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1.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 19(18):11410, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2032934

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to investigate the spatiotemporal association between socioeconomic deprivation and the incidence of COVID-19 and how this association changes through the seasons due to the existence of restrictive public health measures. A retrospective observational study was conducted among COVID-19 cases that occurred in the Apulia region from 29 February 2020 to 31 December 2021, dividing the period into four phases with different levels of restrictions. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) model was applied to test the independent effect of deprivation on the incidence of COVID-19, taking into account age, sex, and regional incidence as possible confounding effects and covariates, such as season and levels of restrictions, as possible modifying effects. The highest incidence was in areas with a very high deprivation index (DI) in winter. During total lockdown, no rate ratio between areas with different levels of DI was significant, while during soft lockdown, areas with very high DI were more at risk than all other areas. The effects of social inequalities on the incidence of COVID-19 changed in association with the seasons and restrictions on public health. Disadvantaged areas showed a higher incidence of COVID-19 in the cold seasons and in the phases of soft lockdown.

2.
Pathogens ; 11(5)2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917667

ABSTRACT

Awareness of the importance of the microbial contamination of air and surfaces has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of bacteria and fungi in the air and on surfaces within some critical areas of large supermarkets with and without an ozonation system. Surveys were conducted in four supermarkets belonging to the same commercial chain of an Apulian city in June 2021, of which two (A and B) were equipped with an ozonation system, and two (C and D) did not have any air-diffused remediation treatment. There was a statistically significant difference in the total bacterial count (TBC) and total fungal count (TFC) in the air between A/B and C/D supermarkets (p = 0.0042 and p = 0.0002, respectively). Regarding surfaces, a statistically significant difference in TBC emerged between A/B and C/D supermarkets (p = 0.0101). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study evaluating the effect of ozone on commercial structures in Italy. Future investigations, supported by a multidisciplinary approach, will make it possible to deepen the knowledge on this method of sanitation, in light of any other epidemic/pandemic waves.

3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(12)2022 06 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1884188

ABSTRACT

Aspergillosis is a disease caused by Aspergillus, and invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is the most common invasive fungal infection leading to death in severely immuno-compromised patients. The literature reports Aspergillus co-infections in patients with COVID-19 (CAPA). Diagnosing CAPA clinically is complex since the symptoms are non-specific, and performing a bronchoscopy is difficult. Generally, the microbiological diagnosis of aspergillosis is based on cultural methods and on searching for the circulating antigens galactomannan and 1,3-ß-D-glucan in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (bGM) or serum (sGM). In this study, to verify whether the COVID-19 period has stimulated clinicians to pay greater attention to IPA in patients with respiratory tract infections, we evaluated the number of requests for GM-Ag research and the number of positive tests found during the pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 periods. Our data show a significant upward trend in GM-Ag requests and positivity from the pre-COVID to COVID period, which is attributable in particular to the increase in IPA risk factors as a complication of COVID-19. In the COVID period, parallel to the increase in requests, the number of positive tests for GM-Ag also increased, going from 2.5% in the first period of 2020 to 12.3% in the first period of 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Aspergillus , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/complications , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/epidemiology , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/complications , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/epidemiology , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
Eur J Intern Med ; 98: 77-82, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739692

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has generated a million deaths worldwide. The efficiency of the immune system can modulate individual vulnerability with variable outcomes. However, the relationships between disease severity and the titer of antibodies produced against SARS-CoV-2 in non-vaccinated, recently infected subjects need to be fully elucidated. METHODS: A total of 99 patients admitted to a COVID-unit underwent clinical assessment and measurement of serum levels of anti-spike protein (S1) IgM, and anti-nucleocapsid protein IgG. Patients were stratified according to the clinical outcome (i.e., discharged at home or in-hospital death). RESULTS: Following hospitalization, 18 died during the hospital stay. They were older, had lymphopenia, a higher co-morbidity rate, and longer hospital stay than 81 patients who were discharged after healing. Patients in this latter group had, at hospital admittance, 7.9-fold higher serum concentration of IgM, and 2.4-fold higher IgG levels. Multivariate Cox regression models indicated age and anti-nucleocapsid protein IgG concentration at admission as independently associated with the risk of in-hospital death. CONCLUSIONS: An efficient immunological response during the early phase of COVID-19 protects from mortality, irrespective of age. Advanced age is a critical risk factor for poor outcome in infected subjects. Further studies must explore potential therapeutic strategies able to restore a valid functional humoral immunity in elderly patients with poor antibody response during the early stage of COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322140

ABSTRACT

Background: Short-term exposure to air pollution, as well as to climate variables could be linked to a higher incidence of respiratory viral diseases. The objective of the study is to assess the short-term impact of air pollution and climate on COVID19 incidence in Lombardy (Italy), during the initial outbreak.Methods: The daily number of COVID19 cases in Lombardy from February 25th to March 10th 2020, and the daily average concentrations of particulate matter (PM10, PM2·5), O3, SO2, and NO2 together with climate variables (temperature, relative humidity – RH%, wind speed, precipitation), were analyzed. A mixed model with a logarithm transformation as link function was applied to evaluate the relationship between all the variables. Additionally, change points (Break Points;BP) in the relationship between incident cases and air pollution or climatic factors were estimated.Findings: The analysis showed a two-phase effect of PM10 on COVID19 incidence, with a negative association at the beginning of the examined period and a positive one later on, while a positive relationship was observed for O3. The COVID19 spread in Lombardy showed to be influenced positively by RH%, and negatively by wind speed. A BP at 40 µg/m3 was observed for PM10 at lag8, and for O3 at lags 3-8 and 10.Interpretation: PM10, O3, RH% and wind speed showed a short-term association with the COVID19 incidence. Air pollution and climate conditions should be considered as part of an integrated approach when containment measures against SARS-CoV-2 are adopted.Funding: The study did not receive any fund.Declaration of Interests: The Authors declare no conflict of interest.

