and ensuring continuity of client education and empowerment. Two years into the pandemic, challenges still ensue, such as protecting health care providers from COVID-19 and regular clinical monitoring of clients. This highlights the importance of urgent action to strengthen the resilience of health systems at all its levels, not only to respond to sudden disturbances, but also to transform and evolve to be able to better face future pandemics.

3.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(9)2022 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1924011

ABSTRACT

Persons in Japan who did not intend to receive COVID-19 vaccines after widespread rollout were less likely than others to engage in preventive measures or to be afraid of getting infected or infecting others. They were also not less likely to engage in potentially high-risk behaviors, suggesting similar or higher exposure risks.

4.
Lancet Reg Health Am ; 12: 100283, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867450

ABSTRACT

Background: Incidence rates of SARS-CoV-2 infections in low-resource communities can inform vaccination strategies and non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). Our objective was to estimate incidence over four epidemic waves in a slum in Rio de Janeiro, a proxy for economically deprived areas in the Global South. Methods: Prospective cohort of children and household contacts screened for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR and serology (IgG). The incidence density of PCR positive infections estimated for each wave - the first wave, Zeta, Gamma and Delta - was compared to an index combining NPIs and vaccination coverage. Findings: 718 families and 2501 individuals were enrolled, from May 2020 to November 2021. The incidence density of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to the first wave was 2, 3 times that of the other waves. The incidence among children was lower than that of older participants, except in later waves, when vaccination of the elderly reached 90%. Household agglomeration was significantly associated with incidence only during the first wave. Interpretation: The incidence of infection greatly exceeded rates reported in similar cohorts. The observed reduction in incidence in the elderly during the Delta variant wave, in spite of the rollback of NPIs, can be attributed to increased vaccine coverage. The high incidence in young people reinforces the importance of vaccination in this age group, a policy that has yet to receive the full support of some sectors of society. Funding: UK Medical Research Council, Foundation for the Advancement of Science of the State of Rio de Janeiro, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.

5.
Trop Med Health ; 50(1): 30, 2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817291

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic continues to pose a threat to global health. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) has spread rapidly worldwide and became dominant in many countries. A natural 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) with sodium ferrous citrate (SFC) has demonstrated antiviral activity in Wuhan, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2 infections in vitro. In this study, we report antiviral activity of 5-ALA, 5-ALA with SFC led to IC50 of 329 and 765/191, respectively after infection with Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Our finding suggests that 5-ALA could be used as antiviral drug candidate to treat Omicron variant infected patients.

6.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(5): 952-961, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1807133

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The relative burden of COVID-19 has been less severe in Japan. One reason for this may be the uniquely strict restrictions imposed upon bars/restaurants. To assess if this approach was appropriately targeting high-risk individuals, we examined behavioral factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the community. METHODS: This multicenter case-control study involved individuals receiving SARS-CoV-2 testing in June-August 2021. Behavioral exposures in the past 2 weeks were collected via questionnaire. SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive individuals were cases, while PCR-negative individuals were controls. RESULTS: The analysis included 778 individuals (266 [34.2%] positives; median age [interquartile range] 33 [27-43] years). Attending three or more social gatherings was associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.00 [95% CI 1.31-3.05]). Attending gatherings with alcohol (aOR 2.29 [1.53-3.42]), at bars/restaurants (aOR 1.55 [1.04-2.30]), outdoors/at parks (aOR 2.87 [1.01-8.13]), at night (aOR 2.07 [1.40-3.04]), five or more people (aOR 1.81 [1.00-3.30]), 2 hours or longer (aOR 1.76 [1.14-2.71]), not wearing a mask during gatherings (aOR 4.18 [2.29-7.64]), and cloth mask use (aOR 1.77 [1.11-2.83]) were associated with infection. Going to karaoke (aOR 2.53 [1.25-5.09]) and to a gym (aOR 1.87 [1.11-3.16]) were also associated with infection. Factors not associated with infection included visiting a cafe with others, ordering takeout, using food delivery services, eating out by oneself, and work/school/travel-related exposures including teleworking. CONCLUSIONS: We identified multiple behavioral factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, many of which were in line with the policy/risk communication implemented in Japan. Rapid assessment of risk factors can inform decision making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel , Travel-Related Illness
8.
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792418

