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1.
Euro Surveill ; 27(8)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714940

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assays are more sensitive than rapid antigen detection assays (RDT) and can detect viral RNA even after an individual is no longer infectious. RDT can reduce the time to test and the results might better correlate with infectiousness.AimWe assessed the ability of five RDT to identify infectious COVID-19 cases and systematically recorded the turnaround time of RT-PCR testing.MethodsSensitivity of RDT was determined using a serially diluted SARS-CoV-2 stock with known viral RNA concentration. The probability of detecting infectious virus at a given viral load was calculated using logistic regression of viral RNA concentration and matched culture results of 78 specimens from randomly selected non-hospitalised cases. The probability of each RDT to detect infectious cases was calculated as the sum of the projected probabilities for viral isolation success for every viral RNA load found at the time of diagnosis in 1,739 confirmed non-hospitalised COVID-19 cases.ResultsThe distribution of quantification cycle values and estimated RNA loads for patients reporting to drive-through testing was skewed to high RNA loads. With the most sensitive RDT (Abbott and SD Biosensor), 97.30% (range: 88.65-99.77) of infectious individuals would be detected. This decreased to 92.73% (range: 60.30-99.77) for Coris BioConcept and GenBody, and 75.53% (range: 17.55-99.77) for RapiGEN. Only 32.9% of RT-PCR results were available on the same day as specimen collection.ConclusionThe most sensitive RDT detected infectious COVID-19 cases with high sensitivity and may considerably improve containment through more rapid isolation and contact tracing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Netherlands/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Brain ; 144(11): 3392-3404, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606276

ABSTRACT

In the wake of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, an increasing number of patients with neurological disorders, including Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), have been reported following this infection. It remains unclear, however, if these cases are coincidental or not, as most publications were case reports or small regional retrospective cohort studies. The International GBS Outcome Study is an ongoing prospective observational cohort study enrolling patients with GBS within 2 weeks from onset of weakness. Data from patients included in this study, between 30 January 2020 and 30 May 2020, were used to investigate clinical and laboratory signs of a preceding or concurrent SARS-CoV-2 infection and to describe the associated clinical phenotype and disease course. Patients were classified according to the SARS-CoV-2 case definitions of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and laboratory recommendations of the World Health Organization. Forty-nine patients with GBS were included, of whom eight (16%) had a confirmed and three (6%) a probable SARS-CoV-2 infection. Nine of these 11 patients had no serological evidence of other recent preceding infections associated with GBS, whereas two had serological evidence of a recent Campylobacter jejuni infection. Patients with a confirmed or probable SARS-CoV-2 infection frequently had a sensorimotor variant 8/11 (73%) and facial palsy 7/11 (64%). The eight patients who underwent electrophysiological examination all had a demyelinating subtype, which was more prevalent than the other patients included in the same time window [14/30 (47%), P = 0.012] as well as historical region and age-matched control subjects included in the International GBS Outcome Study before the pandemic [23/44 (52%), P = 0.016]. The median time from the onset of infection to neurological symptoms was 16 days (interquartile range 12-22). Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection shared uniform neurological features, similar to those previously described in other post-viral GBS patients. The frequency (22%) of a preceding SARS-CoV-2 infection in our study population was higher than estimates of the contemporaneous background prevalence of SARS-CoV-2, which may be a result of recruitment bias during the pandemic, but could also indicate that GBS may rarely follow a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Consistent with previous studies, we found no increase in patient recruitment during the pandemic for our ongoing International GBS Outcome Study compared to previous years, making a strong relationship of GBS with SARS-CoV-2 unlikely. A case-control study is required to determine if there is a causative link or not.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Cohort Studies , Female , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/virology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367928

