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1.
Psychother Psychosom ; 91(1): 63-72, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556865

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Anxiety and depression have increased markedly during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a lack of evidence-based strategies to address these mental health needs during the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: We aim to conduct a proof-of-concept trial of the efficacy of a brief group-based psychological intervention delivered via videoconferencing for adults in Australia distressed by the pandemic. METHODS: In this single-blind, parallel, randomised controlled trial, adults who screened positive for COVID-related psychological distress across Australia were randomly allocated to either a 6-session group-based program based on behavioural principles (n = 120) or enhanced usual care (EUC, n = 120). Primary outcome was total score on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HADS) anxiety and depression subscales assessed at baseline, 1 week posttreatment, 2 months (primary outcome time point), and 6 months after treatment, as well as secondary outcome measures of worry, sleep impairment, anhedonia, mood, and COVID-19-related stress. RESULTS: Between May 20, 2020, and October 20, 2020, 240 patients were enrolled into the trial. Relative to EUC, at 2 months participants receiving intervention showed greater reduction on anxiety (mean difference, 1.4 [95% CI, 0.3 to 2.6], p = 0.01; effect size, 0.4 [95% CI, 0.1 to 0.7]) and depression (mean difference, 1.6 [95% CI, 0.4 to 2.8], p = 0.009; effect size, 0.4 [95% CI, 0.2 to 0.7]) scales. These effects were maintained at 6 months. There were also greater reductions of worry, anhedonia, COVID-19-related fears, and contamination fears. CONCLUSIONS: This trial provides initial evidence that brief group-based behavioural intervention delivered via videoconferencing results in moderate reductions in common psychological problems arising during the COVID-19 pandemic. This program may offer a viable and scalable means to mitigate the rising mental health problems during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Depression/therapy , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , Psychosocial Intervention , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Blind Method , Treatment Outcome , Videoconferencing
2.
J Immunol ; 207(1): 344-351, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286955

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike pseudotyped virus (PSV) assays are widely used to measure neutralization titers of sera and of isolated neutralizing Abs (nAbs). PSV neutralization assays are safer than live virus neutralization assays and do not require access to biosafety level 3 laboratories. However, many PSV assays are nevertheless somewhat challenging and require at least 2 d to carry out. In this study, we report a rapid (<30 min), sensitive, cell-free, off-the-shelf, and accurate assay for receptor binding domain nAb detection. Our proximity-based luciferase assay takes advantage of the fact that the most potent SARS-CoV-2 nAbs function by blocking the binding between SARS-CoV-2 and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. The method was validated using isolated nAbs and sera from spike-immunized animals and patients with coronavirus disease 2019. The method was particularly useful in patients with HIV taking antiretroviral therapies that interfere with the conventional PSV assay. The method provides a cost-effective and point-of-care alternative to evaluate the potency and breadth of the predominant SARS-CoV-2 nAbs elicited by infection or vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cohort Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
3.
J Appl Lab Med ; 6(5): 1109-1122, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281863

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected over 110 million individuals and led to 2.5 million deaths worldwide. As more individuals are vaccinated, the clinical performance and utility of SARS-CoV-2 serology platforms needs to be evaluated. METHODS: The ability of 4 commercial SARS-CoV-2 serology platforms to detect previous infection or vaccination were evaluated using a cohort of 53 patients who were SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive, 89 SARS-CoV-2-vaccinated healthcare workers (Pfizer or Moderna), and 127 patients who were SARS-CoV-2 negative. Serology results were compared to a cell-based SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus (PSV) neutralizing antibodies assay. RESULTS: The Roche S-(spike) antibody and Diazyme neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) assays detected adaptive immune response in 100.0% and 90.1% of vaccinated individuals who received 2 doses of vaccine (initial and booster), respectively. The Roche N-(nucleocapsid) antibody assay and Diazyme IgG assay did not detect adaptive immune response in vaccinated individuals. The Diazyme NAbs assay correlated with the PSV SARS-CoV-2 median infective dose (ID50) neutralization titers (R2 = 0.70), while correlation of the Roche S-antibody assay was weaker (R2 = 0.39). Median PSV SARS-CoV-2 ID50 titers more than doubled in vaccinated individuals who received 2 doses of the Moderna vaccine (ID50, 597) compared to individuals who received a single dose (ID50, 284). CONCLUSIONS: The Roche S-antibody and Diazyme NAbs assays robustly detected adaptive immune responses in SARS-CoV-2 vaccinated individuals and SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. The Diazyme NAbs assay strongly correlates with the PSV SARS-CoV-2 NAbs in vaccinated individuals. Understanding the reactivity of commercially available serology platforms is important when distinguishing vaccination response versus natural infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Vaccination
4.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 474, 2021 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Globally COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the psychological wellbeing of millions of people, and there is an urgent imperative to address elevated levels of distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed Problem Management Plus (PM+), a low intensity psychological intervention for adults experiencing psychological distress. This paper outlines the study protocol for a trial that tests the effectiveness of an adapted version of PM+ to reduce distress associated with COVID-19. METHODS: A single-blind, parallel, randomized controlled trial will be carried out for distressed people across Australia. via video conferencing on a small group basis. Following informed consent, adults that screen positive for levels of psychological distress (General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12 score ≥ 3) and have access to videoconferencing platform will be randomised to an adapted version of gPM+ (n = 120) or enhanced treatment as usual (ETAU) (n = 120). The primary outcome will be reduction in psychological distress including anxiety and depression at 2-months post treatment. Secondary outcomes include worry, sleep problems, anhedonia, social support, and stress in relation to COVID-19. DISCUSSION: The trial aims assess whether an adapted version of videoconferencing PM+ that is specifically designed to target COVI-19 related distress will result in reduced distress relative to enhanced usual care. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was prospectively registered on the ANZCTR on 14/4/20 ( ACTRN12620000468921 ).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Psychosocial Intervention , Stress, Psychological/prevention & control , Videoconferencing , Adult , Australia , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Blind Method , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome
5.
Clin Chem ; 67(2): 404-414, 2021 01 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883085

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It is unknown whether a positive serology result correlates with protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2. There are also concerns regarding the low positive predictive value of SARS-CoV-2 serology tests, especially when testing populations with low disease prevalence. METHODS: A neutralization assay was validated in a set of PCR-confirmed positive specimens and in a negative cohort. In addition, 9530 specimens were screened using the Diazyme SARS-CoV-2 IgG serology assay and all positive results (N = 164 individuals) were reanalyzed using the neutralization assay, the Roche total immunoglobin assay, and the Abbott IgG assay. The relationship between the magnitude of a positive SARS-CoV-2 serology result and neutralizing activity was determined. Neutralizing antibody titers (50% inhibitory dilution, ID50) were also longitudinally monitored in patients confirmed to have SARS-CoV-2 by PCR. RESULTS: The SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assay had a positive percentage agreement (PPA) of 96.6% with a SARS-CoV-2 PCR test and a negative percentage agreement (NPA) of 98.0% across 100 negative control individuals. ID50 neutralization titers positively correlated with all 3 clinical serology platforms. Longitudinal monitoring of hospitalized PCR-confirmed patients with COVID-19 demonstrated they made high neutralization titers against SARS-CoV-2. PPA between the Diazyme IgG assay alone and the neutralization assay was 50.6%, while combining the Diazyme IgG assay with either the Roche or Abbott platforms increased the PPA to 79.2 and 78.4%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These 3 clinical serology assays positively correlate with SARS-CoV-2 neutralization activity observed in patients with COVID-19. All patients confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive by PCR develop neutralizing antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Regression Analysis , Retrospective Studies , SARS Virus/immunology
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