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1.
J Clin Med ; 10(8)2021 Apr 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526830

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To assess the diagnostic performances of five automated anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays, Epitope (N), Diasorin (S1/S2), Euroimmun (S1), Roche N (N), and Roche S (S-RBD), and to provide a testing strategy based on pre-test probability. METHODS: We assessed the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) areas under the curve (AUC) values, along with the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values (PPVs), and negative predictive values (NPVs), of each assay using a validation sample set of 172 COVID-19 sera and 185 negative controls against a validated S1-immunofluorescence as a reference method. The three assays displaying the highest AUCs were selected for further serodetection of 2033 sera of a large population-based cohort. RESULTS: In the validation analysis (pre-test probability: 48.1%), Roche N, Roche S and Euroimmun showed the highest discriminant accuracy (AUCs: 0.99, 0.98, and 0.98) with PPVs and NPVs above 96% and 94%, respectively. In the population-based cohort (pre-test probability: 6.2%) these three assays displayed AUCs above 0.97 and PPVs and NPVs above 90.5% and 99.4%, respectively. A sequential strategy using an anti-S assay as screening test and an anti-N as confirmatory assays resulted in a 96.7% PPV and 99.5% NPV, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Euroimmun and both Roche assays performed equally well in high pre-test probability settings. At a lower prevalence, sequentially combining anti-S and anti-N assays resulted in the optimal trade-off between diagnostic performances and operational considerations.

2.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 44(12): 2675-2684, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504521

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Due to relevant repercussions on reproductive medicine, we aimed to evaluate feasibility of RT-PCR as a detection method of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in seminal fluid. METHODS: A qualitative determination of the RT-PCR assays in semen was performed through different approaches: (1) efficiency of RNA extraction from sperm and seminal plasma was determined using PRM1 and PRM2 mRNA and a heterologous system as control; (2) samples obtained by diluting viral preparation from a SARS-CoV-2 panel (virus cultured in Vero E6 cell lines) were tested; (3) viral presence in different fractions of seminal fluid (whole sample, seminal plasma and post-centrifugation pellet) was evaluated. Semen samples from mild and recovered COVID-19 subjects were collected by patients referring to the Infectious Disease Department of the Policlinico Umberto I Hospital - "Sapienza" University of Rome. Control subjects were recruited at the Laboratory of Seminology-Sperm Bank "Loredana Gandini'' of the same hospital. RESULTS: The control panel using viral preparations diluted in saline and seminal fluid showed the capability to detect viral RNA presence with Ct values depending on the initial viral concentration. All tested semen samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the nasopharyngeal swab result or seminal fluid fraction. CONCLUSION: These preliminary data show that RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing appears to be a feasible method for the molecular diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in seminal fluid, supported by results of the control panel. The ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 in semen is extremely important for reproductive medicine, especially in assisted reproductive technology and sperm cryopreservation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Pathology, Molecular/methods , Semen/virology , Adult , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Male , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reproductive Techniques , Vero Cells
3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e3055-e3065, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501051

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: High infection rates among healthcare personnel in an uncontained pandemic can paralyze health systems due to staff shortages. Risk constellations and rates of seroconversion for healthcare workers (HCWs) during the first wave of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic are still largely unclear. METHODS: Healthcare personnel (n = 300) on different organizational units in the LMU Munich University Hospital were included and followed in this prospective longitudinal study from 24 March until 7 July 2020. Participants were monitored in intervals of 2 to 6 weeks using different antibody assays for serological testing and questionnaires to evaluate risk contacts. In a subgroup of infected participants, we obtained nasopharyngeal swabs to perform whole-genome sequencing for outbreak characterization. RESULTS: HCWs involved in patient care on dedicated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wards or on regular non-COVID-19 wards showed a higher rate of SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion than staff in the emergency department and non-frontline personnel. The landscape of risk contacts in these units was dynamic, with a decrease in unprotected risk contacts in the emergency department and an increase on non-COVID-19 wards. Both intensity and number of risk contacts were associated with higher rates of seroconversion. On regular wards, staff infections tended to occur in clusters, while infections on COVID-19 wards were less frequent and apparently independent of each other. CONCLUSIONS: Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for frontline HCWs was increased during the first pandemic wave in southern Germany. Stringent measures for infection control are essential to protect all patient-facing staff during the ongoing pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Germany/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Hospitals, University , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Prospective Studies
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e3098-e3101, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501046

