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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336116

ABSTRACT

It is uncertain to which extent antibody and T-cell responses after vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 are associated with reduced risk of breakthrough infection and whether their measurement enhances risk prediction. We conducted a phase-4 open-label clinical trial in the pre-omicron era, enrolling 2,760 individuals aged ≥16 years 35±8 days after having received the second dose of BNT162b2 (baseline 15-21 May 2021). Over a median 5.9-month of follow-up, we identified incident SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections using weekly antigen tests, a confirmatory PCR test, and/or serological evidence for incident infection. We quantified relative risks adjusted for age, sex, and prior SARS-CoV-2 infection for different immunological parameters and assessed improvements in risk discrimination. In contrast to the T-cell response, higher plasma levels of binding antibodies and antibodies in a surrogate neutralization assay were associated with reduced risk of breakthrough infection. Furthermore, assessment of anti-spike IgG levels enhanced prediction of breakthrough infection and may therefore be a suitable measurable correlate of protection in practice.

2.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 133(23-24): 1272-1280, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756808

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Seroepidemiological studies provide important insight into the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV­2) in our society. We aimed to determine seropositivity of SARS-CoV­2 antibodies and its cross-sectional correlates in a large cohort of blood donors. METHODS: In this observational cohort study, we tested healthy blood donors residing in Tyrol, Austria, for SARS-CoV­2 antibodies using the Abbott SARS-CoV­2 IgG chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. We estimated 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of seroprevalences using bootstrapping and tested for differences by participant characteristics using logistic regression. FINDINGS: Between 8 June and 4 September 2020, we screened 5345 healthy individuals at local blood donor sessions (mean age 42.7 years, SD 13.5 years, 46.7% female). Overall seroprevalence was 3.1% (95% CI 2.7-3.6%, 165 cases), which is 5.1-fold higher (95% CI 4.5-6.0%) than the case number identified by the health authorities in the state-wide testing program (0.6%; 4536 out of 757,634). Seroprevalence was higher in the district Landeck (16.6%, P < 0.001) and in individuals aged < 25 years (4.7%, P = 0.043), but did not differ by gender, blood types, or medication intake. The odds ratio for seropositivity was 2.51 for participants who had travelled to Ischgl (1.49-4.21, P = 0.001), 1.39 who had travelled to other federal states (1.00-1.93, P = 0.052), and 2.41 who had travelled abroad (1.61-3.63, P < 0.001). Compared to participants who had a suspected/confirmed SARS-CoV­2 infection but were seronegative, seropositive participants more frequently reported loss of smell (odds ratio = 2.49, 1.32-4.68, P = 0.005) and taste (odds ratio = 2.76, 1.54-4.92, P = 0.001). CONCLUSION: In summer 2020, SARS-CoV­2 seroprevalence in Tyrolean blood donors was 3.1%. Our study revealed regional variation and associations with young age, travel history and specific symptoms.


Subject(s)
Blood Donors , COVID-19 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Austria/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
3.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732256

ABSTRACT

There is uncertainty about the seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the general population of Austria and about the waning of antibodies over time. We conducted a seroepidemiological study between June 2020 and September 2021, enrolling blood donors aged 18-70 years across Tyrol, Austria (participation rate: 84.0%). We analyzed serum samples for antibodies against the spike or the nucleocapsid proteins of SARS-CoV-2. We performed a total of 47,363 samples taken from 35,193 individuals (median age, 43.1 years (IQR: 29.3-53.7); 45.3% women; 10.0% with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection). Seroprevalence increased from 3.4% (95% CI: 2.8-4.2%) in June 2020 to 82.7% (95% CI: 81.4-83.8%) in September 2021, largely due to vaccination. Anti-spike IgG seroprevalence was 99.6% (95% CI: 99.4-99.7%) among fully vaccinated individuals, 90.4% (95% CI: 88.8-91.7%) among unvaccinated individuals with prior infection and 11.5% (95% CI: 10.8-12.3%) among unvaccinated individuals without known prior infection. Anti-spike IgG levels were reduced by 44.0% (95% CI: 34.9-51.7%) at 5-6 months compared with 0-3 months after infection. In fully vaccinated individuals, they decreased by 31.7% (95% CI: 29.4-33.9%) per month. In conclusion, seroprevalence in Tyrol increased to 82.7% in September 2021, with the bulk of seropositivity stemming from vaccination. Antibody levels substantially and gradually declined after vaccination or infection.


