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1.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0247758, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574068

ABSTRACT

ß2-microglobulin (ß2-m), a 11.8 kDa protein, pairs non-covalently with the α3 domain of the major histocompatibility class (MHC) I α-chain and is essential for the conformation of the MHC class I protein complex. Shed ß2-m is measurable in circulation, and various disorders are accompanied by increases in ß2-m levels, including several viral infections. Therefore, we explored whether ß2-m levels could also be elevated in Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and whether they predict disease severity. Serum ß2-m levels were measured in a cohort of 34 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 on admission to a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as well as in an approximately age-sex matched group of 34 uninfected controls. Mean ß2-m level was 3.25±1.68 mg/l (reference range 0.8-2.2 mg/l) in patients (mean age 48.2±21.6) and 1.98±0.61 mg/l in controls (mean age 48.2±21.6). 17 patients (mean age 36.9± 18.0) with mean ß2-m levels of 2.27±0.64 mg/l had mild disease by WHO severity categorization, 12 patients (mean age 53.3±18.1) with mean ß2-m levels of 3.57±1.39 mg/l had moderate disease, and five patients (of whom 2 died; mean age 74.4±13.8) with mean ß2-m levels of 5.85±1.85 mg/l had severe disease (P < = 0.001, by ANOVA test for linear trend). In multivariate ordinal regression ß2-m levels were the only significant predictor of disease severity. Our findings suggest that higher ß2-m levels could be an early indicator of severity of disease and predict outcome of Covid-19. As the main limitations of the study are a single-center study, sample size and ethnicity, these results need confirmation in larger cohorts outside the Arabian Peninsula in order to delineate the value of ß2-m measurements. The role of ß2-m in the etiology and pathogenesis of severe Covid-19 remains to be elucidated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Severity of Illness Index , beta 2-Microglobulin/blood , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Saudi Arabia
2.
J Risk Uncertain ; : 1-24, 2021 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549499

ABSTRACT

While much literature has focused on preferences regarding risk, preferences over skewness also have significant economic implications. An important and understudied aspect of skewness preferences is how they affect risk taking. In this paper, we design a novel laboratory experiment that elicits certainty equivalents over lotteries where the variance and skewness of the outcomes are orthogonal to each other. This design enables us to cleanly measure both skewness seeking/avoiding and risk taking behavior, and their interaction, without needing to make parametric assumptions. Our experiment includes both left- and right-skewed lotteries. The results reveal that the majority of subjects are skewness avoiding risk takers who correspondingly also take more risk when facing less skewed lotteries. Our second contribution is to link these choices to individual rank-dependent utility preference parameters estimated using a separate lottery choice protocol. Using a latent-class model, we are able to identify two classes of subjects: skewness avoiders with the classic inverse s-shaped probability weighting function and skewness neutral subjects that do not have an inverse s-shaped probability weighting function. Our results thus demonstrate the link between probability distortion and skewness seeking/avoidance choices. They also highlight the importance of accounting for individual heterogeneity. Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11166-021-09345-w.