ABSTRACT

Among 3302 persons tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by BinaxNOWTM and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in a community setting, rapid assay sensitivity was 100%/98.5%/89% using RT-PCR cycle thresholds of 30, 35, and no threshold. The specificity was 99.9%. Performance was high across ages and those with and without symptoms. Rapid resulting permitted immediate public health action.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Public Health , Sensitivity and Specificity
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2853-e2860, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501011

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to perform a seroprevalence survey on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among Danish healthcare workers to identify high-risk groups. METHODS: All healthcare workers and administrative personnel at the 7 hospitals, prehospital services, and specialist practitioner clinics in the Central Denmark Region were invited to be tested by a commercial SARS-CoV-2 total antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co, Ltd, Beijing, China). RESULTS: A total of 25 950 participants were invited. Of these, 17 971 had samples available for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing. After adjustment for assay sensitivity and specificity, the overall seroprevalence was 3.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5%-3.8%). The seroprevalence was higher in the western part of the region than in the eastern part (11.9% vs 1.2%; difference: 10.7 percentage points [95% CI, 9.5-12.2]). In the high-prevalence area, the emergency departments had the highest seroprevalence (29.7%), whereas departments without patients or with limited patient contact had the lowest seroprevalence (2.2%). Among the total 668 seropositive participants, 433 (64.8%) had previously been tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, and 50.0% had a positive reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) result. CONCLUSIONS: We found large differences in the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in staff working in the healthcare sector within a small geographical area of Denmark. Half of all seropositive staff had been tested positive by PCR prior to this survey. This study raises awareness of precautions that should be taken to avoid in-hospital transmission. Regular testing of healthcare workers for SARS-CoV-2 should be considered to identify areas with increased transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Administrative Personnel , Antibodies, Viral , Delivery of Health Care , Denmark/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
6.
Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl ; 116: 111260, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1452344

ABSTRACT

Polymeric nanoparticulate systems allow the encapsulation of bio-active substances, giving them protection against external agents and increasing the drug's bioavailability. The use of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers usually guarantees the harmless character of the formulation, and a controlled drug release is also assured. A relatively easy procedure to obtain polymeric formulations of bioactive agents is ionotropic gelation, which allows the synthesis of chitosan (CS) - sodium tri-polyphosphate nanoparticles (NPs) loading encapsulated proteins. In this work, Bovine serum albumin (BSA) model protein and a recombinant porcine alpha interferon variant were used to obtain nanoparticulate formulations. The internalization of the encapsulated material by cells was studied using a BSA-fluorescein system; the fluorescent conjugate was observable inside the cells after 20 h of incubation. The therapeutic CS-alpha interferon formulation showed a maximum of protein released in vitro at around 90 h. This system was found to be safe in a cytotoxicity assay, while biological activity experiments in vitro showed antiviral protection of cells in the presence of encapsulated porcine alpha interferon. In vivo experiments in pigs revealed a significant and sustained antiviral response through overexpression of the antiviral markers OAS2 and PKR. This proves the preservation of porcine alpha interferon biological activity, and also that a lasting response was obtained. This procedure is an effective and safe method to formulate drugs in nanoparticulate systems, representing a significant contribution to the search for more effective drug delivery strategies.


