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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 8991, 2022 May 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1868022

ABSTRACT

Knowledge about contagiousness is key to accurate management of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Epidemiological studies suggest that in addition to transmission through droplets, aerogenic SARS-CoV-2 transmission contributes to the spread of infection. However, the presence of virus in exhaled air has not yet been sufficiently demonstrated. In pandemic situations low tech disposable and user-friendly bedside devices are required, while commercially available samplers are unsuitable for application in patients with respiratory distress. We included 49 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and used a disposable modular breath sampler to measure SARS-CoV-2 RNA load in exhaled air samples and compared these to SARS-CoV-2 RNA load of combined nasopharyngeal throat swabs and saliva. Exhaled air sampling using the modular breath sampler has proven feasible in a clinical COVID-19 setting and demonstrated viral detection in 25% of the patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Nasopharynx , Pharynx , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831053

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Older age is associated with increased severity and death from respiratory infections, including coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). The tuberculosis vaccine Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) may provide heterologous protection against non-tuberculous infections, and has been proposed as a potential preventive strategy against Covid-19. METHODS: In this multicenter, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned elderly individuals (60 years or older, n=2014) to intracutaneous vaccination with BCG (n=1008) or placebo (n=1006). The primary endpoint was the cumulative incidence of respiratory tract infections that required medical intervention, during 12 months of follow-up. Secondary endpoints included the incidence of Covid-19, and the effect of BCG vaccination on the cellular and humoral immune responses. RESULTS: The cumulative incidence of respiratory tract infection requiring medical intervention was 0.029 in the BCG-vaccinated group and 0.024 in the control group (subdistribution hazard ratio [SHR], 1.26; 98.2% confidence interval [CI], 0.65 to 2.44). 51 and 48 individuals tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR in the BCG and placebo group, respectively (SHR, 1.053; 95% CI, 0.71 to 1.56). No difference was observed in the frequency of adverse events. BCG vaccination was associated with enhanced cytokines responses after influenza, and partially also after SARS-CoV-2 stimulation. In patients diagnosed with Covid-19, antibody responses after infection were significantly stronger if the volunteers had previously received BCG. CONCLUSIONS: BCG-vaccination had no effect on the incidence of respiratory tract infections, including SARS-CoV-2 infection, in elderly volunteers. However, BCG vaccination improved cytokine responses stimulated by influenza and SARS-CoV-2, and induced stronger antibody titers after Covid-19 infection.

3.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(10): e1009928, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484868

ABSTRACT

Non-specific protective effects of certain vaccines have been reported, and long-term boosting of innate immunity, termed trained immunity, has been proposed as one of the mechanisms mediating these effects. Several epidemiological studies suggested cross-protection between influenza vaccination and COVID-19. In a large academic Dutch hospital, we found that SARS-CoV-2 infection was less common among employees who had received a previous influenza vaccination: relative risk reductions of 37% and 49% were observed following influenza vaccination during the first and second COVID-19 waves, respectively. The quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine induced a trained immunity program that boosted innate immune responses against various viral stimuli and fine-tuned the anti-SARS-CoV-2 response, which may result in better protection against COVID-19. Influenza vaccination led to transcriptional reprogramming of monocytes and reduced systemic inflammation. These epidemiological and immunological data argue for potential benefits of influenza vaccination against COVID-19, and future randomized trials are warranted to test this possibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cross Protection/physiology , Immunity, Innate/physiology , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Down-Regulation , Imidazoles/immunology , Incidence , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Netherlands/epidemiology , Personnel, Hospital , Poly I-C/immunology , Proteomics , Risk Factors , Sequence Analysis, RNA
4.
Med (N Y) ; 2(10): 1163-1170.e2, 2021 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433668

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prolonged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) shedding has been described in immunocompromised coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, resulting in protracted disease and poor outcome. Specific therapy to improve viral clearance and outcome for this group of patients is currently unavailable. METHODS: Five critically ill COVID-19 patients with severe defects in cellular immune responses, high SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA loads, and no respiratory improvement were treated with interferon gamma, 100 µg subcutaneously, thrice weekly. Bronchial secretion was collected every 48 h for routine diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and viral culture. FINDINGS: Interferon gamma administration was followed by a rapid decline in SARS-CoV-2 load and a positive-to-negative viral culture conversion. Four patients recovered, and no signs of hyperinflammation were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Interferon gamma may be considered as adjuvant immunotherapy in a subset of immunocompromised COVID-19 patients. FUNDING: A.v.L. and R.v.C. are supported by National Institutes of Health (R01AI145781). G.J.O. and R.P.v.R. are supported by a VICI grant (016.VICI.170.090) from the Dutch Research Council (NWO). W.F.A. is supported by a clinical fellowship grant (9071561) of Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development. M.G.N. is supported by an ERC advanced grant (833247) and a Spinoza grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Illness/therapy , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunotherapy , Interferon-gamma , Research , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
5.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0249231, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154085