3.
Lancet Oncol ; 22(6): 765-778, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531901

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The efficacy and safety profiles of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 in patients with cancer is unknown. We aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine in patients with cancer. METHODS: For this prospective observational study, we recruited patients with cancer and healthy controls (mostly health-care workers) from three London hospitals between Dec 8, 2020, and Feb 18, 2021. Participants who were vaccinated between Dec 8 and Dec 29, 2020, received two 30 µg doses of BNT162b2 administered intramuscularly 21 days apart; patients vaccinated after this date received only one 30 µg dose with a planned follow-up boost at 12 weeks. Blood samples were taken before vaccination and at 3 weeks and 5 weeks after the first vaccination. Where possible, serial nasopharyngeal real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) swab tests were done every 10 days or in cases of symptomatic COVID-19. The coprimary endpoints were seroconversion to SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in patients with cancer following the first vaccination with the BNT162b2 vaccine and the effect of vaccine boosting after 21 days on seroconversion. All participants with available data were included in the safety and immunogenicity analyses. Ongoing follow-up is underway for further blood sampling after the delayed (12-week) vaccine boost. This study is registered with the NHS Health Research Authority and Health and Care Research Wales (REC ID 20/HRA/2031). FINDINGS: 151 patients with cancer (95 patients with solid cancer and 56 patients with haematological cancer) and 54 healthy controls were enrolled. For this interim data analysis of the safety and immunogenicity of vaccinated patients with cancer, samples and data obtained up to March 19, 2021, were analysed. After exclusion of 17 patients who had been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 (detected by either antibody seroconversion or a positive rRT-PCR COVID-19 swab test) from the immunogenicity analysis, the proportion of positive anti-S IgG titres at approximately 21 days following a single vaccine inoculum across the three cohorts were 32 (94%; 95% CI 81-98) of 34 healthy controls; 21 (38%; 26-51) of 56 patients with solid cancer, and eight (18%; 10-32) of 44 patients with haematological cancer. 16 healthy controls, 25 patients with solid cancer, and six patients with haematological cancer received a second dose on day 21. Of the patients with available blood samples 2 weeks following a 21-day vaccine boost, and excluding 17 participants with evidence of previous natural SARS-CoV-2 exposure, 18 (95%; 95% CI 75-99) of 19 patients with solid cancer, 12 (100%; 76-100) of 12 healthy controls, and three (60%; 23-88) of five patients with haematological cancers were seropositive, compared with ten (30%; 17-47) of 33, 18 (86%; 65-95) of 21, and four (11%; 4-25) of 36, respectively, who did not receive a boost. The vaccine was well tolerated; no toxicities were reported in 75 (54%) of 140 patients with cancer following the first dose of BNT162b2, and in 22 (71%) of 31 patients with cancer following the second dose. Similarly, no toxicities were reported in 15 (38%) of 40 healthy controls after the first dose and in five (31%) of 16 after the second dose. Injection-site pain within 7 days following the first dose was the most commonly reported local reaction (23 [35%] of 65 patients with cancer; 12 [48%] of 25 healthy controls). No vaccine-related deaths were reported. INTERPRETATION: In patients with cancer, one dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine yields poor efficacy. Immunogenicity increased significantly in patients with solid cancer within 2 weeks of a vaccine boost at day 21 after the first dose. These data support prioritisation of patients with cancer for an early (day 21) second dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine. FUNDING: King's College London, Cancer Research UK, Wellcome Trust, Rosetrees Trust, and Francis Crick Institute.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , Neoplasms/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Female , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , London/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/blood , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/virology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales
4.
Turk J Med Sci ; 51(4): 1665-1674, 2021 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526879

ABSTRACT

Background/aim: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease with a high rate of progression to critical illness. However, the predictors of mortality in critically ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) are not yet well understood. In this study, we aimed to investigate the risk factors associated with ICU mortality in our hospital. Materials and methods: In this single-centered retrospective study, we enrolled 86 critically ill adult patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICU of Dokuz Eylül University Hospital (Izmir, Turkey) between 18 March 2020 and 31 October 2020. Data on demographic information, preexisting comorbidities, treatments, the laboratory findings at ICU admission, and clinical outcomes were collected. The chest computerized tomography (CT) of the patients were evaluated specifically for COVID-19 and CT score was calculated. Data of the survivors and nonsurvivors were compared with survival analysis to identify risk factors of mortality in the ICU. Results: The mean age of the patients was 71.1 ± 14.1 years. The patients were predominantly male. The most common comorbidity in patients was hypertension. ICU mortality was 62.8%. Being over 60 years old, CT score > 15, acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II score ≥ 15, having dementia, treatment without favipiravir, base excess in blood gas analysis ≤ ­2.0, WBC > 10,000/mm3, D-dimer > 1.6 µg/mL, troponin > 24 ng/L, Na ≥ 145 mmol/L were considered to link with ICU mortality according to Kaplan­Meier curves (log-rank test, p < 0.05). The APACHE II score (HR: 1.055, 95% CI: 1.021­1.090) and chest CT score (HR: 2.411, 95% CI:1.193­4.875) were associated with ICU mortality in the cox proportional-hazard regression model adjusted for age, dementia, favipiravir treatment and troponin. Howewer, no difference was found between survivors and nonsurvivors in terms of intubation timing. Conclusions: COVID-19 patients have a high ICU admission and mortality rate. Studies in the ICU are also crucial in this respect. In our study, we investigated the ICU mortality risk factors of COVID-19 patients. We determined a predictive mortality model consisting of APACHE II score and chest CT score. It was thought that this feasible and practical model would assist in making clinical decisions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/mortality , Critical Care/methods , Hospital Mortality , Intubation, Intratracheal/methods , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Intubation, Intratracheal/statistics & numerical data , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Survival Analysis , Time Factors , Turkey/epidemiology , Young Adult
5.
Cardiovasc Res ; 117(9): 2045-2053, 2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526155