Subject(s)
Chitosan , Nanoparticles , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biological Availability , Cattle , Drug Carriers , Drug Delivery Systems , Interferon-alpha , Particle Size , Polymers , Swine
7.
Rev Fr Allergol (2009) ; 61(6): 425-431, 2021 Oct.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492567

ABSTRACT

Objectives of the study: During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the media has often mentioned the presence of quinine in tonic water. Media accounts of quinine's antiviral effect in vitro, as well as press reports about quinine-based compounds, such as hydroxychloroquine, have sparked renewed public interest in drinking tonic water, which could perhaps result in an increase in allergic phenomena. On the 200th anniversary of the discovery of quinine, our main objective was to analyze hypersensitivity reactions, related to the consumption of beverages containing quinine, described in the literature. Patients and methods: We analyzed case reports indexed on Pubmed, Scopus, and Google Scholar. A quinine causality score was calculated for each of the observations. A quinine assay was performed on several beverages for which the quinine content had not been published. Results: In parallel with related pharmacokinetic studies, these case reports consist of 26 observations. The case reports mainly related to young men, with symptoms of varying severity, mainly dermatological, with fixed drug eruption, generalized rashes, hives; hematological, with thrombocytopenia, hemorrhagic syndrome, thrombotic microangiopathy; more rarely ocular, cardiac or auditory. The level of causality of quinine is certain for three cases, probable for twenty-two, possible for two. The levels of quinine, all conforming to the standards, were lower in the spirits and the cooked wine than those of tonic water. Discussion: Possibly under-diagnosed, the main mechanism of these reactions is immuno-allergic, without any cross-reaction with other quinolines having been shown. In these patients and breastfeeding women of G6PD deficient newborns, any medicines, phytotherapy, homeopathy, or even cosmetics containing quinine, on the basis of a proposed list, should be avoided.

8.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(7): e0083721, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486488

ABSTRACT

We assessed the performance of the CoronaCHEK lateral flow assay on samples from Uganda and Baltimore to determine the impact of geographic origin on assay performance. Plasma samples from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) PCR-positive individuals (Uganda, 78 samples from 78 individuals, and Baltimore, 266 samples from 38 individuals) and from prepandemic individuals (Uganda, 1,077, and Baltimore, 532) were evaluated. Prevalence ratios (PR) were calculated to identify factors associated with a false-positive test. After the first positive PCR in Ugandan samples, the sensitivity was 45% (95% confidence interval [CI], 24,68) at 0 to 7 days, 79% (95% CI, 64 to 91) at 8 to 14 days, and 76% (95% CI, 50 to 93) at >15 days. In samples from Baltimore, sensitivity was 39% (95% CI, 30 to 49) at 0 to 7 days, 86% (95% CI, 79 to 92) at 8 to 14 days, and 100% (95% CI, 89 to 100) at 15 days after positive PCR. The specificity of 96.5% (95% CI, 97.5 to 95.2) in Ugandan samples was significantly lower than that in samples from Baltimore, 99.3% (95% CI, 98.1 to 99.8; P < 0.01). In Ugandan samples, individuals with a false-positive result were more likely to be male (PR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.03,3.69) or individuals who had had a fever more than a month prior to sample acquisition (PR, 2.87; 95% CI, 1.12 to 7.35). Sensitivity of the CoronaCHEK was similar in samples from Uganda and Baltimore. The specificity was significantly lower in Ugandan samples than in Baltimore samples. False-positive results in Ugandan samples appear to correlate with a recent history of a febrile illness, potentially indicative of a cross-reactive immune response in individuals from East Africa.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Female , Humans , Male , Sensitivity and Specificity , Uganda
9.
Vox Sang ; 116(9): 946-954, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462889