ABSTRACT

Lamellarin α 20-sulfate is a cell-impenetrable marine alkaloid that can suppress infection that is mediated by the envelope glycoprotein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. We explored the antiviral action and mechanisms of this alkaloid against emerging enveloped RNA viruses that use endocytosis for infection. The alkaloid inhibited the infection of retroviral vectors that had been pseudotyped with the envelope glycoprotein of Ebola virus and SARS-CoV-2. The antiviral effects of lamellarin were independent of the retrovirus Gag-Pol proteins. Interestingly, although heparin and dextran sulfate suppressed the cell attachment of vector particles, lamellarin did not. In silico structural analyses of the trimeric glycoprotein of the Ebola virus disclosed that the principal lamellarin-binding site is confined to a previously unappreciated cavity near the NPC1-binding site and fusion loop, whereas those for heparin and dextran sulfate were dispersed across the attachment and fusion subunits of the glycoproteins. Notably, lamellarin binding to this cavity was augmented under conditions where the pH was 5.0. These results suggest that the final action of the alkaloid against Ebola virus is specific to events following endocytosis, possibly during conformational glycoprotein changes in the acidic environment of endosomes. Our findings highlight the unique biological and physicochemical features of lamellarin α 20-sulfate and should lead to the further use of broadly reactive antivirals to explore the structural mechanisms of virus replication.


Subject(s)
Alkaloids , COVID-19 , Ebolavirus , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Alkaloids/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dextran Sulfate , Ebolavirus/metabolism , Glycoproteins , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/drug therapy , Heparin/pharmacology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Internalization
9.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 106, 2022 Jan 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703683

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite the availability of a range of contraceptive methods, young people around the world still face barriers in accessing and using them. The use of digital technology for the delivery of health interventions has expanded rapidly. Intervention delivery by mobile phone can be a useful way to address young people's needs with regard to sexual and reproductive health, because the information can be digested at a time of the recipients' choosing. This study reports the adaptation of an evidence-based contraceptive behavioural intervention for young people in Zimbabwe. METHODS: Focus group discussions and in depth interviews were used to evaluate the 'fit' of the existing intervention among young people in Harare, Zimbabwe. This involved determining how aligned the content of the existing intervention was to the knowledge and beliefs of young Zimbabweans plus identifying the most appropriate intervention deliver mode. The verbatim transcripts were analysed using a thematic analysis. The existing intervention was then adapted, tested and refined in subsequent focus group discussions and interviews with young people in Harare and Bulawayo. RESULTS: Eleven key themes resulted from the discussions evaluating the fit of the intervention. While there were many similarities to the original study population, key differences were that young people in Zimbabwe had lower levels of personal and smart mobile phone ownership and lower literacy levels. Young people were enthusiastic about receiving information about side effects/side benefits of the methods. The iterative testing and refinement resulted in adapted intervention consisting of 97 messages for female recipients (94 for male), delivered over three months and offered in English, Shona and Ndebele. CONCLUSIONS: Young people in Zimbabwe provided essential information for adapting the existing intervention. There was great support for the adapted intervention among the young people who took part in this study. The adapted intervention is now being implemented within an integrated community-based sexual and reproductive health service in Zimbabwe.


Subject(s)
Cell Phone , Contraceptive Agents , Adolescent , Contraception , Female , Humans , Male , Reproductive Health , Zimbabwe
11.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0258348, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633398