ABSTRACT

Although coronavirus disease 2019 seems to be the leading topic in research number of outstanding studies have been published in the field of aorta and peripheral vascular diseases likely affecting our clinical practice in the near future. This review article highlights key research on vascular diseases published in 2020. Some studies have shed light in the pathophysiology of aortic aneurysm and dissection suggesting a potential role for kinase inhibitors as new therapeutic options. A first proteogenomic study on fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) revealed a promising novel disease gene and provided proof-of-concept for a protein/lipid-based FMD blood test. The role of NADPH oxidases in vascular physiology, and particularly endothelial cell differentiation, is highlighted with potential for cell therapy development. Imaging of vulnerable plaque has been an intense field of research. Features of plaque vulnerability on magnetic resonance imaging as an under-recognized cause of stroke are discussed. Major clinical trials on lower extremity peripheral artery disease have shown added benefit of dual antithrombotic (aspirin plus rivaroxaban) treatment.


Subject(s)
Aortic Diseases , Biomedical Research/trends , Peripheral Vascular Diseases , Animals , Aortic Diseases/diagnosis , Aortic Diseases/epidemiology , Aortic Diseases/genetics , Aortic Diseases/therapy , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Diffusion of Innovation , Humans , Peripheral Vascular Diseases/diagnosis , Peripheral Vascular Diseases/epidemiology , Peripheral Vascular Diseases/genetics , Peripheral Vascular Diseases/therapy , Prognosis
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(10): 1831-1839, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522142

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Monitoring of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody prevalence can complement case reporting to inform more accurate estimates of SARS-CoV-2 infection burden, but few studies have undertaken repeated sampling over time on a broad geographic scale. METHODS: We performed serologic testing on a convenience sample of residual serum obtained from persons of all ages, at 10 sites in the United States from 23 March through 14 August 2020, from routine clinical testing at commercial laboratories. We standardized our seroprevalence rates by age and sex, using census population projections and adjusted for laboratory assay performance. Confidence intervals were generated with a 2-stage bootstrap. We used bayesian modeling to test whether seroprevalence changes over time were statistically significant. RESULTS: Seroprevalence remained below 10% at all sites except New York and Florida, where it reached 23.2% and 13.3%, respectively. Statistically significant increases in seroprevalence followed peaks in reported cases in New York, South Florida, Utah, Missouri, and Louisiana. In the absence of such peaks, some significant decreases were observed over time in New York, Missouri, Utah, and Western Washington. The estimated cumulative number of infections with detectable antibody response continued to exceed reported cases in all sites. CONCLUSIONS: Estimated seroprevalence was low in most sites, indicating that most people in the United States had not been infected with SARS-CoV-2 as of July 2020. The majority of infections are likely not reported. Decreases in seroprevalence may be related to changes in healthcare-seeking behavior, or evidence of waning of detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels at the population level. Thus, seroprevalence estimates may underestimate the cumulative incidence of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Bayes Theorem , Child , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies , United States/epidemiology , Utah
7.
Rev Mal Respir ; 38(9): 936-941, 2021 Nov.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521503

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: "Anti-pollution" masks are a form of personal protective equipment intended to ensure filtration of ambient particulate air pollution. STATE OF THE ART: Although according to tests performed in the lab, their filtration power is high, the filtering efficiency of these masks in real conditions of use, that is to say, during physical effort, is generally lower than that established in the laboratory and this information is rarely available on commercial products on sale. Clinical studies, which are rarely double-blind, demonstrate a lower incidence of symptoms and a somewhat better cardiac performance when exercise is performed while wearing a mask. For short-term use, the tolerance of these masks is fair. PERSPECTIVES: There is room for technical improvements in mask design improved fitting to the face, lowering inspiratory resistance and dead space, as well as preventing the accumulation of humidity on the mask. Manufacturers should include information in their packaging on the filtering power and design masks usable by children. Clinical studies should be performed to assess the long-term safety and effectiveness of mask in susceptible populations, especially people with asthma. CONCLUSION: Anti-pollution filtering face piece respirators have a theoretical high filtering power towards particles, but their efficiency in real-life conditions is more limited. Because such devices may confer to users a false sense of protection, the French agency on environment and health do not support their use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Child , Filtration , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Cell Stem Cell ; 27(5): 702-704, 2020 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506843

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has unfortunately halted lab work, conferences, and in-person networking, which is especially detrimental to researchers just starting their labs. Through social media and our reviewer networks, we met some early-career stem cell investigators impacted by the closures. Here, they introduce themselves and their research to our readers.

