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2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547312

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to assess the effect of contact time, contact distance and the use of personal protective equipment on the determination of SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers (HCWs). This study consists of an analysis of data gathered for safety reasons at the Sapienza Teaching Hospital Policlinico Umberto I in Rome through the surveillance system that was put into place after the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic. The studied subjects consist of HCWs who were put under health surveillance, i.e., all employees who were in contact with subjects who were confirmed to have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The HCWs under surveillance were monitored for a period encompassing ten days after the date of contact, during which they undertook nasopharyngeal swab tests analysed through RT-PCR (RealStar® SARS-CoV-2 Altona Diagnostic-Germany). Descriptive and univariate analyses have been undertaken, considering the following as risk factors: (a) no personal protective equipment use (PPE); (b) Distance < 1 m between the positive and contact persons; (c) contact time > 15'. Finally, a Cox regression and an analysis of the level of synergism between factors, as specified by Rothman, were carried out. We analysed data from 1273 HCWs. Of these HCWs, 799 (62.8%) were females, with a sample average age of 47.8 years. Thirty-nine (3.1%) tested positive during surveillance. The overall incidence rate was 0.4 per 100 person-days. Time elapsed from the last exposure and a positive RT-PCR result ranged from 2 to 17 days (mean = 7, median = 6 days). In the univariate analysis, a distance <1 m and a contact time > 15' proved to be risk factors for the SARS-CoV-2 infection, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.62 (95% CI: 1.11-6.19) and 3.59 (95% IC: 1.57-8.21), respectively. The synergism analysis found the highest synergism between the "no PPE use" x "Contact time". The synergy index S remains strongly positive also in the analysis of the factors "no PPE use" x "Distance" and "Time of contact" x "Distance". This study confirms the absolute need to implement safety protocols during the pandemic and to use the correct PPE within health facilities in order to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. The analysis shows that among the factors considered (contact time and distance, no use of PPE), there is a strong synergistic effect.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Personal Protective Equipment , Contact Tracing , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Health Personnel , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Virol Methods ; 298: 114276, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401673

ABSTRACT

The aim of the study was to evaluate the clinical performance of FTD SARS-CoV-2 compared to the RealStar RT-PCR kit 1.0. The analysis of 100 nasopharyngeal swabs showed an overall agreement of 88 %. The positive percentage agreement was 85.6 % and the negative percentage agreement was 91 %. In conclusion we observed a substantial agreement among the two methods, with discrepancies mainly observed in specimens with relatively low amount of viral RNA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frontotemporal Dementia , Humans , Nasopharynx , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
Forensic Sci Med Pathol ; 18(1): 4-19, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391995

ABSTRACT

This study involves the histological analysis of samples taken during autopsies in cases of COVID-19 related death to evaluate the inflammatory cytokine response and the tissue localization of the virus in various organs. In all the selected cases, SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR on swabs collected from the upper (nasopharynx and oropharynx) and/or the lower respiratory (trachea and primary bronchi) tracts were positive. Tissue localization of SARS-CoV-2 was detected using antibodies against the nucleoprotein and the spike protein. Overall, we tested the hypothesis that the overexpression of proinflammatory cytokines plays an important role in the development of COVID-19-associated pneumonia by estimating the expression of multiple cytokines (IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-10, IL-15, TNF-α, and MCP-1), inflammatory cells (CD4, CD8, CD20, and CD45), and fibrinogen. Immunohistochemical staining showed that endothelial cells expressed IL-1ß in lung samples obtained from the COVID-19 group (p < 0.001). Similarly, alveolar capillary endothelial cells showed strong and diffuse immunoreactivity for IL-6 and IL-15 in the COVID-19 group (p < 0.001). TNF-α showed a higher immunoreactivity in the COVID-19 group than in the control group (p < 0.001). CD8 + T cells where more numerous in the lung samples obtained from the COVID-19 group (p < 0.001). Current evidence suggests that a cytokine storm is the major cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure and is consistently linked with fatal outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Viral Load , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Endothelial Cells , Humans , Interleukin-15 , Interleukin-1beta , Interleukin-6 , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
5.
Microorganisms ; 9(6)2021 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264494