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there have been concerns related to the preparedness of healthcare workers (HCWs). This study aimed to describe the level of awareness and preparedness of hospital HCWs at the time of the first wave. METHODS: This multinational, multicenter, cross-sectional survey was conducted among hospital HCWs from February to May 2020. We used a hierarchical logistic regression multivariate analysis to adjust the influence of variables based on awareness and preparedness. We then used association rule mining to identify relationships between HCW confidence in handling suspected COVID-19 patients and prior COVID-19 case-management training. RESULTS: We surveyed 24,653 HCWs from 371 hospitals across 57 countries and received 17,302 responses from 70.2% HCWs overall. The median COVID-19 preparedness score was 11.0 (interquartile range [IQR] = 6.0-14.0) and the median awareness score was 29.6 (IQR = 26.6-32.6). HCWs at COVID-19 designated facilities with previous outbreak experience, or HCWs who were trained for dealing with the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, had significantly higher levels of preparedness and awareness (p<0.001). Association rule mining suggests that nurses and doctors who had a 'great-extent-of-confidence' in handling suspected COVID-19 patients had participated in COVID-19 training courses. Male participants (mean difference = 0.34; 95% CI = 0.22, 0.46; p<0.001) and nurses (mean difference = 0.67; 95% CI = 0.53, 0.81; p<0.001) had higher preparedness scores compared to women participants and doctors. INTERPRETATION: There was an unsurprising high level of awareness and preparedness among HCWs who participated in COVID-19 training courses. However, disparity existed along the lines of gender and type of HCW. It is unknown whether the difference in COVID-19 preparedness that we detected early in the pandemic may have translated into disproportionate SARS-CoV-2 burden of disease by gender or HCW type.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Personnel, Hospital , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Education, Medical, Continuing/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Personnel, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires
14.
Int J Infect Dis ; 114: 58-61, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487754

ABSTRACT

We describe a case of prolonged COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Gamma variant in a fully vaccinated healthcare worker, 387 days after an infection caused by lineage B.1.1.33. Infections were confirmed by whole-genome sequencing and corroborated by the detection of neutralizing antibodies in convalescent serum samples. Considering the permanent exposure of this healthcare worker to SARS-CoV-2, the waning immunity after the first infection, the low efficacy of the inactivated vaccine at preventing COVID-19, the immune escape of the Gamma variant (VOC), and the burden of post-COVID syndrome, this individual would have benefited from an additional dose of a heterologous vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Brazil , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Reinfection , Vaccines, Inactivated
16.
Trop Med Health ; 48: 51, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477475

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread to almost every region and country in the world, leading to widespread travel restrictions and national lockdowns. Currently, there are limited epidemiological and clinical data on COVID-19 patients from low and middle-income countries. We conducted a retrospective single-center study of the first 100 individuals with suspected COVID-19 (between Jan. 25 and Mar. 29, 2020) admitted to San Lazaro Hospital (SLH), the national infectious diseases referral hospital in Manila, Philippines. Results: Demographic data, travel history, clinical features, and outcomes were summarized and compared between COVID-19 confirmed and non-confirmed cases. The first two confirmed cases were Chinese nationals, admitted on Jan. 25. The third confirmed case was a Filipino, admitted on Mar. 8. Trends toward confirmed COVID-19 cases not reporting international travel and being admitted to SLH from the densely populated area of Manila city were observed during Mar. 8-29. All 42 of the 100 confirmed COVID-19 cases were adults, 40% were aged 60 years and above and 55% were male. Three were health workers. Among individuals with suspected COVID-19, confirmed cases were more likely to be older, Filipino, not report international travel history and have at least one underlying disease, particularly diabetes, report difficulty in breathing, and a longer duration of symptoms. In over 90% of non-COVID-19 cases, the alternative diagnosis was respiratory. Nine (21%) confirmed cases died. The median duration from symptoms onset to death was 11.5 (range: 8-18) days. Conclusions: Imported COVID-19 cases have reduced but local transmission persists and there is a trend toward cases being admitted to SLH from densely populated areas. This study highlights the difficulty in diagnosing COVID-19 on clinical grounds and the importance of diagnostic capacity in all settings. Difficulty of breathing was the only symptom associated with COVID-19 infection and should alert clinicians to the possibility of COVID-19. Clinical characteristics of confirmed COVID-19 cases and a hospital case fatality rate of 21% are comparable with other settings.