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Access to large pools of healthy adult donors advantageously positions blood component providers to undertake anti-SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence studies. While numerous seroprevalence reports have been published by blood operators during the COVID-19 pandemic, details on the assay used has not been well documented. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the diversity of assays being used by blood operators and assess how this may affect seroprevalence estimates. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We surveyed 49 blood component providers from 39 countries. Questionnaire included information on the number and identity of assays used, the detected immunoglobulin(s) and target antigen, and performance characteristics (sensitivity, specificity). RESULTS: Thirty-eight of the 49 contacted blood suppliers provided at least partial responses. The results indicate that 19 commercial and five in-house serology assays have been used by surveyed blood operators. The Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay was the most commonly used kit and utilized by 15 blood suppliers. Two assays did not detect IgG, but detected either IgM/IgA or IgM. 68·2% of assays targeted the spike protein and 50% the nucleocapsid protein, while 18·2% targeted both viral proteins. The sensitivity and specificity of IgG-specific assays ranged from 71·9% to 100% and from 96·2% to 100%, respectively. As of 18 October 2020, the seroprevalence was below 5% in 10 of 14 countries reporting. CONCLUSION: Our results highlight the diversity of assays being used. Analyses comparing blood donor seroprevalence across countries should consider assay characteristics with optimization of signal/cut-off ratios and consistent methodology to adjust for waning antibody.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Pandemics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires
10.
J Med Virol ; 93(10): 5816-5824, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453607

ABSTRACT

Serological testing for anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies is used to detect ongoing or past SARS-CoV-2 infections. To study the kinetics of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and to assess the diagnostic performances of eight serological assays, we used 129 serum samples collected on known days post symptom onset (dpso) from 42 patients with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and 54 serum samples from healthy blood donors, and children infected with seasonal coronaviruses. The sera were analyzed for the presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG), immunoglobulin M (IgM), and immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies using indirect immunofluorescence testing (IIFT) based on SARS-CoV-2-infected cells. They were further tested for antibodies against the S1 domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (IgG, IgA) and against the viral nucleocapsid protein (IgG, IgM) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The assay specificities were 94.4%-100%. The sensitivities varied largely between assays, reflecting their respective purposes. The sensitivities of IgA and IgM assays were the highest between 11 and 20 dpso, whereas the sensitivities of IgG assays peaked between 20 and 60 dpso. IIFT showed the highest sensitivities due to the use of the whole SARS-CoV-2 as substrate and provided information on whether or not the individual has been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays provided further information about both the prevalence and concentration of specific antibodies against selected antigens of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
11.
J Med Virol ; 93(10): 5846-5852, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432417

ABSTRACT

Geographical variation in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS--CoV--2) spread requires seroprevalence studies based on local tests, but robust validation is needed. We summarize an evaluation of antibody tests used in a serological study of SARS--CoV--2 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. We validated three different antibody assays: chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) Abbott Architect SARS--CoV--2 immunoglobulin G (IgG), enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) CoronaPass total antibodies test, and ELISA SARS--CoV--2--IgG--EIA--BEST. Clinical sensitivity was estimated with the SARS--CoV--2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as the gold standard using manufacturer recommended cutoff. Specificity was estimated using pre-pandemic sera samples. The median time between positive PCR test results and antibody tests was 21 weeks. Measures of concordance were calculated against the microneutralization test (MNA).Sensitivity was equal to 91.1% (95% confidence intervbal [CI]: 78.8-97.5), 90% (95% CI: 76.4-96.4), and 63.1% (95% CI [50.2-74.7]) for ELISA Coronapass, ELISA Vector-Best, and CMIA Abbott, respectively. Specificity was equal to 100% for all the tests. Comparison of receiver operating characteristics has shown lower AUC for CMIA Abbott. The cut-off SC/O ratio of 0.28 for CMIA Abbott resulted in a sensitivity of 80% at the same level of specificity. Less than 33% of the participants with positive antibody test results had neutralizing antibodies in titers 1:80 and above. Antibody assays results and MNA correlated moderately. This study encourages the use of local antibody tests and sets the reference for seroprevalence correction. Available tests' sensitivity allows detecting antibodies within the majority of PCR- positive individuals. The Abbott assay sensitivity can be improved by incorporating a new cut-off. Manufacturers' test characteristics may introduce bias into the study results.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunoassay , Russia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies
12.
Pharmazie ; 75(8): 375-380, 2020 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435671