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To date, survival data on risk factors for COVID-19 mortality in western Europe is limited, and none of the published survival studies have used a competing risk approach. This study aims to identify risk factors for in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients in the Netherlands, considering recovery as a competing risk. METHODS: In this observational multicenter cohort study we included adults with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection that were admitted to one of five hospitals in the Netherlands (March to May 2020). We performed a competing risk survival analysis, presenting cause-specific hazard ratios (HRCS) for the effect of preselected factors on the absolute risk of death and recovery. RESULTS: 1,006 patients were included (63.9% male; median age 69 years, IQR: 58-77). Patients were hospitalized for a median duration of 6 days (IQR: 3-13); 243 (24.6%) of them died, 689 (69.9%) recovered, and 74 (7.4%) were censored. Patients with higher age (HRCS 1.10, 95% CI 1.08-1.12), immunocompromised state (HRCS 1.46, 95% CI 1.08-1.98), who used anticoagulants or antiplatelet medication (HRCS 1.38, 95% CI 1.01-1.88), with higher modified early warning score (MEWS) (HRCS 1.09, 95% CI 1.01-1.18), and higher blood LDH at time of admission (HRCS 6.68, 95% CI 1.95-22.8) had increased risk of death, whereas fever (HRCS 0.70, 95% CI 0.52-0.95) decreased risk of death. We found no increased mortality risk in male patients, high BMI or diabetes. CONCLUSION: Our competing risk survival analysis confirms specific risk factors for COVID-19 mortality in a the Netherlands, which can be used for prediction research, more intense in-hospital monitoring or prioritizing particular patients for new treatments or vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Hospital Mortality , Aged , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Diabetes Complications , Female , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , L-Lactate Dehydrogenase/biosynthesis , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands , Proportional Hazards Models , RNA, Viral/analysis , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Survival Analysis
6.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248713, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140537

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe clinical characteristics, disease course and outcomes in a large and well-documented cohort of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the Netherlands. METHODS: We conducted a multicentre retrospective cohort study in The Netherlands including 952 of 1183 consecutively hospitalized patients that were admitted to participating hospitals between March 2nd, 2020, and May 22nd, 2020. Clinical characteristics and laboratory parameters upon admission and during hospitalization were collected until July 1st. RESULTS: The median age was 69 years (IQR 58-77 years) and 605 (63.6%) were male. Cardiovascular disease was present in 558 (58.6%) patients. The median time of onset of symptoms prior to hospitalization was 7 days (IQR 5-10). A non ICU admission policy was applicable in 312 (32.8%) patients and in 165 (56.3%) of the severely ill patients admitted to the ward. At admission and during hospitalization, severely ill patients had higher values of CRP, LDH, ferritin and D-dimer with higher neutrophil counts and lower lymphocyte counts. Overall in-hospital mortality was 25.1% and 183 (19.1%) patients were admitted to ICU, of whom 56 (30.6%) died. Patients aged ≥70 years had high mortality, both at the ward (52.4%) and ICU (47.4%). The median length of ICU stay was 8 days longer in patients aged ≥70 years compared to patients aged ≤60 years. CONCLUSION: Hospitalized COVID-19 patients aged ≥70 years had high mortality and longer ICU stay compared to patients aged ≤60 years. These findings in combination with the patient burden of an ICU admission and possible long term complications after discharge should encourage us to further investigate the benefit of ICU admission in elderly and fragile COVID-19-patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
7.
Infect Dis (Lond) ; 53(2): 102-110, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066202

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Knowledge on bacterial co-infections in COVID-19 is crucial to use antibiotics appropriately. Therefore, we aimed to determine the incidence of bacterial co-infections, antibiotic use and application of antimicrobial stewardship principles in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. METHODS: We performed a retrospective observational study in four hospitals (1 university, 2 non-university teaching, 1 non-teaching hospital) in the Netherlands from March to May 2020 including consecutive patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19. Data on first microbiological investigations obtained at the discretion of the physician and antibiotic use in the first week of hospital admission were collected. RESULTS: Twelve (1.2%) of the 925 patients included had a documented bacterial co-infection (75.0% pneumonia) within the first week. Microbiological testing was performed in 749 (81%) patients: sputum cultures in 105 (11.4%), blood cultures in 711 (76.9%), pneumococcal urinary antigen testing in 202 (21.8%), and Legionella urinary antigen testing in 199 (21.5%) patients, with clear variation between hospitals. On presentation 556 (60.1%; range 33.3-73.4%) patients received antibiotics for a median duration of 2 days (IQR 1-4). Intravenous to oral switch was performed in 41 of 413 (9.9%) patients who received intravenous treatment >48 h. Mean adherence to the local guideline on empiric antibiotic therapy on day 1 was on average 60.3% (range 45.3%-74.7%). CONCLUSIONS: On presentation to the hospital bacterial co-infections are rare, while empiric antibiotic use is abundant. This implies that in patients with COVID-19 empiric antibiotic should be withheld. This has the potential to dramatically reduce the current overuse of antibiotics in the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage , Bacterial Infections/drug therapy , Bacterial Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prescription Drug Overuse/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Antimicrobial Stewardship , Bacterial Infections/microbiology , Blood Culture , COVID-19/virology , Coinfection , Drug Administration Routes , Drug Administration Schedule , Female , Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Prescription Drug Overuse/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
8.
Cell Rep Med ; 1(5): 100073, 2020 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694416

