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1.
J Clin Med ; 11(15)2022 Aug 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969334

ABSTRACT

Individuals with ABO type O, naturally possessing anti-A and anti-B antibodies in their serum, are underrepresented among patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 compared with healthy controls. The ABO antibodies might play a role in the viral transmission. Therefore, we aimed to quantify anti-A/anti-B, including their subclasses IgM, IgG and IgA, in the serum and saliva of Caucasians (n = 187) after mild COVID-19 to compare them with individuals who had never been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Two samples were collected within two months after the diagnosis (median days: 44) and two months later. ABO antibodies were determined by flow cytometry. Additionally, total IgA in saliva and antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 were tested by ELISA. COVID-19 convalescents had significantly lower levels of anti-A/anti-B IgM, IgG and IgA in their serum than control subjects (p < 0.001). Interestingly, no significant differences were observed in saliva. ABO antibody levels remained stable over the period considered. No relation of ABO to the level of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies was observed. Total IgA was lower in convalescents than in controls (p = 0.038). Whereas ABO antibodies in the saliva may not contribute to the pathogenesis of COVID-19, individual pre-existing high serum concentrations of anti-A/anti-B may have a protective effect against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

2.
Front Pediatr ; 10: 896252, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911077

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome - temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection (PIMS -TS) comprises a new disease entity having emerged after the COVID-19 outbreak in 2019. Materials and Methods: For this multicenter, retrospective study children between 0 and 18 years with PIMS-TS between March 2020 and May 2021 were included, before availability of vaccination for children. Frequent SARS-CoV-2 variants at that period were the wildtype virus, alpha, beta and delta variants. Inclusion criteria were according to the PIMS-TS criteria, proposed by the Royal College of Pediatrics and WHO. Study aim was to review their clinical, laboratory and echocardiographic data with a focus on cardiac involvement. Results: We report 45 patients, median age 9 years, 64% male. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were positive in 35/41 (85%). PIMS occurrence followed local COVID-19 peak incidence periods with a time lag. The most common symptoms at presentation were fever (98%), abdominal pain (89%) and rash (80%). Fever history of > 5 days was associated with decreased left ventricular function (p = 0.056). Arterial hypotension and cardiac dysfunction were documented in 72% patients, increased brain natriuretic peptide in 96% and increased cardiac troponin in 64% of the children. Echocardiography revealed mitral valve regurgitation (64%), coronary abnormalities (36%) and pericardial effusions (40%). Increased NT-proBNP was significantly associated with the need of inotropics (p < 0.05), which were necessary in 40% of the patients. Treatment comprised intravenous immunoglobulin (93%), systemic steroids (84%) and acetylsalicylic acid (100%; 26/45 started with high dosages). For insufficient response to this treatment, five (11%) children received the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist anakinra. All patients were discharged with almost resolved cardiac signs. Conclusion: Our analysis of non-vaccinated children with PIMS-TS demonstrates that a considerable number have associated myocarditis requiring intensive care and inotropic support. Most children showed adequate response to intravenous immunoglobulin and steroids and good recovery. Further evaluation of pediatric patients with COVID-19 associated diseases is required to evaluate the impact of new virus variants.

3.
COVID ; 1(4):717-727, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1542442

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: With vaccination and new variants of SARS-CoV-2 on the horizon, efficient testing in schools may enable prevention of mass infection outbreaks, keeping schools safe places and buying time until decisions on feasibility and the necessity of vaccination in children and youth are made. We established, in the course of the WICOVIR (Where Is the COrona VIRus) study, that gargle-based pool-PCR testing offers a feasible, efficient, and safe testing system for schools in Germany when applied by central university laboratories. (2) Objectives: We evaluated whether this approach can be implemented in different rural and urban settings. (3) Methods: We assessed the arrangements required for successful implementation of the WICOVIR approach in a variety of settings in terms of transport logistics, data transfer and pre-existing laboratory set-up, as well as the time required to establish the set-up. (4) Results: We found that once regulatory issues have been overcome, all challenges pertaining to logistics, data transfer, and laboratory testing on different platforms can be solved within one month. Pooling and depooling of samples down to the individual test result were achievable within one working day in all settings. Local involvement of the community and decentralized set-ups were keys for success. (5) Conclusion: The WICOVIR gargle-based pool-PCR system is so robust and simple that it can be implemented within one month in all settings now or in future pandemics.

