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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(10): 1768-1775, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522134

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We performed a population-based study to describe the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on pregnancy outcomes. METHODS: This prospective, population-based study included pregnant women who consecutively presented at first/second trimester visits or at delivery at 3 hospitals in Barcelona, Spain. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (immunoglobulin [Ig] G and IgM/IgA) were measured in all participants, and nasopharyngeal real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed at delivery. The primary outcome was a composite of pregnancy complications in SARS-CoV-2-positive vs negative women that included miscarriage, preeclampsia, preterm delivery, perinatal death, small-for-gestational-age newborn, or neonatal admission. Secondary outcomes were components of the primary outcome plus abnormal fetal growth, malformation, or intrapartum fetal distress. Outcomes were also compared between positive symptomatic and positive asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 women. RESULTS: Of 2225 pregnant women, 317 (14.2%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (n = 314, 99.1%) and/or RT-PCR (n = 36, 11.4%). Among positive women, 217 (68.5%) were asymptomatic, 93 (29.3%) had mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and 7 (2.2%) had pneumonia, of whom 3 required intensive care unit admission. In women with and without SARS-CoV-2 infection, the primary outcome occurred in 43 (13.6%) and 268 (14%), respectively (risk difference, -0.4%; 95% confidence interval, -4.1% to 4.1). Compared with noninfected women, those with symptomatic COVID-19 had increased rates of preterm delivery (7.2% vs 16.9%, P = .003) and intrapartum fetal distress (9.1% vs 19.2%, P = .004), while asymptomatic women had rates that were similar to those of noninfected cases. Among 143 fetuses from infected mothers, none had anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgA in cord blood. CONCLUSIONS: The overall rate of pregnancy complications in women with SARS-CoV-2 infection was similar to that of noninfected women. However, symptomatic COVID-19 was associated with modest increases in preterm delivery and intrapartum fetal distress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Outcome/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Physica D ; 413: 132693, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1514251

ABSTRACT

The presence of a large number of infected individuals with few or no symptoms is an important epidemiological difficulty and the main mathematical feature of COVID-19. The A-SIR model, i.e. a SIR (Susceptible-Infected-Removed) model with a compartment for infected individuals with no symptoms or few symptoms was proposed by Gaeta (2020). In this paper we investigate a slightly generalized version of the same model and propose a scheme for fitting the parameters of the model to real data using the time series only of the deceased individuals. The scheme is applied to the concrete cases of Lombardy, Italy and São Paulo state, Brazil, showing different aspects of the epidemic. In both cases we see strong evidence that the adoption of social distancing measures contributed to a slower increase in the number of deceased individuals when compared to the baseline of no reduction in the infection rate. Both for Lombardy and São Paulo we show that we may have good fits to the data up to the present, but with very large differences in the future behavior. The reasons behind such disparate outcomes are the uncertainty on the value of a key parameter, the probability that an infected individual is fully symptomatic, and on the intensity of the social distancing measures adopted. This conclusion enforces the necessity of trying to determine the real number of infected individuals in a population, symptomatic or asymptomatic.

3.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(7): 712-720, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337036