ABSTRACT

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) induces long-term boosting of innate immunity, termed trained immunity, and decreases susceptibility to respiratory tract infections. BCG vaccination trials for reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection are underway, but concerns have been raised regarding the potential harm of strong innate immune responses. To investigate the safety of BCG vaccination, we retrospectively assessed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related symptoms in three cohorts of healthy volunteers who either received BCG in the last 5 years or did not. BCG vaccination is not associated with increased incidence of symptoms during the COVID-19 outbreak in the Netherlands. Our data suggest that BCG vaccination might be associated with a decrease in the incidence of sickness during the COVID-19 pandemic (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.58, p < 0.05), and lower incidence of extreme fatigue. In conclusion, recent BCG vaccination is safe, and large randomized trials are needed to reveal if BCG reduces the incidence and/or severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
BCG Vaccine/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , BCG Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
9.
Int J Antimicrob Agents ; 56(1): 106056, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-641204

ABSTRACT

The severity of COVID-19 has resulted in a global rush to find the right antiviral treatment to conquer the pandemic and to treat patients. This requires reliable studies to support treatment. In a recently published study by Gautret et al. the authors concluded that hydroxychloroquine monotherapy and hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin reduced viral load. However, this trial has several major methodological issues, including the design, outcome measure and the statistical analyses. In this paper we discuss the background, clinical evidence, pharmacology and methodological issues related to this clinical trial. We understand the rush to release results, however in case conclusions are far reaching the evidence needs to be robust.


Subject(s)
Azithromycin/administration & dosage , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Hydroxychloroquine/administration & dosage , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Azithromycin/adverse effects , Azithromycin/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Drug Therapy, Combination , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics , Research Design , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Trials ; 21(1): 481, 2020 Jun 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-548062

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of these two separate trials are: (1) to reduce health care workers (HCWs) absenteeism; and (2) to reduce hospital admission among the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic through BCG vaccination. TRIAL DESIGN: Two separate multi-centre placebo-controlled parallel group randomized trials PARTICIPANTS: (1) Health care personnel working in the hospital or ambulance service where they will take care of patients with the COVID-19 infection and (2) elderly ≥60 years. The HCW trial is being undertaken in 9 hospitals. The elderly trial is being undertaken in locations in the community in Nijmegen, Utrecht, and Veghel, in the Netherlands, using senior citizen organisations to facilitate recruitment. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: For both trials the intervention group will be randomized to vaccination with 0.1 ml of the licensed BCG vaccine (Danish strain 1331, SSI, Denmark, equivalent to 0.075 mg attenuated M. bovis). The placebo group consists of 0.1 ml 0.9% NaCl, which is the same amount, and has the same colour and appearance as the suspended BCG vaccine. MAIN OUTCOMES: (1) Number of days of unplanned work absenteeism in HCWs for any reason which can be continuously measured on a bi-weekly basis, and (2) the cumulative incidence of hospital admission due to documented COVID-19. RANDOMISATION: Participants will be randomized to BCG vaccine or placebo (1;1) centrally using a computer- based system, stratified by study centre. BLINDING (MASKING): Subjects, investigators, physicians and outcome assessors are blinded for the intervention. Only the pharmacist assistant that prepares- and research personnel that administers- study medicines are unblinded. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): (1) The sample size for the first trial is N=1500 HCWs randomised 1:1 to either BCG vaccine (n=750) and placebo (n=750) and (2) The sample size for the second trial is N=1600 elderly persons randomised to BCG vaccine (n=800) and the placebo group (n=800). TRIAL STATUS: HCW: version 4.0, 24-04-2020. Recruitment began 25-03-2020 and was completed on the 23-04-2020. Elderly: version 3.0, 04-04-2020. Recruitment began 16-04- 2020 and is ongoing. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The HCWs trial was registered 31-03-2020 at clinicaltrials.gov (identifier: NCT04328441) and registered 20-03-2020 at the Dutch Trial Registry (trialregister.nl, identifier Trial NL8477). The elderly trial was registered 22-04-2020 at the Dutch trial registry with number NL8547. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocols will be attached as additional files, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
Absenteeism , BCG Vaccine/immunology , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Vaccination , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multicenter Studies as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Euro Surveill ; 25(16)2020 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-108723

ABSTRACT

Healthcare workers (n = 803) with mild symptoms were tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (n = 90 positive) and asked to complete a symptom questionnaire. Anosmia, muscle ache, ocular pain, general malaise, headache, extreme tiredness and fever were associated with positivity. A predictive model based on these symptoms showed moderate discriminative value (sensitivity: 91.2%; specificity: 55.6%). While our models would not justify presumptive SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis without molecular confirmation, it can contribute to targeted screening strategies.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Health Personnel , Pandemics , Personnel, Hospital , Pneumonia, Viral , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Cough/etiology , Eye Pain/etiology , Fatigue/etiology , Fever/etiology , Headache/etiology , Health Policy , Humans , Middle Aged , Myalgia/etiology , Netherlands , Patient Isolation , Pharyngitis/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Predictive Value of Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
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