9.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(11)2021 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477958

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2/Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is responsible for the pandemic, which started in December 2019. In addition to the typical respiratory symptoms, this virus also causes other severe complications, including neurological ones. In diagnostics, serological and polymerase chain reaction tests are useful not only in detecting past infections but can also predict the response to vaccination. It is now believed that an immune mechanism rather than direct viral neuroinvasion is responsible for neurological symptoms. For this reason, it is important to assess the presence of antibodies not only in the serum but also in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), especially in the case of neuro-COVID. A particular group of patients are people with multiple sclerosis (MS) whose disease-modifying drugs weaken the immune system and lead to an unpredictable serological response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Based on available data, the article summarizes the current serological information concerning COVID-19 in CSF in patients with severe neurological complications and in those with MS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/cerebrospinal fluid , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/blood , Multiple Sclerosis/cerebrospinal fluid , Multiple Sclerosis/therapy , Multiple Sclerosis/virology
10.
BMJ Open ; 11(2): e039246, 2021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455704

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Healthcare is increasingly challenged to meet the demands of user involvement and knowledge mobilisation required by the 21st-century patient-centred and knowledge-based economies. Innovations are needed to reduce problematic barriers to knowledge exchange and improve collaborative problem solving. Living labs, as open knowledge systems, have the potential to address these gaps but are underexplored in healthcare. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct the first systematic review of living labs across healthcare contexts. We will comprehensively search the following online databases from inception to 31 December 2020: Scopus, the Cochrane Library (Wiley), Medline (OVID), Embase (OVID), Web of Science, PsycINFO (OVID) and EBSCOhost databases including Academic Search Complete, Business Source Premier, Canadian Reference Centre, CINAHL, MasterFILE Premier, SPORTDiscus, Library & Information Science Source, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts, AgeLine, EconLit, Art Full Text, Women's Studies International and Social Work Abstracts. We will search for grey literature using Google advanced techniques and books/book chapters through scholarly and bibliographical databases. We will use a dual-reviewer, two-step selection process with pre-established inclusion criteria and limit to English language publications. Empirical studies of any design examining living lab development, implementation or evaluation in health or healthcare will be included. We will use the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) for methodological quality appraisal and Covidence software for review management, and we will extract data on pre-established variables such as lab context and technological platforms. We will create evidence tables and analyse across variables such as focal aim and achievement of living lab principles, such as the use of cocreation and multimethod approaches. We will tabulate data for descriptive reporting and narrative synthesis to identify current applications, approaches and promising areas for living lab development across health contexts. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was not required for this review. This review will inform research into living labs in health environments, including guidance for a living lab in paediatric rehabilitation. Academic publications shared through collaborative networks and social media channels will provide substantive knowledge to the growing tech-health development sector and to researchers, practitioners and organisations seeking enhanced patient/stakeholder engagement and innovations in knowledge translation and evidence-based practice. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020175275.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Health Facilities , Canada , Child , Evidence-Based Practice , Female , Humans , Organizations , Review Literature as Topic
11.
J Med Virol ; 93(10): 5783-5788, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432409

ABSTRACT

More and more rapid antigen tests for the diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) appear in the market with varying performance. The sensitivity of these tests heavily depends on the viral load, extrapolated by the threshold cycle (Ct). It is therefore essential to verify their performance before their inclusion in routine. The Coronavirus Ag Rapid Test Cassette Bio-Rad, the GSD NovaGen SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Antigen Rapid Test, and the Aegle Coronavirus Ag Rapid Test Cassette were evaluated on 199 samples: 150 fresh samples from the routine and positive in quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), nine fresh samples negative in RT-qPCR, and 40 frozen samples, taken before the discovery of SARS-CoV-2 but positive for other respiratory viruses. Positive RT-qPCR samples were categorized according to their Ct: Ct < 20 (18.7%), ≥ 20-< 25 (27.3%), ≥ 25-< 30 (18.7%), ≥ 30-35 (17.3%), and > 35 (18.0%). Sensitivities (95% confidence interval) for Ct below 25 were 95.7% (92.4-98.9), 97.1% (94.4-99.8), and 97.1% (94.4-99.8) for GSD NovaGen, Bio-Rad, and Aegle, respectively but drastically dropped when Ct exceeded 27. Among samples with previously diagnosed viruses, seven false-positive results were found with GSD NovaGen only (specificity 85.7%). Equivalent, high sensitivities were observed with the highest viral load samples. The GSD NovaGen assay showed less specificity. Although the three kits tested in this study are inadequate for routine testing in a high throughput laboratory, they can help to quickly identify the most infectious patients and screen their close contacts in an environment where molecular tests are not readily available.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Humans , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity
12.
Ghana Med J ; 54(4 Suppl): 77-85, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436198