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Whether young adults who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at risk of subsequent infection is uncertain. We investigated the risk of subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection among young adults seropositive for a previous infection. METHODS: This analysis was performed as part of the prospective COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines study (CHARM). CHARM included predominantly male US Marine recruits, aged 18-20 years, following a 2-week unsupervised quarantine at home. After the home quarantine period, upon arrival at a Marine-supervised 2-week quarantine facility (college campus or hotel), participants were enrolled and were assessed for baseline SARS-CoV-2 IgG seropositivity, defined as a dilution of 1:150 or more on receptor-binding domain and full-length spike protein ELISA. Participants also completed a questionnaire consisting of demographic information, risk factors, reporting of 14 specific COVID-19-related symptoms or any other unspecified symptom, and brief medical history. SARS-CoV-2 infection was assessed by PCR at weeks 0, 1, and 2 of quarantine and participants completed a follow-up questionnaire, which included questions about the same COVID-19-related symptoms since the last study visit. Participants were excluded at this stage if they had a positive PCR test during quarantine. Participants who had three negative swab PCR results during quarantine and a baseline serum serology test at the beginning of the supervised quarantine that identified them as seronegative or seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 then went on to basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot-Parris Island. Three PCR tests were done at weeks 2, 4, and 6 in both seropositive and seronegative groups, along with the follow-up symptom questionnaire and baseline neutralising antibody titres on all subsequently infected seropositive and selected seropositive uninfected participants (prospective study period). FINDINGS: Between May 11, 2020, and Nov 2, 2020, we enrolled 3249 participants, of whom 3168 (98%) continued into the 2-week quarantine period. 3076 (95%) participants, 2825 (92%) of whom were men, were then followed up during the prospective study period after quarantine for 6 weeks. Among 189 seropositive participants, 19 (10%) had at least one positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 during the 6-week follow-up (1·1 cases per person-year). In contrast, 1079 (48%) of 2247 seronegative participants tested positive (6·2 cases per person-year). The incidence rate ratio was 0·18 (95% CI 0·11-0·28; p<0·001). Among seropositive recruits, infection was more likely with lower baseline full-length spike protein IgG titres than in those with higher baseline full-length spike protein IgG titres (hazard ratio 0·45 [95% CI 0·32-0·65]; p<0·001). Infected seropositive participants had viral loads that were about 10-times lower than those of infected seronegative participants (ORF1ab gene cycle threshold difference 3·95 [95% CI 1·23-6·67]; p=0·004). Among seropositive participants, baseline neutralising titres were detected in 45 (83%) of 54 uninfected and in six (32%) of 19 infected participants during the 6 weeks of observation (ID50 difference p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION: Seropositive young adults had about one-fifth the risk of subsequent infection compared with seronegative individuals. Although antibodies induced by initial infection are largely protective, they do not guarantee effective SARS-CoV-2 neutralisation activity or immunity against subsequent infection. These findings might be relevant for optimisation of mass vaccination strategies. FUNDING: Defense Health Agency and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Prospective Studies , Quarantine , Risk Assessment , Young Adult
4.
J Obstet Gynaecol Res ; 47(9): 3001-3007, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276735

ABSTRACT

AIM: The aim of this study was to clarify the physical and mental burden of the COIVD-19 pandemic on obstetricians and gynecologists in Japan and to identify factors that increase the burden of their psychological stress. METHODS: A web-based questionnaire was sent to obstetricians and gynecologists in Japan via email and social media to collect voluntary responses. This survey was conducted from September 1 to 30, 2020. RESULTS: A total of 852 valid responses were included in the analysis; 76% (644) of the physicians felt that the COVID-19 pandemic caused them physical and mental stress equal to or greater than the most severe disaster they had ever experienced. Physicians who reported high mental and physical stress were more likely to be in areas with high numbers of infected patients (odds ratio (OR) 1.571, p = 0.012). Physicians experienced great stress to the point of wearing heavy personal protective equipment during routine vaginal deliveries by mothers with no COVID-19 symptoms. This trend was markedly pronounced for physicians working in regions with fewer cases of COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSIONS: Obstetricians and gynecologists who reported high mental and physical stress were more likely to be in areas with high numbers of infected patients. One potential reason for this may be that they were required to wear more personal protective equipment than necessary. Infection control methods that ensure the safety of obstetricians and gynecologists while not causing unnecessary physical or psychological stress are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(12): e938-e944, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269551