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been declared a global pandemic. Our goal was to determine whether co-infections with respiratory polyomaviruses, such as Karolinska Institutet polyomavirus (KIPyV) and Washington University polyomavirus (WUPyV) occur in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. Oropharyngeal swabs from 150 individuals, 112 symptomatic COVID-19 patients and 38 healthcare workers not infected by SARS-CoV-2, were collected from March 2020 through May 2020 and tested for KIPyV and WUPyV DNA presence. Of the 112 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, 27 (24.1%) were co-infected with KIPyV, 5 (4.5%) were positive for WUPyV, and 3 (2.7%) were infected simultaneously by KIPyV and WUPyV. Neither KIPyV nor WUPyV DNA was detected in samples of healthcare workers. Significant correlations were found in patients co-infected with SARS-CoV-2 and KIPyV (p < 0.05) and between SARS-CoV-2 cycle threshold values and KIPyV, WUPyV and KIPyV and WUPyV concurrently detected (p < 0.05). These results suggest that KIPyV and WUPyV may behave as opportunistic respiratory pathogens. Additional investigations are needed to understand the epidemiology and the prevalence of respiratory polyomavirus in COVID-19 patients and whether KIPyV and WUPyV could potentially drive viral interference or influence disease outcomes by upregulating SARS-CoV-2 replicative potential.

7.
J Med Virol ; 93(2): 886-891, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196414

ABSTRACT

Italy was one of the most affected nations by coronavirus disease 2019 outside China. The infections, initially limited to Northern Italy, spread to all other Italian regions. This study aims to provide a snapshot of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemiology based on a single-center laboratory experience in Rome. The study retrospectively included 6565 subjects tested for SARS-CoV-2 at the Laboratory of Virology of Sapienza University Hospital in Rome from 6 March to 4 May. A total of 9995 clinical specimens were analyzed, including nasopharyngeal swabs, bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, gargle lavages, stools, pleural fluids, and cerebrospinal fluids. Positivity to SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 8% (527/6565) of individuals, increased with age, and was higher in male patients (P < .001). The number of new confirmed cases reached a peak on 18 March and then decreased. The virus was detected in respiratory samples, in stool and in pleural fluids, while none of gargle lavage or cerebrospinal fluid samples gave a positive result. This analysis allowed to gather comprehensive information on SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology in our area, highlighting positivity variations over time and in different sex and age group and the need for a continuous surveillance of the infection, mostly because the pandemic evolution remains unknown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Feces/virology , Female , Hospitals, University , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Laboratories , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pleural Effusion/virology , Retrospective Studies , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Rome/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index
8.
J Med Virol ; 93(7): 4319-4325, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118173

ABSTRACT

Teicoplanin has a potential antiviral activity expressed against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and was suggested as a complementary option to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. In this multicentric, retrospective, observational research the aim was to evaluate the impact of teicoplanin on the course of COVID-19 in critically ill patients. Fifty-five patients with severe COVID-19, hospitalized in the intensive care units (ICUs) and treated with best available therapy were retrospectively analysed. Among them 34 patients were also treated with teicoplanin (Tei-COVID group), while 21 without teicoplanin (control group). Crude in-hospital Day-30 mortality was lower in Tei-COVID group (35.2%) than in control group (42.8%), however not reaching statistical significance (p = .654). No statistically significant differences in length of stay in the ICU were observed between Tei-COVID group and control group (p = .248). On Day 14 from the ICU hospitalization, viral clearance was achieved in 64.7% patients of Tei-COVID group and 57.1% of control group, without statistical difference. Serum C-reactive protein level was significantly reduced in Tei-COVID group compared to control group, but not other biochemical parameters. Finally, Gram-positive were the causative pathogens for 25% of BSIs in Tei-COVID group and for 70.6% in controls. No side effects related to teicoplanin use were observed. Despite several limitations require further research, in this study the use of teicoplanin is not associated with a significant improvement in outcomes analysed. The antiviral activity of teicoplanin against SARS-CoV-2, previously documented, is probably more effective at early clinical stages.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hospital Mortality , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Teicoplanin/therapeutic use , Aged , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Critical Illness/therapy , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
9.
Virus Res ; 295: 198283, 2021 04 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1009920

ABSTRACT

The natural course of type I and III interferon (IFN) response in the respiratory tract of COVID-19 patients needs to be better defined. We showed that type I/III IFNs, IFN-regulatory factor 7 (IRF7), and IFN stimulated genes (ISGs), are highly expressed in the oropharyngeal cells of SARS-CoV-2 positive patients compared to healthy controls. Notably, the subgroup of critically-ill patients that required invasive mechanical ventilation had a general decrease in expression of IFN/ISG genes. Heterogeneous patterns of IFN-I/III response in the respiratory tract of COVID-19 patients may be associated to COVID-19 severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferons/genetics , Oropharynx/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
10.
J Clin Virol ; 133: 104660, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-856843