Subject(s)
Blood Donors , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Austria/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312919

ABSTRACT

How will the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic develop in the coming months and years? Based on an expert survey, we examine key aspects that are likely to influence COVID-19 in Europe. The future challenges and developments will strongly depend on the progress of national and global vaccination programs, the emergence and spread of variants of concern, and public responses to nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). In the short term, many people are still unvaccinated, VOCs continue to emerge and spread, and mobility and population mixing is expected to increase over the summer. Therefore, policies that lift restrictions too much and too early risk another damaging wave. This challenge remains despite the reduced opportunities for transmission due to vaccination progress and reduced indoor mixing in the summer. In autumn 2021, increased indoor activity might accelerate the spread again, but a necessary reintroduction of NPIs might be too slow. The incidence may strongly rise again, possibly filling intensive care units, if vaccination levels are not high enough. A moderate, adaptive level of NPIs will thus remain necessary. These epidemiological aspects are put into perspective with the economic, social, and health-related consequences and thereby provide a holistic perspective on the future of COVID-19.

5.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 13: 100294, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587066

ABSTRACT

In the summer of 2021, European governments removed most NPIs after experiencing prolonged second and third waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most countries failed to achieve immunization rates high enough to avoid resurgence of the virus. Public health strategies for autumn and winter 2021 have ranged from countries aiming at low incidence by re-introducing NPIs to accepting high incidence levels. However, such high incidence strategies almost certainly lead to the very consequences that they seek to avoid: restrictions that harm people and economies. At high incidence, the important pandemic containment measure 'test-trace-isolate-support' becomes inefficient. At that point, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and its numerous harmful consequences can likely only be controlled through restrictions. We argue that all European countries need to pursue a low incidence strategy in a coordinated manner. Such an endeavour can only be successful if it is built on open communication and trust.

6.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 133(23-24): 1272-1280, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482216

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Seroepidemiological studies provide important insight into the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV­2) in our society. We aimed to determine seropositivity of SARS-CoV­2 antibodies and its cross-sectional correlates in a large cohort of blood donors. METHODS: In this observational cohort study, we tested healthy blood donors residing in Tyrol, Austria, for SARS-CoV­2 antibodies using the Abbott SARS-CoV­2 IgG chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. We estimated 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of seroprevalences using bootstrapping and tested for differences by participant characteristics using logistic regression. FINDINGS: Between 8 June and 4 September 2020, we screened 5345 healthy individuals at local blood donor sessions (mean age 42.7 years, SD 13.5 years, 46.7% female). Overall seroprevalence was 3.1% (95% CI 2.7-3.6%, 165 cases), which is 5.1-fold higher (95% CI 4.5-6.0%) than the case number identified by the health authorities in the state-wide testing program (0.6%; 4536 out of 757,634). Seroprevalence was higher in the district Landeck (16.6%, P < 0.001) and in individuals aged < 25 years (4.7%, P = 0.043), but did not differ by gender, blood types, or medication intake. The odds ratio for seropositivity was 2.51 for participants who had travelled to Ischgl (1.49-4.21, P = 0.001), 1.39 who had travelled to other federal states (1.00-1.93, P = 0.052), and 2.41 who had travelled abroad (1.61-3.63, P < 0.001). Compared to participants who had a suspected/confirmed SARS-CoV­2 infection but were seronegative, seropositive participants more frequently reported loss of smell (odds ratio = 2.49, 1.32-4.68, P = 0.005) and taste (odds ratio = 2.76, 1.54-4.92, P = 0.001). CONCLUSION: In summer 2020, SARS-CoV­2 seroprevalence in Tyrolean blood donors was 3.1%. Our study revealed regional variation and associations with young age, travel history and specific symptoms.