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Children seem relatively protected from serious severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-related disease, but little is known about children living in settings with high tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) burden. This study reflects clinical data on South African children with SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We collected clinical data of children aged <13 years with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 presenting to Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, between 17 April and 24 July 2020. RESULTS: One hundred fifty-nine children (median age, 48.0 months [interquartile range {IQR}, 12.0-106.0 months]) were included. Hospitalized children (n = 62), with a median age of 13.5 months (IQR, 1.8-43.5 months) were younger than children not admitted (n = 97; median age, 81.0 months [IQR, 34.5-120.5 months]; P < .01.). Thirty-three of 159 (20.8%) children had preexisting medical conditions. Fifty-one of 62 (82.3%) hospitalized children were symptomatic; lower respiratory tract infection was diagnosed in 21 of 51 (41.2%) children, and in 11 of 16 (68.8%) children <3 months of age. Respiratory support was required in 25 of 51 (49.0%) children; 13 of these (52.0%) were <3 months of age. One child was HIV infected and 11 of 51 (21.2%) were HIV exposed but uninfected, and 7 of 51 (13.7%) children had a recent or new diagnosis of tuberculosis. CONCLUSIONS: Children <1 year of age hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 in Cape Town frequently required respiratory support. Access to oxygen may be limited in some low- and middle-income countries, which could potentially drive morbidity and mortality. HIV infection was uncommon but a relationship between HIV exposure, tuberculosis, and SARS-CoV-2 should be explored.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Child , Child, Preschool , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Infant , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
6.
J Occup Environ Hyg ; 18(7): 345-360, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269471

ABSTRACT

First responders may have high SARS-CoV-2 infection risks due to working with potentially infected patients in enclosed spaces. The study objective was to estimate infection risks per transport for first responders and quantify how first responder use of N95 respirators and patient use of cloth masks can reduce these risks. A model was developed for two Scenarios: an ambulance transport with a patient actively emitting a virus in small aerosols that could lead to airborne transmission (Scenario 1) and a subsequent transport with the same respirator or mask use conditions, an uninfected patient; and remaining airborne SARS-CoV-2 and contaminated surfaces due to aerosol deposition from the previous transport (Scenario 2). A compartmental Monte Carlo simulation model was used to estimate the dispersion and deposition of SARS-CoV-2 and subsequent infection risks for first responders, accounting for variability and uncertainty in input parameters (i.e., transport duration, transfer efficiencies, SARS-CoV-2 emission rates from infected patients, etc.). Infection risk distributions and changes in concentration on hands and surfaces over time were estimated across sub-Scenarios of first responder respirator use and patient cloth mask use. For Scenario 1, predicted mean infection risks were reduced by 69%, 48%, and 85% from a baseline risk (no respirators or face masks used) of 2.9 × 10-2 ± 3.4 × 10-2 when simulated first responders wore respirators, the patient wore a cloth mask, and when first responders and the patient wore respirators or a cloth mask, respectively. For Scenario 2, infection risk reductions for these same Scenarios were 69%, 50%, and 85%, respectively (baseline risk of 7.2 × 10-3 ± 1.0 × 10-2). While aerosol transmission routes contributed more to viral dose in Scenario 1, our simulations demonstrate the ability of face masks worn by patients to additionally reduce surface transmission by reducing viral deposition on surfaces. Based on these simulations, we recommend the patient wear a face mask and first responders wear respirators, when possible, and disinfection should prioritize high use equipment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Masks/virology , N95 Respirators/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Aerosols , Air Microbiology , Ambulances , COVID-19/prevention & control , Computer Simulation , Emergency Responders , Equipment Contamination , Humans , Monte Carlo Method , Respiratory Protective Devices/virology , Risk Reduction Behavior , Transportation of Patients
7.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 12415, 2021 06 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268003