4.
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques ; 14(11):7297-7327, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1528983

ABSTRACT

Launched in October 2017, the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) aboard Sentinel-5 Precursor provides the potential to monitor air quality over point sources across the globe with a spatial resolution as high as 5.5 km × 3.5 km (7 km × 3.5 km before 6 August 2019). The DLR nitrogen dioxide (NO2) retrieval algorithm for the TROPOMI instrument consists of three steps: the spectral fitting of the slant column, the separation of stratospheric and tropospheric contributions, and the conversion of the slant column to a vertical column using an air mass factor (AMF) calculation. In this work, an improved DLR tropospheric NO2 retrieval algorithm from TROPOMI measurements over Europe is presented. The stratospheric estimation is implemented using the STRatospheric Estimation Algorithm from Mainz (STREAM), which was developed as a verification algorithm for TROPOMI and does not require chemistry transport model data as input. A directionally dependent STREAM (DSTREAM) is developed to correct for the dependency of the stratospheric NO2 on the viewing geometry by up to 2×1014 molec./cm2. Applied to synthetic TROPOMI data, the uncertainty in the stratospheric column is 3.5×1014 molec./cm2 in the case of significant tropospheric sources. Applied to actual measurements, the smooth variation of stratospheric NO2 at low latitudes is conserved, and stronger stratospheric variation at higher latitudes is captured.For AMF calculation, the climatological surface albedo data are replaced by geometry-dependent effective Lambertian equivalent reflectivity (GE_LER) obtained directly from TROPOMI measurements with a high spatial resolution. Mesoscale-resolution a priori NO2 profiles are obtained from the regional POLYPHEMUS/DLR chemistry transport model with the TNO-MACC emission inventory. Based on the latest TROPOMI operational cloud parameters, a more realistic cloud treatment is provided by a Clouds-As-Layers (CAL) model, which treats the clouds as uniform layers of water droplets, instead of the Clouds-As-Reflecting-Boundaries (CRB) model, in which clouds are simplified as Lambertian reflectors.For the error analysis, the tropospheric AMF uncertainty, which is the largest source of NO2 uncertainty for polluted scenarios, ranges between 20 % and 50 %, leading to a total uncertainty in the tropospheric NO2 column in the 30 %–60 % range. From a validation performed with ground-based multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements, the new DLR tropospheric NO2 data show good correlations for nine European urban/suburban stations, with an average correlation coefficient of 0.78. The implementation of the algorithm improvements leads to a decrease of the relative difference from -55.3 % to -34.7 % on average in comparison with the DLR reference retrieval. When the satellite averaging kernels are used to remove the contribution of a priori profile shape, the relative difference decreases further to ∼ -20 %.