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although the risk for transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is rare, placental infections with adverse functional consequences have been reported. This study aims to analyse histological placental findings in pregnancies complicated by SARS-CoV-2 infection and investigate its correlation with clinical symptoms and perinatal outcomes. We want to determine which pregnancies are at-risk to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes related to COVID-19 in the future. METHODS: A prospective, longitudinal, multicentre, cohort study. All pregnant women presenting between April 2020 and March 2021 with a nasopharyngeal RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included. Around delivery, maternal, foetal and placental PCR samples were collected. Placental pathology was correlated with clinical maternal characteristics of COVID-19. RESULTS: Thirty-six patients were included, 33 singleton pregnancies (n = 33, 92%) and three twin pregnancies (n = 3, 8%). Twenty-four (62%) placentas showed at least one abnormality. Four placentas (4/39, 10%) showed placental staining positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 accompanied by a unique combination of diffuse, severe inflammatory placental changes with massive perivillous fibrin depositions, necrosis of syncytiotrophoblast, diffuse chronic intervillositis, and a specific, unprecedented CD20+ B-cell infiltration. This SARS-CoV-2 placental signature seems to correlate with foetal distress (75% vs. 15.6%, p = 0.007) but not with the severity of maternal COVID-19 disease. CONCLUSION: We describe a unique placental signature in pregnant patients with COVID-19, which has not been reported in a historical cohort. We show that the foetal environment can be seriously compromised by disruption of placental function due to local, devastating SARS-CoV-2 infection. Maternal clinical symptoms did not predict the severity of the SARS-CoV-2-related placental signature, resulting in a lack of adequate identification of maternal criteria for pregnancies at risk. Close foetal monitoring and pregnancy termination in case of foetal distress can prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes due to COVID-19 related placental disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Placenta Diseases/pathology , Placenta/pathology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Adult , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Fetal Distress/physiopathology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Placenta/physiopathology , Placenta/virology , Placenta Diseases/physiopathology , Placenta Diseases/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/physiopathology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Pregnancy Outcome , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Trophoblasts/pathology
6.
Int Marit Health ; 72(2): 87-92, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296139

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People on ships are at high risk for outbreaks of infectious diseases including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A rapid and well-coordinated response is important to curb transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We studied an outbreak on an industrial ship to improve outbreak control for ships and coordination between participating harbour partners. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Public Health Service (PHS) Rotterdam-Rijnmond performed an epidemiological investigation during the outbreak of COVID-19 among 77 seafarers on a ship in their port. The captain was interviewed about ship details and his experiences during the outbreak. The seafarers were asked to fill in questionnaires about symptoms suspicious of COVID-19 and date of symptom onset. Information about stakeholders involved in outbreak control was registered. RESULTS: The captain first contacted PHS about probable cases on March 31st 2020 via a physician ashore. One crewmember was hospitalised on April 8th and another died unexpectedly aboard on April 10th. Questionnaires distributed mid-April to the 75 remaining seafarers showed that 38 of 60 responders (63%) had had suspicious symptoms between February 15th and April 13th. None of them were tested but a total of 8 other crewmembers tested positive for COVID-19 after leaving the ship, including the hospitalised crewmember and the one who died aboard. On May 5th, the last case left isolation and the quarantine ended. Many different stakeholders were involved in the outbreak response and responsibilities were not always fully clear beforehand, causing coordination issues. CONCLUSIONS: Testing crew with COVID-19 symptoms underpins control measures and clarifies communication between stakeholders. Building a network beforehand to develop outbreak guidelines tailored to ships and local circumstances is essential to control future outbreaks on ships.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Quarantine , Ships , Adult , Humans , Naval Medicine/methods , Netherlands , Retrospective Studies , Travel
7.
Euro Surveill ; 26(10)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136422

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSensitive molecular diagnostics and correct test interpretation are crucial for accurate COVID-19 diagnosis and thereby essential for good clinical practice. Furthermore, they are a key factor in outbreak control where active case finding in combination with isolation and contact tracing are crucial.AimWith the objective to inform the public health and laboratory responses to the pandemic, we reviewed current published knowledge on the kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 infection as assessed by RNA molecular detection in a wide range of clinical samples.MethodsWe performed an extensive search on studies published between 1 December 2019 and 15 May 2020, reporting on molecular detection and/or isolation of SARS-CoV-2 in any human laboratory specimen.ResultsWe compiled a dataset of 264 studies including 32,515 COVID-19 cases, and additionally aggregated data points (n = 2,777) from sampling of 217 adults with known infection timeline. We summarised data on SARS-CoV-2 detection in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, blood, oral fluid, tears, cerebrospinal fluid, peritoneal fluid, semen, vaginal fluid; where provided, we also summarised specific observations on SARS-CoV-2 detection in pregnancy, infancy, children, adolescents and immunocompromised individuals.ConclusionOptimal SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing relies on choosing the most appropriate sample type, collected with adequate sampling technique, and with the infection timeline in mind. We outlined knowledge gaps and directions for future well-documented systematic studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
8.
Science ; 371(6525): 172-177, 2021 01 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066803