ABSTRACT

The built environment can contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by facilitating human mobility and social contacts between infected and uninfected individuals. However, mobility data capturing detailed interpersonal transmission at a large scale are not available. In this study, we aimed to objectively assess the influence of key built environment factors, which create spaces for activities-"inferred activity" rather than "actually observed activity"-on the spread of COVID-19 across townships in China at its initial stage through a random forest approach. Taking data for 2994 township-level administrative units, the spread is measured by two indicators: the ratio of cumulative infection cases (RCIC), and the coefficient of variation of infection cases (CVIC) that reflects the policy effect in the initial stage of the spread. Accordingly, we selected 19 explanatory variables covering built environment factors (urban facilities, land use, and transportation infrastructure), the level of nighttime activities, and the inter-city population flow (from Hubei Province). We investigated the spatial agglomerations based on an analysis of bivariate local indicators of spatial association between RCIC and CVIC. We found spatial agglomeration (or positive spatial autocorrelations) of RCIC and CVIC in about 20% of all townships under study. The density of convenience shops, supermarkets and shopping malls (DoCSS), and the inter-city population flow (from Hubei Province) are the two most important variables to explain RCIC, while the population flow is the most important factor in measuring policy effects (CVIC). When the DoCSS gets to 21/km2, the density of comprehensive hospitals to 0.7/km2, the density of road intersections to 72/km2, and the density of gyms and sports centers to 2/km2, their impacts on RCIC reach their maximum and remain constant with further increases in the density values. Stricter policy measures should be taken at townships with a density of colleges and universities higher than 0.5/km2 or a density of comprehensive hospitals higher than 0.25/km2 in order to effectively control the spread of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , China/epidemiology , Databases, Factual , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Spatial Analysis
8.
Curr HIV/AIDS Rep ; 18(4): 280-288, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258268

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To highlight recent trends in the epidemiology of HIV and syphilis, the impact of the COVID epidemic, our approach to care of co-infected patients, and our views on important next steps in advancing the field. RECENT FINDINGS: HIV and syphilis co-infection has been on the rise in recent years although since the COVID pandemic there is a decrease in new diagnoses-it remains unclear if this represents a true decline or inadequate testing or under-reporting. Standard HIV care should include regular syphilis serology .Treatment and serological follow-up of syphilis in HIV positive and negative patients can be conducted similarly. Challenges remain in the diagnosis and management of neurosyphilis. New models for testing and prevention will be crucial next steps in controlling co-infection. The intersection of HIV and syphilis infections continues to pose new and unique challenges in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Syphilis , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Syphilis/diagnosis , Syphilis/drug therapy , Syphilis/epidemiology , Syphilis Serodiagnosis
9.
BMC Nephrol ; 22(1): 198, 2021 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244914

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Individuals with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) on dialysis are vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 infection, with mortality as high as 31 % in this group. Population demographics in the UAE are dissimilar to many other countries and data on antibody responses to COVID-19 is also limited. The objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of patients who developed COVID-19, the impact of the screening strategy, and to assess the antibody response to a subset of dialysis patients. METHODS: We retrospectively examined the outcomes of COVID19 infection in all our haemodialysis patients, who were tested regularly for COVID 19, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic. In addition, IgG antibody serology was also performed to assess response to COVID-19 in a subset of patients. RESULTS: 152 (13 %) of 1180 dialysis patients developed COVID-19 during the study period from 1st of March to the 1st of July 2020. Of these 81 % were male, average age of 52​ years and 95 % were on in-centre haemodialysis. Family and community contact was most likely source of infection in most patients. Fever (49 %) and cough (48 %) were the most common presenting symptoms, when present. Comorbidities in infected individuals included hypertension (93 %), diabetes (49 %), ischaemic heart disease (30 %). The majority (68 %) developed mild disease, whilst 13 % required critical care. Combinations of drugs including hydroxychloroquine, favipiravir, lopinavir, ritonavir, camostat, tocilizumab and steroids were used based on local guidelines. The median time to viral clearance defined by two negative PCR tests was 15 days [IQR 6-25]. Overall mortality in our cohort was 9.2 %, but ICU mortality was 65 %. COVID-19 IgG antibody serology was performed in a subset (n = 87) but 26 % of PCR positive patients (n = 23) did not develop a significant antibody response. CONCLUSIONS: Our study reports a lower mortality in this patient group compared with many published series. Asymptomatic PCR positivity was present in 40 %. Rapid isolation of positive patients may have contributed to the relative lack of spread of COVID-19 within our dialysis units. The lack of antibody response in a few patients is concerning.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/complications , Kidney Failure, Chronic/complications , Pandemics , Renal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Community-Acquired Infections/diagnosis , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Contact Tracing , Cross Infection/diagnosis , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Kidney Failure, Chronic/epidemiology , Kidney Failure, Chronic/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Isolation , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Survival Rate , Symptom Assessment , Treatment Outcome , United Arab Emirates/epidemiology , Viremia/diagnosis
10.
Exp Ther Med ; 22(1): 756, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244180