Subject(s)
Blood Donors , COVID-19 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Austria/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390610

ABSTRACT

Measures implemented to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 have resulted in a decrease in physical activity (PA) while sedentary behaviour increased. The aim of the present study was to explore associations between PA and mental health in Austria during COVID-19 social restrictions. In this web-based cross-sectional study (April-May 2020) moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sitting time, and time spent outdoors were self-reported before and during self-isolation. Mental well-being was assessed with the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, and the Beck depression and anxiety inventories. The majority of the participants (n = 652) were female (72.4%), with a mean age of 36.0 years and a standard deviation (SD) of 14.4. Moreover, 76.5% took part in ≥30 min/day of MVPA, 53.5% sat ≥10 h/day, and 66.1% spent ≥60 min/day outdoors during self-isolation. Thirty-eight point five percent reported high mental well-being, 40.5% reported depressive symptoms, and 33.9% anxiety symptoms. Participating in higher levels of MVPA was associated with higher mental well-being (odds ratio = OR: 3.92; 95% confidence interval = 95%CI: 1.51-10.15), less depressive symptoms (OR: 0.44; 95%CI: 0.29-0.66) and anxiety symptoms (OR = 0.62; 95%CI: 0.41-0.94), and less loneliness (OR: 0.46; 95%CI: 0.31-0.69). Participants sitting <10 h/day had higher odds of mental well-being (OR: 3.58; 95%CI: 1.13-11.35). Comparable results were found for spending ≥60 min/day outdoors. Maintaining one's MVPA levels was associated with higher mental well-being (OR = 8.61, 95%CI: 2.68-27.62). In conclusion, results show a positive association between PA, time spent outdoors and mental well-being during COVID-19 social restrictions. Interventions aiming to increase PA might mitigate negative effects of such restrictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sitting Position , Adult , Austria , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Exercise , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 5: 100086, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386168

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of schools in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is much debated. We aimed to quantify reliably the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections at schools detected with reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-qPCR). METHODS: This nationwide prospective cohort study monitors a representative sample of pupils (grade 1-8) and teachers at Austrian schools throughout the school year 2020/2021. We repeatedly test participants for SARS-CoV-2 infection using a gargling solution and RT-qPCR. We herein report on the first two rounds of examinations. We used mixed-effects logistic regression to estimate odds ratios and robust 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). FINDINGS: We analysed data on 10,734 participants from 245 schools (9465 pupils, 1269 teachers). Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection increased from 0·39% at round 1 (95% CI 028-0·55%, 28 September-22 October 2020) to 1·39% at round 2 (95% CI 1·04-1·85%, 10-16 November). Odds ratios for SARS-CoV-2 infection were 2·26 (95% CI 1·25-4·12, P = 0·007) in regions with >500 vs. ≤500 inhabitants/km2, 1·67 (95% CI 1·42-1·97, P<0·001) per two-fold higher regional 7-day community incidence, and 2·78 (95% CI 1·73-4·48, P<0·001) in pupils at schools with high/very high vs. low/moderate social deprivation. Associations of regional community incidence and social deprivation persisted in a multivariable adjusted model. Prevalence did not differ by average number of pupils per class nor between age groups, sexes, pupils vs. teachers, or primary (grade 1-4) vs. secondary schools (grade 5-8). INTERPRETATION: This monitoring study in Austrian schools revealed SARS-CoV-2 infection in 0·39%-1·39% of participants and identified associations of regional community incidence and social deprivation with higher prevalence. FUNDING: BMBWF Austria.

9.
Euro Surveill ; 26(34)2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376683

ABSTRACT

This study evaluates the performance of the antigen-based anterior nasal screening programme implemented in all Austrian schools to detect SARS-CoV-2 infections. We combined nationwide antigen-based screening data obtained in March 2021 from 5,370 schools (Grade 1-8) with an RT-qPCR-based prospective cohort study comprising a representative sample of 244 schools. Considering a range of assumptions, only a subset of infected individuals are detected with the programme (low to moderate sensitivity) and non-infected individuals mainly tested negative (very high specificity).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Austria , Humans , Prospective Studies , Schools , Self-Testing
11.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 8: 100185, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331031