ABSTRACT

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the major risk factors for COVID-19 complications as it is one of the chronic immune-compromising conditions especially if patients have uncontrolled diabetes, poor HbA1c and/or irregular blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients' mortality rates with COVID-19 are higher than those of cardiovascular or cancer patients. Recently, Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine has shown successful results in reversing diabetes in both rats and clinical trials based on different mechanisms from aerobic glycolysis to beta cells regeneration. BCG is a multi-face vaccine that has been used extensively in protection from tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy and has been repositioned for treatment of bladder cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Recently, COVID-19 epidemiological studies confirmed that universal BCG vaccination reduced morbidity and mortality in certain geographical areas. Countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination (Italy, Nederland, USA) have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies that have shown low numbers of reported COVID-19 cases. Some countries have started clinical trials that included a single dose BCG vaccine as prophylaxis from COVID-19 or an attempt to minimize its side effects. This proposed research aims to use BCG vaccine as a double-edged weapon countering both COVID-19 and diabetes, not only as protection but also as therapeutic vaccination. The work includes a case study of regenerated pancreatic beta cells based on improved C-peptide and PCPRI laboratory findings after BCG vaccination for a 9 year old patient. The patient was re-vaccinated based on a negative tuberculin test and no scar at the site of injection of the 1st BCG vaccination at birth. The authors suggest and invite the scientific community to take into consideration the concept of direct BCG re-vaccination (after 4 weeks) because of the reported gene expressions and exaggerated innate immunity consequently. As the diabetic MODY-5 patient (mutation of HNF1B, Val2Leu) was on low dose Riomet® while eliminating insulin gradually, a simple analytical method for metformin assay was recommended to ensure its concentration before use as it is not approved yet by the Egyptian QC labs.


Subject(s)
BCG Vaccine/administration & dosage , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Diabetes Mellitus/immunology , Insulin-Secreting Cells/cytology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Animals , BCG Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19 , Child , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Diabetes Mellitus/physiopathology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Rats , Regeneration/immunology , Risk Factors , Vaccination/methods
13.
J Infect Dis ; 224(5): 764-770, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1413436

ABSTRACT

The kinetics of immunoglobulin G (IgG) avidity maturation during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection obtained from 217 participants of the Ischgl cohort, Austria, was studied 0.5-1.5 months (baseline) and 7-8 months (follow-up) after infection. The IgG avidity assay, using a modified IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and 5.5 M urea, revealed that old age does not diminish the increase in avidity, detected in all participants positive at both time points, from 18% to 42%. High avidity was associated with a marked residual neutralization capacity in 97.2.% of participants (211/217), which was even higher in the older age group, revealing an important role of avidity assays as easy and cheap surrogate tests for assessing the maturation of the immune system conveying potential protection against further SARS-CoV-2 infections without necessitating expensive and laborious neutralization assays.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Austria , Cohort Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
14.
AACE Clin Case Rep ; 7(5): 288-292, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397116

ABSTRACT

Objective: During the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, procalcitonin (PCT) levels have proven useful in assisting clinicians to diagnose bacterial superinfection. However, in the absence of signs of infection or at the resolution thereof, inappropriately and persistently high PCT levels may suggest and reveal the presence of other pathologies. We report a patient with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pneumonia with initially elevated PCT levels that persisted during recovery, prompting the diagnosis of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Methods: A 43-year-old man presented with a 2-day history of fever, sneezing, sore throat, and dry cough. His PCT was 94 ng/mL (normal value, 0.00-0.10 ng/mL), and he was positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA. Results: Empirical antibiotic therapy was administered for 7 days, but despite a clinical improvement, serum PCT remained high (84 ng/mL). Serum calcitonin (CTN) was 2120 pg/mL (normal, ≤12 pg/mL). Cytologic examination of thyroid nodules and CTN measurement of the aspiration needle washout confirmed MTC. The patient underwent total thyroidectomy with bilateral cervical lymph node dissection. Lowered CTN (986 pg/mL) and PCT (16 ng/mL) levels were observed 48 hours after surgery. A close follow-up was planned following the results of RET gene analysis. Conclusion: PCT can be a useful biochemical marker of MTC suspicion in patients with inflammatory conditions and persistently elevated PCT, even after resolution. In our case, high levels of PCT in a patient with coronavirus disease 2019 pneumonia without signs of bacterial infection led to MTC diagnosis.