ABSTRACT

In patients who were not previously diagnosed with any thyroid conditions, the scenario of COVID-19-related anomalies of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axes may include either: A process of central thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) disturbances via virus-related hypophysitis; an atypical type of subacute thyroiditis which is connected to the virus spread or to excessive cytokine production including a destructive process with irreversible damage of the gland or low T3 (triiodothyronine) syndrome (so called non-thyroid illness syndrome) which is not specifically related to the COVID-19 infection, but which is associated with a very severe illness status. Our objective here was to briefly review thyroid changes due to the COVID-19 infection. Ongoing assessment of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will reveal more information on coronavirus-induced thyroid conditions. Routine thyroid assays performed in patients with severe infection/at acute phase of COVID-19 are encouraged in order to detect thyrotoxicosis. After recovery, thyroid function should be assessed to identify potential hypothyroidism. There remain unanswered questions related to the prognostic value of interleukin-6 in infected patients, especially in cases with cytokine storm, and the necessity of thyroid hormone replacement in subjects with hypophysitis-related central hypothyroidism.

11.
Mol Neurobiol ; 58(9): 4477-4486, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241710

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of human COVID-19, not only causes flu-like symptoms and gut microbiome complications but a large number of infected individuals also experience a host of neurological symptoms including loss of smell and taste, seizures, difficulty concentrating, decreased alertness, and brain inflammation. Although SARS-CoV-2 infections are not more prevalent in Parkinson's disease patients, a higher mortality rate has been reported not only associated with older age and longer disease duration, but also through several mechanisms, such as interactions with the brain dopaminergic system and through systemic inflammatory responses. Indeed, a number of the neurological symptoms seen in COVID-19 patients, as well as the alterations in the gut microbiome, are also prevalent in patients with Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, biochemical pathways such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and protein aggregation have shared commonalities between Parkinson's disease and COVID-19 disease progression. In this review, we describe and compare the numerous similarities and intersections between neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease and RNA viral infections, emphasizing the current SARS-CoV-2 global health crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Parkinson Disease/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Cognition Disorders/etiology , Cytokines/physiology , Diet , Disease Progression , Dysbiosis/etiology , Dysbiosis/physiopathology , Humans , Inflammation , Metals, Heavy/toxicity , Models, Neurological , Nerve Degeneration , Olfactory Bulb/physiopathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Oxidative Stress , Parkinson Disease/etiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Protein Aggregation, Pathological/etiology , RNA Virus Infections/metabolism , RNA Virus Infections/physiopathology , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Sensation Disorders/etiology , alpha-Synuclein/metabolism
12.
Phys Fluids (1994) ; 33(5): 051903, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238055

ABSTRACT

Currently, COVID-19 is a global pandemic that scientists and engineers around the world are aiming to understand further through rigorous testing and observation. This paper aims to provide safe distance recommendations among individuals and minimize the spread of COVID-19, as well as examine the efficacy of face coverings as a tool to slow the spread of respiratory droplets. These studies are conducted using computational fluid dynamics analyses, where the infected person breathes, coughs, and sneezes at various distances and environmental wind conditions and while wearing a face-covering (mask or face shield). In cases where there were no wind conditions, the breathing and coughing simulations display 1-2 m physical distancing to be effective. However, when sneezing was introduced, the physical distancing recommendation of 2 m was deemed not effective; instead, a distance of 2.8 m and greater was found to be more effective in reducing the exposure to respiratory droplets. The evaluation of environmental wind conditions necessitated an increase in physical distancing measures in all cases. The case where breathing was measured with a gentle breeze resulted in a physical distancing recommendation of 1.1 m, while coughing caused a change from the previous recommendation of 2 m to a distance of 4.5 m or greater. Sneezing in the presence of a gentle breeze was deemed to be the most impactful, with a recommendation for physical distancing of 5.8 m or more. It was determined that face coverings can potentially provide protection to an uninfected person in static air conditions. However, the uninfected person's protection can be compromised even in gentle wind conditions.