5.
Front Pediatr ; 9: 721518, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518517

ABSTRACT

Background: Opening schools and keeping children safe from SARS-CoV-2 infections at the same time is urgently needed to protect children from direct and indirect consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve this goal, a safe, efficient, and cost-effective SARS-CoV-2 testing system for schools in addition to standard hygiene measures is necessary. Methods: We implemented the screening WICOVIR concept for schools in the southeast of Germany, which is based on gargling at home, pooling of samples in schools, and assessment of SARS-CoV-2 by pool rRT-PCR, performed decentralized in numerous participating laboratories. Depooling was performed if pools were positive, and results were transmitted with software specifically developed for the project within a day. Here, we report the results after the first 13 weeks in the project. Findings: We developed and implemented the proof-of-concept test system within a pilot phase of 7 weeks based on almost 17,000 participants. After 6 weeks in the main phase of the project, we performed >100,000 tests in total, analyzed in 7,896 pools, identifying 19 cases in >100 participating schools. On average, positive children showed an individual CT value of 31 when identified in the pools. Up to 30 samples were pooled (mean 13) in general, based on school classes and attached school staff. All three participating laboratories detected positive samples reliably with their previously established rRT-PCR standard protocols. When self-administered antigen tests were performed concomitantly in positive cases, only one of these eight tests was positive, and when antigen tests performed after positive pool rRT-PCR results were already known were included, 3 out of 11 truly positive tests were also identified by antigen testing. After 3 weeks of repetitive WICOVIR testing twice weekly, the detection rate of positive children in that cohort decreased significantly from 0.042 to 0.012 (p = 0.008). Interpretation: Repeated gargle pool rRT-PCR testing can be implemented quickly in schools. It is an effective, valid, and well-received test system for schools, superior to antigen tests in sensitivity, acceptance, and costs.

6.
Transfusion ; 61(9): 2736-2745, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276789

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) targets the respiratory and gastric epithelium, causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Tissue antigen expression variations influence host susceptibility to many infections. This study aimed to investigate the closely linked Lewis (FUT3) and ABO histo-blood types, including secretor (FUT2) status, to infections with SARS-CoV-2 and the corresponding severity of COVID-19. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Patients (Caucasians, n = 338) were genotyped for ABO, FUT3, and FUT2, and compared to a reference population of blood donors (n = 250,298). The association between blood types and severity of COVID-19 was addressed by dividing patients into four categories: hospitalized individuals in general wards, patients admitted to the intensive care unit with and without intubation, and deceased patients. Comorbidities were considered in subsequent analyses. RESULTS: Patients with blood type Lewis (a-b-) or O were significantly less likely to be hospitalized (odds ratio [OR] 0.669, confidence interval [CI] 0.446-0.971, OR 0.710, CI 0.556-0.900, respectively), while type AB was significantly more prevalent in the patient cohort (OR 1.519, CI 1.014-2.203). The proportions of secretors/nonsecretors, and Lewis a+ or Lewis b+ types were consistent between patients and controls. The analyzed blood groups were not associated with the clinical outcome as defined. DISCUSSION: Blood types Lewis (a-b-) and O were found to be protective factors, whereas the group AB is suggested to be a risk factor for COVID-19. The antigens investigated may not be prognostic for disease severity, but a role for ABO isoagglutinins in SARS-CoV-2 infections is strongly suggested.


Subject(s)
ABO Blood-Group System , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/etiology , Disease Susceptibility , Lewis Blood Group Antigens , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , ABO Blood-Group System/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , Comorbidity , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Lewis Blood Group Antigens/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Public Health Surveillance , Young Adult
7.
BJR Case Rep ; 7(3): 20210040, 2021 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266538

ABSTRACT

In a bid to end the current COVID-19 crisis, many countries including UK have begun a mass immunization programme. Immunization can cause transient inflammation thereby causing increased metabolic activity at injection site and hypermetabolic lymph nodes. Various vaccinations and local injections have been known to cause diagnostic dilemma due to false-positive uptake on FDG PET-CT. In this pictorial case review, we present five cases demonstrating various patterns of uptake including an ipsilateral deltoid muscle, axillary, supraclavicular, and subpectoral lymph nodes post COVID-19 vaccination. A careful history of COVID-19 vaccination and normal size and morphology of lymph node on unenhanced low-dose CT will aid the diagnosis. All patients undergoing FDG PET-CT will require detailed documentation of the vaccination history including the time interval since vaccination. Knowledge about these patterns of uptake on PET-CT will ensure accurate interpretation by Nuclear Medicine physicians and radiologists during the current vaccination drive.

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