ABSTRACT

Animal experiments have shown that nonhuman primates, cats, ferrets, hamsters, rabbits, and bats can be infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In addition, SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been detected in felids, mink, and dogs in the field. Here, we describe an in-depth investigation using whole-genome sequencing of outbreaks on 16 mink farms and the humans living or working on these farms. We conclude that the virus was initially introduced by humans and has since evolved, most likely reflecting widespread circulation among mink in the beginning of the infection period, several weeks before detection. Despite enhanced biosecurity, early warning surveillance, and immediate culling of animals in affected farms, transmission occurred between mink farms in three large transmission clusters with unknown modes of transmission. Of the tested mink farm residents, employees, and/or individuals with whom they had been in contact, 68% had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Individuals for which whole genomes were available were shown to have been infected with strains with an animal sequence signature, providing evidence of animal-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within mink farms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Mink , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Zoonoses , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/veterinary , Disease Outbreaks , Farms , Humans , Likelihood Functions , Mutation , Netherlands/epidemiology , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Whole Genome Sequencing , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology
9.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 267, 2021 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1019818

ABSTRACT

Key questions in COVID-19 are the duration and determinants of infectious virus shedding. Here, we report that infectious virus shedding is detected by virus cultures in 23 of the 129 patients (17.8%) hospitalized with COVID-19. The median duration of shedding infectious virus is 8 days post onset of symptoms (IQR 5-11) and drops below 5% after 15.2 days post onset of symptoms (95% confidence interval (CI) 13.4-17.2). Multivariate analyses identify viral loads above 7 log10 RNA copies/mL (odds ratio [OR] of 14.7 (CI 3.57-58.1; p < 0.001) as independently associated with isolation of infectious SARS-CoV-2 from the respiratory tract. A serum neutralizing antibody titre of at least 1:20 (OR of 0.01 (CI 0.003-0.08; p < 0.001) is independently associated with non-infectious SARS-CoV-2. We conclude that quantitative viral RNA load assays and serological assays could be used in test-based strategies to discontinue or de-escalate infection prevention and control precautions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Shedding , Aged , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Odds Ratio , RNA, Viral , Respiratory System/virology , Viral Load
10.
Nat Med ; 26(9): 1405-1410, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-653871

ABSTRACT

In late December 2019, a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology were reported linked to a market in Wuhan, China1. The causative agent was identified as the species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus and was named SARS-CoV-2 (ref. 2). By 16 April the virus had spread to 185 different countries, infected over 2,000,000 people and resulted in over 130,000 deaths3. In the Netherlands, the first case of SARS-CoV-2 was notified on 27 February. The outbreak started with several different introductory events from Italy, Austria, Germany and France followed by local amplification in, and later also outside, the south of the Netherlands. The combination of near to real-time whole-genome sequence analysis and epidemiology resulted in reliable assessments of the extent of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the community, facilitating early decision-making to control local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands. We demonstrate how these data were generated and analyzed, and how SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequencing, in combination with epidemiological data, was used to inform public health decision-making in the Netherlands.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Clinical Decision-Making , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Netherlands/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Whole Genome Sequencing
11.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3436, 2020 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-630511

ABSTRACT

The world is entering a new era of the COVID-19 pandemic in which there is an increasing call for reliable antibody testing. To support decision making on the deployment of serology for either population screening or diagnostics, we present a detailed comparison of serological COVID-19 assays. We show that among the selected assays there is a wide diversity in assay performance in different scenarios and when correlated to virus neutralizing antibodies. The Wantai ELISA detecting total immunoglobulins against the receptor binding domain of SARS CoV-2, has the best overall characteristics to detect functional antibodies in different stages and severity of disease, including the potential to set a cut-off indicating the presence of protective antibodies. The large variety of available serological assays requires proper assay validation before deciding on deployment of assays for specific applications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/standards , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Luminescent Measurements , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
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