15.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 137: 111419, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392160

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Atherosclerosis, inflammatory disease, is a major reason for cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Kaempferol (Kae) has been well-documented to have pharmacological activities in the previous studies. However, the detailed mechanisms by which Kae regulates inflammation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVECs) remain unknown. METHODS AND RESULTS: The real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was used to measure expression levels of circNOL12, nucleolar protein 12 (NOL12), miR-6873-3p, and Fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2 (FRS2) in HUVECs treated with either oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) alone or in combination with Kae. The cells viability was assessed by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazol-3-ium bromide (MTT) assay. The inflammation and oxidative stress were assessed by checking inflammatory factors, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), and Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in ox-LDL-induced HUVECs. The apoptotic cells were quantified by flow cytometry assay. The western blot assay was used for measuring protein expression. The interaction relationship between miR-6873-3p and circNOL12 or FRS2 was analyzed by dual-luciferase reporter and RNA pull-down assays. Treatment with Kae could inhibit ox-LDL-induced the upregulation of circNOL12 in HUVECs. Importantly, Kae weakened ox-LDL-induced inflammation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis in HUVECs, which was abolished by overexpression of circNOL12. What's more, miR-6873-3p was a target of circNOL12 in HUVECs, and the upregulation of miR-6873-3p overturned circNOL12 overexpression-induced effects on HUVECs treated with ox-LDL and Kae. FRS2 was negatively regulated by miR-6873-3p in HUVECs. CONCLUSION: Kae alleviated ox-LDL-induced inflammation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis in HUVECs by regulating circNOL12/miR-6873-3p/FRS2 axis.


Subject(s)
Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Kaempferols/pharmacology , Membrane Proteins/drug effects , MicroRNAs/drug effects , Nuclear Proteins/drug effects , RNA-Binding Proteins/drug effects , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Antioxidants/pharmacology , Apoptosis/drug effects , Female , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
16.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ; 100(4): 115382, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385399

ABSTRACT

Sensitivity and specificity of serological assays are key parameters for the accurate estimation of SARS-CoV-2 sero-prevalence. The aim of this study was to compare 8 readily available IgG antibody tests using a panel of well-defined serum samples of prepandemic and pandemic origin. A cross-reaction panel included samples of patients with recent infection with either of the endemic Coronaviruses 229E, NL63, HKU1, or OC43. Additionally, samples with high antibody levels against influenza virus, adenovirus, and during acute EBV infection were included. Previous infection with endemic coronaviruses caused a significant amount of cross-reactivity in two of the assays. In contrast, the confidence intervals for the assays of Abbott, DiaSorin, Euroimmun and Roche encompassed the value of 98% for samples with a previous endemic HCoV infection. For all assays, sensitivities were between 91.3% and 98.8%. Assay performance was independent of the usage of either nucleocapsid or spike proteins.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Viral Proteins , Young Adult
18.
Microorganisms ; 9(3)2021 Mar 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389449

ABSTRACT

Several studies have described the long-term kinetics of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies but long-term follow-up data, i.e., >6 months, are still sparse. Additionally, the literature is inconsistent regarding the waning effect of the serological response. The aim of this study was to explore the temporal dynamic changes of the immune response after SARS-CoV-2 infection in hospitalized and non-hospitalized symptomatic patients over a period of 10 months. Six different analytical kits for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection were used. Positivity rates, inter-assay agreement and kinetic models were determined. A high inter-individual and an inter-methodology variability was observed. Assays targeting total antibodies presented higher positivity rates and reached the highest positivity rates sooner compared with assays directed against IgG. The inter-assay agreement was also higher between these assays. The stratification by disease severity showed a much-elevated serological response in hospitalized versus non-hospitalized patients in all assays. In this 10-month follow-up study, serological assays showed a clinically significant difference to detect past SARS-CoV-2 infection with total antibody assays presenting the highest positivity rates. The waning effect reported in several studies should be interpreted with caution because it could depend on the assay considered.