6.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Jan 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648796

ABSTRACT

The effects of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 on pregnant women and neonates are mainly unknown, since limited data are available in the literature. We conducted a monocentric and cross-sectional study enrolling 122 un-vaccinated pregnant women with COVID-19 infection tested by RT-PCR nasopharyngeal swab. Only 4.1% of the patients had severe COVID-19 symptoms together with major respiratory symptoms and intensive care unit admission, whereas 35.25% of women had comorbidities and two-thirds of them were overweight or obese. COVID-19 was detected mainly in the third trimester (98.36%) and multiparous women (59.02%). The mode of delivery was influenced by mild-severe COVID-19 symptoms, with a higher number of urgent or emergent cesarean sections than spontaneous or operative vaginal births. Preterm births were associated with high BMI, mode of delivery (higher among cesarean sections), nulliparity, and severe COVID-19 symptoms. In cases of severe COVID-19 symptoms, there was a higher rate of respiratory distress syndrome among newborns. In the end, only the presence of a severe COVID-19 infection worsened the obstetrical and neonatal outcomes, with higher rates of urgent or emergent cesarean section, preterm births, and neonatal respiratory distress syndrome.

7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470861

ABSTRACT

Italy was one of the nations most affected by SARS-CoV-2. During the pandemic period, the national government approved some restrictions to reduce diffusion of the virus. We aimed to evaluate changes in in-hospital mortality and its possible relation with patient comorbidities and different restrictive public health measures adopted during the 2020 pandemic period. We analyzed the hospital discharge records of inpatients from public and private hospitals in Apulia (Southern Italy) from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020. The study period was divided into four phases according to administrative restriction. The possible association between in-hospital deaths, hospitalization period, and covariates such as age group, sex, Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) class, and length of hospitalization stay (LoS) class was evaluated using a multivariable logistic regression model. The risk of death was slightly higher in men than in women (OR 1.04, 95% CI: 1.01-1.07) and was lower for every age group below the >75 years age group. The risk of in-hospital death was lower for hospitalizations with a lower CCI score. In summary, our analysis shows a possible association between in-hospital mortality in non-COVID-19-related diseases and restrictive measures of public health. The risk of hospital death increased during the lockdown period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Communicable Disease Control , Comorbidity , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Environ Res ; 198: 111197, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1208840

ABSTRACT

Short-term exposure to air pollution, as well as to climate variables have been linked to a higher incidence of respiratory viral diseases. The study aims to assess the short-term influence of air pollution and climate on COVID19 incidence in Lombardy (Italy), during the early stage of the outbreak, before the implementation of the lockdown measures. The daily number of COVID19 cases in Lombardy from February 25th to March 10th, 2020, and the daily average concentrations up to 15 days before the study period of particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5), O3, SO2, and NO2 together with climate variables (temperature, relative humidity - RH%, wind speed, precipitation), were analyzed. A univariable mixed model with a logarithm transformation as link function was applied for each day, from 15 days (lag15) to one day (lag1) before the day of detected cases, to evaluate the effect of each variable. Additionally, change points (Break Points-BP) in the relationship between incident cases and air pollution or climatic factors were estimated. The results did not show a univocal relationship between air quality or climate factors and COVID19 incidence. PM10, PM2.5 and O3 concentrations in the last lags seem to be related to an increased COVID19 incidence, probably due to an increased susceptibility of the host. In addition, low temperature and low wind speed in some lags resulted associated with increased daily COVID19 incidence. The findings observed suggest that these factors, in particular conditions and lags, may increase individual susceptibility to the development of viral infections such as SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollutants/toxicity , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Communicable Disease Control , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Particulate Matter/analysis , Particulate Matter/toxicity , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Infect Dis Model ; 6: 212-221, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002592

ABSTRACT

To estimate the size of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the early stage in Italy, this paper introduces the cumulated and weighted average daily growth rate (WR) to evaluate an epidemic curve. On the basis of an exponential decay model (EDM), we provide estimations of the WR in four-time intervals from February 27 to April 07, 2020. By calibrating the parameters of the EDM to the reported data in Hubei Province of China, we also attempt to forecast the evolution of the outbreak. We compare the EDM applied to WR and the Gompertz model, which is based on exponential decay and is often used to estimate cumulative events. Specifically, we assess the performance of each model to short-term forecast of the epidemic, and to predict the final epidemic size. Based on the official counts for confirmed cases, the model applied to data from February 27 until the 17th of March estimate that the cumulative number of infected in Italy could reach 131,280 (with a credibility interval 71,415-263,501) by April 25 (credibility interval April 12 to May 3). With the data available until the 24st of March the peak date should be reached on May 3 (April 23 to May 23) with 197,179 cumulative infections expected (130,033-315,269); with data available until the 31st of March the peak should be reached on May 4 (April 25 to May 18) with 202,210 cumulative infections expected (155.235-270,737); with data available until the 07st of April the peak should be reached on May 3 (April 26 to May 11) with 191,586 (160,861-232,023) cumulative infections expected. Based on the average mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), cumulated infections forecasts provided by the EDM applied to WR performed better across all scenarios than the Gompertz model. An exponential decay model applied to the cumulated and weighted average daily growth rate appears to be useful in estimating the number of cases and peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy and the model was more reliable in the exponential growth phase.

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