17.
Nature ; 592(7853): 277-282, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387425

ABSTRACT

The spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical for virus infection through the engagement of the human ACE2 protein1 and is a major antibody target. Here we show that chronic infection with SARS-CoV-2 leads to viral evolution and reduced sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies in an immunosuppressed individual treated with convalescent plasma, by generating whole-genome ultra-deep sequences for 23 time points that span 101 days and using in vitro techniques to characterize the mutations revealed by sequencing. There was little change in the overall structure of the viral population after two courses of remdesivir during the first 57 days. However, after convalescent plasma therapy, we observed large, dynamic shifts in the viral population, with the emergence of a dominant viral strain that contained a substitution (D796H) in the S2 subunit and a deletion (ΔH69/ΔV70) in the S1 N-terminal domain of the spike protein. As passively transferred serum antibodies diminished, viruses with the escape genotype were reduced in frequency, before returning during a final, unsuccessful course of convalescent plasma treatment. In vitro, the spike double mutant bearing both ΔH69/ΔV70 and D796H conferred modestly decreased sensitivity to convalescent plasma, while maintaining infectivity levels that were similar to the wild-type virus.The spike substitution mutant D796H appeared to be the main contributor to the decreased susceptibility to neutralizing antibodies, but this mutation resulted in an infectivity defect. The spike deletion mutant ΔH69/ΔV70 had a twofold higher level of infectivity than wild-type SARS-CoV-2, possibly compensating for the reduced infectivity of the D796H mutation. These data reveal strong selection on SARS-CoV-2 during convalescent plasma therapy, which is associated with the emergence of viral variants that show evidence of reduced susceptibility to neutralizing antibodies in immunosuppressed individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Mutagenesis/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Aged , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Chronic Disease , Genome, Viral/drug effects , Genome, Viral/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Immune Evasion/drug effects , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immune Tolerance/drug effects , Immune Tolerance/immunology , Immunization, Passive , Male , Mutant Proteins/chemistry , Mutant Proteins/genetics , Mutant Proteins/immunology , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Shedding
18.
Front Public Health ; 9: 580427, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317251

ABSTRACT

Background: The outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by a novel coronavirus (named SARS-CoV-2) has gained attention globally and has been recognized as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to the rapidly increasing number of deaths and confirmed cases. Health care workers (HCWs) are vulnerable to this crisis as they are the first frontline to receive and manage COVID-19 patients. In this multicenter multinational survey, we aim to assess the level of awareness and preparedness of hospital staff regarding COVID-19 all over the world. Methods: From February to March 2020, the web-based or paper-based survey to gather information about the hospital staff's awareness and preparedness in the participants' countries will be carried out using a structured questionnaire based on the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) checklist and delivered to participants by the local collaborators for each hospital. As of March 2020, we recruited 374 hospitals from 58 countries that could adhere to this protocol as approved by their Institutional Review Boards (IRB) or Ethics Committees (EC). Discussion: The awareness and preparedness of HCWs against COVID-19 are of utmost importance not only to protect themselves from infection, but also to control the virus transmission in healthcare facilities and to manage the disease, especially in the context of manpower lacking and hospital overload during the pandemic. The results of this survey can be used to inform hospitals about the awareness and preparedness of their health staff regarding COVID-19, so appropriate policies and practice guidelines can be implemented to improve their capabilities of facing this crisis and other future pandemic-prone diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Personnel, Hospital , United States
20.
Western Pac Surveill Response J ; 12(3): 17-24, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296129

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: When a new health programme is introduced, it is crucial to estimate the costs for rational health policy decision-making. The aim of this study was to determine the costs of implementing two strategies for hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening in rural Cambodia. METHODS: We retrospectively analysed clinical and cost data that were collected routinely for a demonstration project for scaling up HCV screening and testing in Cambodia. The programme data were collected between March and December 2018 in Maung Russey operational district in Battambang Province, Cambodia. FINDINGS: During the study period, 24 230 people were screened; 1194 (5%) were HCV seropositive, of whom 793 (66%) were confirmed to be viraemic. During the study period, 18% of the estimated population of the operational district were screened, of whom 45% were estimated to be seropositive and 41% to be viraemic. With passive screening alone, 8% of the estimated population were screened, of whom 29% were estimated to be seropositive and 28% viraemic. The cost per detected viraemic case was US$ 194 for passive screening alone and US$ 283 for passive and active screening combined. Labour costs (31%) and tests and materials (29%) comprised the largest proportions of the cost. CONCLUSION: Combined active and passive screening per viraemic case detected was US$ 89 more expensive than passive screening alone but provided a higher yield (41% versus 28%) of viraemic cases. Therefore, adding active screening to passive screening is beneficial. Selective active screening strategies, such as targeting people over 45 years and other higher-risk groups, added value for HCV diagnosis.


Subject(s)
Hepacivirus , Hepatitis C , Cambodia/epidemiology , Hepatitis C/diagnosis , Hepatitis C/epidemiology , Humans , Mass Screening , Retrospective Studies
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