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The detection of a low amount of viral RNA is crucial to identify a SARS-CoV-2 positive individual harboring a low level of virus, especially during the convalescent period. However, the detection of one gene at high Cycle threshold (Ct) has to be interpreted with caution. In this study we address this specific issue and report our real-life experience. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 1639 nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) were analyzed with Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2. Positive samples showing high Ct values (Ct>35) were concentrated by centrifugation and re-tested with Cepheid or other methods (RealStar SARS-CoV2 RT-PCR, Altona Diagnostics; GeneFinder COVID-19 Plus RealAmp Kit, Elitech). RESULTS: 1599 (97.5%) negative samples, 36 (2.3%) positive samples and 4 (0.2%) presumptive positive samples were detected. In 17 out of 36 positive patients, very low viral RNA copies were suspected since positivity was detected at high Ct. We confirmed positivity for patients who showed both E and N genes detected and for patients with only N detected but with Ct <39. On the contrary, samples with only gene N detected with Ct values >39 were found negative. NPS taken 24 hours after the first collection confirmed the negativity of the 12 samples. Clinical data sustained these results since only 2 of these 12 patients showed COVID-19-like symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: These data support our consideration that detection of the N2 gene at high Ct needs to be interpreted with caution, suggesting that collaboration between virologists and clinicians is important for better understanding of results.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , False Positive Reactions , RNA, Viral/analysis , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
11.
Acta Haematol ; 143(6): 574-582, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-768107

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Patients with cancer may be more susceptible to and have higher morbidity and mortality rates from COVID-19 than the general population, while epidemiologic data specifically addressed to hematologic patients are limited. To investigate whether patients with hematologic diseases undergoing therapy are at increased risk for acquiring SARS CoV-2 infection compared to the general population, a retrospective study was carried out at a referral hematologic center in Rome, Italy, during the period of the greatest epidemic spread (March 8 to May 14, 2020). METHODS: All adult and pediatric patients with a diagnosis of a neoplastic or a nonneoplastic hematologic disease who underwent treatment (chemotherapy or immunosuppressive or supportive therapy) during the study period or in the previous 6 months were considered. The prevalence of COVID-19 in the overall outpatient and inpatient population undergoing hematologic treatment compared to that of the general population was analyzed. The measures taken to manage patients during the epidemic period are described. RESULTS: Overall, 2,513 patients with hematological diseases were considered. Out of 243 (9.7%) patients who were screened for SARS CoV-2, three of 119 (2.5%) outpatients with fever or respiratory symptoms and none of 124 asymptomatic patients were diagnosed with COVID-19. Three further patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 and managed in other hospitals in Rome. As of May 14, 2020, the prevalence of COVID-19 in our hematologic population accounted for 0.24% (95% CI 0.23-0.25; 6 of 2,513 patients: 1 case in every 419 patients) as compared to 0.12% (7,280 of 5,879,082 residents; 1 case in every 807 residents) in the general population (p = 0.14). Three of 6 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 required critical care and 2 died while still positive for SARS CoV-2. Out of 225 healthcare providers on duty at our Institution during the study period, 2 (0.9%) symptomatic cases were diagnosed with COVID-19. CONCLUSION: In our experience, the prevalence of COVID-19 in hematologic patients, mainly affected by malignancies, was not significantly higher compared to that of the general population. Definition of adapted strategies for healthcare services, while continuing to administer the standard hematologic treatments, represents the crucial challenge for the management of hematologic diseases in the COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Hematologic Diseases/complications , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Female , Hematologic Diseases/drug therapy , Hematologic Diseases/therapy , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult
12.
J Clin Med ; 9(9)2020 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-750664