13.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251819, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234591

ABSTRACT

The multifunctional role of neuron-specific enolase (NSE) in lung diseases is well established. As the lungs are greatly affected in COVID-19, we evaluated serum NSE levels in COVID-19 patients with and without dyspnea. In this study, we evaluated both SARS-CoV-2-infected and uninfected patients aged >18 years who were referred to hospitals in Catanzaro, Italy from March 30 to July 30, 2020. Epidemiological, clinical, and radiological characteristics, treatment, and outcome data were recorded and reviewed by a trained team of physicians. In total, 323 patients (178 men, 55.1% and 145 women, 44.9%) were enrolled; of these, 128 were COVID-19 patients (39.6%) and 195 were control patients (60.4%). Westergren's method was used to determine erythroid sedimentation rate. A chemiluminescence assay was used for measurement of interleukin-6, procalcitonin, C-reactive protein, and NSE. We detected significantly higher NSE values (P<0.05) in COVID-19 patients than in controls. Interestingly, within the COVID-19 group, we also observed a further significant increase in dyspnea (Dyspnea Scale and Exercise score: 8.2 ± 0.8; scores ranging from 0 to 10, with higher numbers indicating very severe shortness of breath). These data provide the background for further investigations into the potential role of NSE as a clinical marker of COVID-19 progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/enzymology , Lung Injury/enzymology , Lung Injury/virology , Phosphopyruvate Hydratase/blood , Adult , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Immunologic Tests , Italy/epidemiology , Lung Injury/blood , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
14.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(7): 981-986, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222881

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although molecular tests are considered the reference standard for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnostics, serological and immunological tests may be useful in specific settings. OBJECTIVES: This review summarizes the underlying principles and performance of COVID-19 serological and immunological testing. SOURCES: Selected peer-reviewed publications on COVID-19 related serology and immunology published between December 2019 and March 2021. CONTENT: Serological tests are highly specific but heterogeneous in their sensitivity for the diagnosis of COVID-19. For certain indications, including delayed disease presentations, serological tests can have added value. The presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 may indicate a recent or past COVID-19 infection. Lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) antibody tests have the advantages of being easy and fast to perform, but many have a low sensitivity in acute settings. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and chemiluminescence immunoassays (CLIAs) have higher sensitivities. Besides humoral immunity, cellular immunity is also essential for successful host defences against viruses. Enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assays can be used to measure T-cell responses against SARS-CoV-2. The presence of cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in never exposed patients suggests the possibility of cellular immunity induced by other circulating coronaviruses. T-cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 have also been detected in recovered COVID-19 patients with no detectable antibodies. IMPLICATIONS: Serological and immunological tests are primarily applied for population-based seroprevalence studies to evaluate the effectiveness of COVID-19 control measures and increase our understanding of the immunology behind COVID-19. Combining molecular diagnostics with serological tests may optimize the detection of COVID-19. As not all infected patients will develop antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, assessment of cellular immunity may provide complementary information on whether a patient has been previously infected with COVID-19. More studies are needed to understand the correlations of these serological and immunological parameters with protective immunity, taking into account the different circulating virus variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoassay , Sensitivity and Specificity
15.
Inf Syst Front ; 23(6): 1385-1401, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202796