ABSTRACT

How will the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic develop in the coming months and years? Based on an expert survey, we examine key aspects that are likely to influence the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. The challenges and developments will strongly depend on the progress of national and global vaccination programs, the emergence and spread of variants of concern (VOCs), and public responses to non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). In the short term, many people remain unvaccinated, VOCs continue to emerge and spread, and mobility and population mixing are expected to increase. Therefore, lifting restrictions too much and too early risk another damaging wave. This challenge remains despite the reduced opportunities for transmission given vaccination progress and reduced indoor mixing in summer 2021. In autumn 2021, increased indoor activity might accelerate the spread again, whilst a necessary reintroduction of NPIs might be too slow. The incidence may strongly rise again, possibly filling intensive care units, if vaccination levels are not high enough. A moderate, adaptive level of NPIs will thus remain necessary. These epidemiological aspects combined with economic, social, and health-related consequences provide a more holistic perspective on the future of the COVID-19 pandemic.

12.
Sport Sci Health ; 18(1): 155-163, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252196

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic imposed major changes on daily-life routine worldwide. To the best of our knowledge, no study quantified the changes on moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behaviors (SB) and its correlates in Brazilians. This study aimed to (i) evaluate the changes (pre versus during pandemic) in time spent in MVPA and SB in self-isolating Brazilians during the COVID-19 pandemic, and (ii) to explore correlates. Methods: A cross-sectional, retrospective, self-report online web survey, evaluating the time spent in MVPA and SB pre and during the COVID-19 pandemic in self-isolating people in Brazil. Sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical measures, and time in self-isolation were also obtained. Changes in MVPA and SB and their correlates were explored using generalized estimating equations (GEE). Models were adjusted for covariates. Results: A total of 877 participants (72.7% women, 53.7% young adults [18-34 years]) were included. Overall, participants reported a 59.7% reduction (95% CI 35.6-82.2) in time spent on MVPA during the pandemic, equivalent to 64.28 (95% CI 36.06-83.33) minutes per day. Time spent in SB increased 42.0% (95% CI 31.7-52.5), corresponding to an increase of 152.3 (95% CI 111.9-192.7) minutes per day. Greater reductions in MVPA and increases in SB were seen in younger adults, those not married, those employed, and those with a self-reported previous diagnosis of a mental disorder. Conclusions: People in self-isolation significantly reduced MVPA levels and increased SB. Public health strategies are needed to mitigate the impact of self-isolation on MVPA and SB. Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11332-021-00788-x.

13.
Front Psychiatry ; 11: 803, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-732830

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the prevalence and risk factors for poor mental health of Chinese university students during the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHOD: Chinese nation-wide on-line cross-sectional survey on university students, collected between February 12th and 17th, 2020. Primary outcome was prevalence of clinically-relevant posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Secondary outcomes on poor mental health included prevalence of clinically-relevant anxiety and depressive symptoms, while posttraumatic growth was considered as indicator of effective coping reaction. RESULTS: Of 2,500 invited Chinese university students, 2,038 completed the survey. Prevalence of clinically-relevant PTSD, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, and post traumatic growth (PTG) was 30.8, 15.5, 23.3, and 66.9% respectively. Older age, knowing people who had been isolated, more ACEs, higher level of anxious attachment, and lower level of resilience all predicted primary outcome (all p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: A significant proportion of young adults exhibit clinically relevant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxious or depressive symptoms, but a larger portion of individuals showed to effectively cope with COVID-19 pandemic. Interventions promoting resilience should be provided, even remotely, to those subjects with specific risk factors to develop poor mental health during COVID-19 or other pandemics with social isolation.

14.
Psychiatry Res ; 292: 113339, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-676691

ABSTRACT

This is a cross-sectional study evaluating the associations of self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity, and sedentary behavior with depressive, anxiety, and co-occurring depressive and anxiety symptoms (D&A) in self-isolating Brazilians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Depressive and anxiety symptoms were collected using the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories (BDI and BAI). Among the 937 participants (females=72.3%), those performing ≥30 min/day of moderate to vigorous or ≥15 min/day of vigorous physical activity had lower odds of prevalent depressive, anxiety, and co-occurring D&A symptoms. Those spending ≥10 h/day sedentary were more likely to have depressive symptoms.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Depression/epidemiology , Exercise/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Quarantine/psychology , Sedentary Behavior , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/psychology , Anxiety Disorders , Betacoronavirus , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/psychology , Female , Health Behavior , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales , Quality of Life/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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