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of symptoms and signs in healthcare workers (HCW) with Sars-CoV-2. METHODS: This was a case-control study. Cases consisted of symptomatic healthcare workers who had a positive SARS-CoV-2 real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, while controls were symptomatic healthcare workers with a negative RT-PCR test. For each symptom, ROCs were plotted. Diagnostic accuracy was calculated using the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values. A logistic regression analysis was carried out for calculating the OR (95% CI) for each symptom associated to the SARS-CoV-2 positivity. RESULTS: We recruited 30 cases and 75 controls. Fever had the best sensitivity while dyspnea, anosmia, and ageusia had the highest specificity. The highest PPVs were found again for dyspnea (75%), anosmia (73.7%), and ageusia (66.7%). Lastly, the highest NPVs were related to anosmia (81.4%) and ageusia (79.3%). Anosmia (OR = 14.75; 95% CI: 4.27-50.87), ageusia (OR = 9.18; 95% CI: 2.80-30.15), and headache (OR = 3.92; 95% CI: 1.45-10.56) are significantly associated to SARS-CoV-2 positivity. CONCLUSIONS: Anosmia and ageusia should be considered in addition to the well-established fever, cough, and dyspnea. In a resource-limited setting, this method could save time and money.

13.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 1955-1957, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738798

ABSTRACT

The case refers to a 51-year-old symptomatic man with a new SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive nasopharyngeal swab after two negative ones and the lack of significant development of antibody response measured by different diagnostic serological test. Our case underlines that a discrepancy between clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infection and results from diagnostic tests may exist. This concept is rapidly emerging and supports the need for a deep knowledge of available and "in development" tests for a correct interpretation of their findings.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , False Negative Reactions , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Quarantine , Recurrence , SARS-CoV-2 , Serologic Tests , Viral Load
14.
Eur Radiol ; 30(12): 6808-6817, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-629489

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To correlate a CT-based semi-quantitative score of pulmonary involvement in COVID-19 pneumonia with clinical staging of disease and laboratory findings. We also aimed to investigate whether CT findings may be predictive of patients' outcome. METHODS: From March 6 to March 22, 2020, 130 symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 patients were enrolled for this single-center analysis and chest CT examinations were retrospectively evaluated. A semi-quantitative CT score was calculated based on the extent of lobar involvement (0:0%; 1, < 5%; 2:5-25%; 3:26-50%; 4:51-75%; 5, > 75%; range 0-5; global score 0-25). Data were matched with clinical stages and laboratory findings. Survival curves and univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate the role of CT score as a predictor of patients' outcome. RESULTS: Ground glass opacities were predominant in early-phase (≤ 7 days since symptoms' onset), while crazy-paving pattern, consolidation, and fibrosis characterized late-phase disease (> 7 days). CT score was significantly higher in critical and severe than in mild stage (p < 0.0001), and among late-phase than early-phase patients (p < 0.0001). CT score was significantly correlated with CRP (p < 0.0001, r = 0.6204) and D-dimer (p < 0.0001, r = 0.6625) levels. A CT score of ≥ 18 was associated with an increased mortality risk and was found to be predictive of death both in univariate (HR, 8.33; 95% CI, 3.19-21.73; p < 0.0001) and multivariate analysis (HR, 3.74; 95% CI, 1.10-12.77; p = 0.0348). CONCLUSIONS: Our preliminary data suggest the potential role of CT score for predicting the outcome of SARS-CoV-2 patients. CT score is highly correlated with laboratory findings and disease severity and might be beneficial to speed-up diagnostic workflow in symptomatic cases. KEY POINTS: • CT score is positively correlated with age, inflammatory biomarkers, severity of clinical categories, and disease phases. • A CT score ≥ 18 has shown to be highly predictive of patient's mortality in short-term follow-up. • Our multivariate analysis demonstrated that CT parenchymal assessment may more accurately reflect short-term outcome, providing a direct visualization of anatomic injury compared with non-specific inflammatory biomarkers.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
15.
Andrology ; 9(1): 23-26, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-377963

ABSTRACT

Great concerns have been raised on SARS-CoV-2 impact on men's andrological well-being, and one of the critically unanswered questions is whether it is present or not in the seminal fluid of infected subjects. The expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the testis and in the male genital tract allows speculations about a possible testicular involvement during the infection, possibly mediated by local and/or systemic inflammation that might allow a high viral load to overcome the hemato-testicular barrier. To date, few investigations have been carried out to ascertain the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the seminal fluid with contrasting results. Furthermore, the cumulative number of subjects is far too low to answer the question unambiguously. Therefore, great caution is still needed when evaluating this data; otherwise, we risk unleashing unmotivated concerns in the scientific world with troublesome consequences in reproductive medicine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Semen/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Evidence-Based Medicine , Humans , Male , Predictive Value of Tests , Semen Analysis
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