ABSTRACT

The recently discovered coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which was detected in Wuhan, China, has spread worldwide and is still being studied at the end of 2019. Detection of COVID-19 at an early stage is essential to provide adequate healthcare to affected patients and protect the uninfected community. This paper aims to design and develop a novel ensemble-based classifier to predict COVID-19 cases at a very early stage so that appropriate action can be taken by patients, doctors, health organizations, and the government. In this paper, a synthetic dataset of COVID-19 is generated by a dataset generation algorithm. A novel ensemble-based classifier of machine learning is employed on the COVID-19 dataset to predict the disease. A convex hull-based approach is also applied to the data to improve the proposed novel, ensemble-based classifier's accuracy and speed. The model is designed and developed through the python programming language and compares with the most popular classifier, i.e., Decision Tree, ID3, and support vector machine. The results indicate that the proposed novel classifier provides a more significant precision, kappa static, root means a square error, recall, F-measure, and accuracy.

16.
Mol Biol Rep ; 48(4): 3863-3869, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198481

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a severe health issue, especially to the patients who develop silent hypoxia condition after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Due to the lack of dyspnoea and extremely low oxygen saturation level, these patients are at exceptionally higher risk. Although the prevalence of silent hypoxia in COVID-19 patients has been evident in several cases, the underlying pathomechanism behind this condition is still unclear. Silent hypoxia in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients can be diagnosed with the help of a pulse oximeter, blood gas levels, and a 6-min walking test. While the clinicians and researchers figure out the exact reason for this phenomenon, the patients must be under strict day-to-day monitoring. In this article, we aim to provide comprehensive insights into the underlying symptoms, mechanism, and possible factors behind the occurrence of silent hypoxia among COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Blood Gas Analysis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Humans , Hypoxia/diagnosis , Hypoxia/metabolism , Hypoxia/pathology , Hypoxia/virology , Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1/metabolism , Oximetry , Practice Guidelines as Topic
17.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249584, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197373

ABSTRACT

The perinatal consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection are still largely unknown. This study aimed to describe the features and outcomes of pregnant women with or without SARS-CoV-2 infection after the universal screening was established in a large tertiary care center admitting only obstetric related conditions without severe COVID-19 in Mexico City. This retrospective case-control study integrates data between April 22 and May 25, 2020, during active community transmission in Mexico, with one of the highest COVID-19 test positivity percentages worldwide. Only pregnant women and neonates with a SARS-CoV-2 result by quantitative RT-PCR were included in this study. Among 240 pregnant women, the prevalence of COVID-19 was 29% (95% CI, 24% to 35%); 86% of the patients were asymptomatic (95% CI, 76%-92%), nine women presented mild symptoms, and one patient moderate disease. No pregnancy baseline features or risk factors associated with severity of infection, including maternal age > 35 years, Body Mass Index >30 kg/m2, and pre-existing diseases, differed between positive and negative women. The median gestational age at admission for both groups was 38 weeks. All women were discharged at home without complications, and no maternal death was reported. The proportion of preeclampsia was higher in positive women than negative women (18%, 95% CI, 10%-29% vs. 9%, 95% CI, 5%-14%, P<0.05). No differences were found for other perinatal outcomes. SARS-CoV-2 test result was positive for nine infants of positive mothers detected within 24h of birth. An increased number of infected neonates were admitted to the NICU, compared to negative neonates (44% vs. 22%, P<0.05) and had a longer length of hospitalization (2 [2-18] days vs. 2 [2-3] days, P<0.001); these are potential proxies for illness severity. This report highlights the importance of COVID-19 detection at delivery in pregnant women living in high transmission areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Mass Screening , Mexico/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Outcome , Prevalence , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult
18.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 3: 100014, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157573