19.
J Clin Med ; 10(11)2021 May 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389412

ABSTRACT

This study was performed as a head-to-head comparison of the performance characteristics of (1) two SARS-CoV-2-specific rapid antigen assays with real-time PCR as gold standard as well as (2) a fully automated high-throughput transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) assay and real-time PCR in a latent class analysis-based test comparison without a gold standard with several hundred samples in a low prevalence "real world" setting. Recorded sensitivity and specificity of the NADAL and the LumiraDx antigen assays and the Hologic Aptima SARS-CoV-2 TMA assay were 0.1429 (0.0194, 0.5835), 0.7644 (0.7016, 0.8174), and 0.7157 (0, 1) as well as 0.4545 (0.2022, 0.7326), 0.9954 (0.9817, 0.9988), and 0.9997 (not estimable), respectively. Agreement kappa between the positive results of the two antigen-based assays was 0.060 (0.002, 0.167) and 0.659 (0.492, 0.825) for TMA and real-time PCR. Samples with low viral load as indicated by cycle threshold (Ct) values > 30 were generally missed by both antigen assays, while 1:10 pooling suggested higher sensitivity of TMA compared to real-time PCR. In conclusion, both sensitivity and specificity speak in favor of the use of the LumiraDx rather than the NADAL antigen assay, while TMA results are comparably as accurate as PCR, when applied in a low prevalence setting.

20.
Front Plant Sci ; 11: 601316, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389236

ABSTRACT

We report to use the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-Cov-2 to screen plant flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidins. Twelve compounds, (-)-afzelechin (AF), (-)-epiafzelechin (EAF), (+)-catechin (CA), (-)-epicatechin (EC), (+)-gallocatechin (GC), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (+)-catechin-3-O-gallate (CAG), (-)-epicatechin-3-O-gallate (ECG), (-)-gallocatechin-3-O-gallate (GCG), (-)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG), procyanidin A2 (PA2), and procyanidin B2 (PB2), were selected for docking simulation. The resulting data predicted that all 12 metabolites could bind to Mpro. The affinity scores of PA2 and PB2 were predicted to be -9.2, followed by ECG, GCG, EGCG, and CAG, -8.3 to -8.7, and then six flavan-3-ol aglycones, -7.0 to -7.7. Docking characterization predicted that these compounds bound to three or four subsites (S1, S1', S2, and S4) in the binding pocket of Mpro via different spatial ways and various formation of one to four hydrogen bonds. In vitro analysis with 10 available compounds showed that CAG, ECG, GCG, EGCG, and PB2 inhibited the Mpro activity with an IC50 value, 2.98 ± 0.21, 5.21 ± 0.5, 6.38 ± 0.5, 7.51 ± 0.21, and 75.3 ± 1.29 µM, respectively, while CA, EC, EGC, GC, and PA2 did not have inhibitory activities. To further substantiate the inhibitory activities, extracts prepared from green tea (GT), two muscadine grapes (MG), cacao, and dark chocolate (DC), which are rich in CAG, ECG, GAG, EGCG, or/and PB2, were used for inhibitory assay. The resulting data showed that GT, two MG, cacao, and DC extracts inhibited the Mpro activity with an IC50 value, 2.84 ± 0.25, 29.54 ± 0.41, 29.93 ± 0.83, 153.3 ± 47.3, and 256.39 ± 66.3 µg/ml, respectively. These findings indicate that on the one hand, the structural features of flavan-3-ols are closely associated with the affinity scores; on the other hand, the galloylation and oligomeric types of flavan-3-ols are critical in creating the inhibitory activity against the Mpro activity.

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