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Households studies reflect the natural spread of SARS-CoV-2 in immunologically naive populations with limited preventive measures to control transmission.We hypothesise that seropositivity provides more accurate household attack rates than RT-PCR. Here, we investigated the importance of age in household transmission dynamics. METHODS: We enroled 112 households (291 participants) in a case-ascertained study in Bergen, Norway from 28th February to 4th April 2020, collecting demographic and clinical data from index patients and household members. SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies were measured in sera collected 6-8 weeks after index patient nasopharyngeal testing to define household attack rates. FINDINGS: The overall attack rate was 45% (95% CI 38-53) assessed by serology, and 47% when also including seronegative RT-PCR positives. Serology identified a higher number of infected household members than RT-PCR. Attack rates were equally high in children (48%) and young adults (42%). The attack rate was 16% in asymptomatic household members and 42% in RT-PCR negative contacts. Older adults had higher antibody titres than younger adults. The risk of household transmission was higher when the index patient had fever (aOR 3.31 [95% CI 1.52-7.24]; p = 0.003) or dyspnoea (aOR 2.25 [95% CI 1.80-4.62]; p = 0.027) during acute illness. INTERPRETATION: Serological assays provide more sensitive and robust estimates of household attack rates than RT-PCR. Children are equally susceptible to infection as young adults. Negative RT-PCR or lack of symptoms are not sufficient to rule out infection in household members. FUNDING: Helse Vest (F-11628), Trond Mohn Foundation (TMS2020TMT05).

19.
Eur J Cancer ; 150: 1-9, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157259

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cancer patients are considered highly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, delaying cancer-specific therapies could have a deleterious effect on survival. The potential suppressive effects of chemotherapies or cancer-related microenvironment raised the question on how cancer patients' immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 virus. METHODS: We have started a prospective monocentric trial entitled COV-CREM (NCT04365322) in April 2020. The primary objective of the trial was to assess specific immune response's intensity and diversity to SARS-CoV-2 in infected patients. RESULTS: In this study, we showed that cancer patients (28 solid tumours, 11 haematological malignancies) exposed to SARS-CoV-2 produced a high rate of specific antibodies, as observed in patients without a cancer history (n = 29). However, our results highlight a lack in the generation of T-cell responses against CoV-N, M and S proteins from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, suggesting that cancer patients failed to mount a protective T-cell immunity. Nevertheless, SARS-CoV-2 infection did not impair established immune memory since specific responses against common viruses were not hampered in cancer patients. CONCLUSION: Given the severity and the unknown evolution of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is of fundamental importance to integrate cancer patients in vaccination programs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Neoplasms/complications , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Front Public Health ; 9: 638975, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156166

ABSTRACT

Objective: Understanding gender differences in responses of health-care workers (HCWs) to COVID-19 outbreak is an effective way to promote customized supports. Methods: During February 2020, 103 HCWs infected with COVID-19 (64 females and 39 males) and 535 uninfected HCWs (383 females and 152 males) were recruited in a cross-sectional study. Level of attention, six emotional status, and self-evaluation of eight protective measures were recorded. Multivariable Firth's logistic regressions were applied to explored independent effect of gender. Results: During early outbreak, female HCWs were more likely to give greater attention, adjusted OR:1.92 (95%CI 1.14-3.23) in total HCWs. Higher proportion of anxiety was observed in female HCWs, adjusted OR:3.14 (95%CI 1.98-4.99) for total HCWs, 4.32(95%CI 1.32-14.15) for infected HCWs and 2.97 (1.78, 4.95) for uninfected HCWs. Proportion of pessimism, fear, full of fighting spirit, and optimism were low, and no gender differences were observed. During a later outbreak, a majority of HCWs reported being very familiar with eight protective measures. After training, a proportion of high self-evaluation in hand hygiene, wearing gloves, and surgical masks increased independently in female HCWs, and adjusted ORs were 3.07 (95% CI 1.57-5.99), 2.37 (95% CI 1.26-4.49), and 1.92 (95% CI 1.02-3.62), respectively. Infection status amplified gender difference in anxiety, hand hygiene, and glove wearing. Conclusion: Female HCWs perceived the outbreak seriously, effective emotional and psychological well-ness should be targeted at female HCWs preferentially, and male HCWs should be encouraged to express their feelings and be further trained.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/psychology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Risk Behaviors , Infections/psychology , Stress, Psychological , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires
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