ABSTRACT

Background: A novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 is currently causing a worldwide pandemic. The first cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were recorded in Ghana on March 12, 2020. Since then, the country has been combatting countrywide community spread. This report describes how the Virology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) is supporting the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to diagnose infections with this virus in Ghana. Methods: The National Influenza Centre (NIC) in the Virology Department of the NMIMR, adopted real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) assays for the diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 in January 2020. Samples from suspected cases and contact tracing across Ghana were received and processed for SARS-CoV-2. Samples were 'pooled' to enable simultaneous batch testing of samples without reduced sensitivity. Outcomes: From February 3 to August 21, the NMIMR processed 283 946 (10%) samples. Highest number of cases were reported in June when the GHS embarked on targeted contact tracing which led to an increase in number of samples processed daily, peaking at over 7,000 samples daily. There were several issues to overcome including rapid consumption of reagents and consumables. Testing however continued successfully due to revised procedures, additional equipment and improved pipeline of laboratory supplies. Test results are now provided within 24 to 48 hours of sample submission enabling more effective response and containment. Conclusion: Following the identification of the first cases of SARS-CoV-2infection by the NMIMR, the Institute has trained other centres and supported the ramping up of molecular testing capacity in Ghana. This provides a blueprint to enable Ghana to mitigate further epidemics and pandemics. Funding: The laboratory work was supported with materials from the Ghana Health Service Ministry of Health, the US Naval Medical Research Unit #3, the World Health Organization, the Jack Ma Foundation and the University of Ghana Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. Other research projects hosted by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research contributed reagents and laboratory consumables. The funders had no role in the preparation of this manuscript.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Infection Control/methods , Population Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , Contact Tracing/methods , Contact Tracing/statistics & numerical data , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , National Health Programs , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
13.
Ghana Med J ; 54(4 Suppl): 52-61, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436195

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Since the declaration of COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a global pandemic on 11th March 2020, the number of deaths continue to increase worldwide. Reports on its pathologic manifestations have been published with very few from the Sub-Saharan African region. This article reports autopsies on COVID-19 patients from the Ga-East and the 37 Military Hospitals to provide pathological evidence for better understanding of COVID-19 in Ghana. Methods: Under conditions required for carrying out autopsies on bodies infected with category three infectious agents, with few modifications, complete autopsies were performed on twenty patients with ante-mortem and/or postmortem RT -PCR confirmed positive COVID-19 results, between April and June, 2020. Results: There were equal proportion of males and females. Thirteen (65%) of the patients were 55years or older with the same percentage (65%) having Type II diabetes and/or hypertension. The most significant pathological feature found at autopsy was diffuse alveolar damage. Seventy per cent (14/20) had associated thromboemboli in the lungs, kidneys and the heart. Forty per cent (6/15) of the patients that had negative results for COVID-19 by the nasopharyngeal swab test before death had positive results during postmortem using bronchopulmonary specimen. At autopsy all patients were identified to have pre-existing medical conditions. Conclusion: Diffuse alveolar damage was a key pathological feature of deaths caused by COVID-19 in all cases studied with hypertension and diabetes mellitus being major risk factors. Individuals without co-morbidities were less likely to die or suffer severe disease from SARS-CoV-2. Funding: None declared.


Subject(s)
Autopsy/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/pathology , Hospitals, Military/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Municipal/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Comorbidity , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/mortality , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/virology , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Hypertension/mortality , Hypertension/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Pulmonary Alveoli/pathology , Pulmonary Alveoli/virology , Risk Factors
14.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(9): e28005, 2021 09 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430613

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The clinical, laboratory, and imaging features of COVID-19 disease are variable. Multiple factors can affect the disease progression and outcome. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to analyze the clinical, laboratory, and imaging features of COVID-19 in Jordan. METHODS: Clinical, laboratory, and imaging data were collected for 557 confirmed COVID-19 patients admitted to Prince Hamzah Hospital (PHH), Jordan. Analysis was performed using appropriate statistical tests with SPSS version 24. RESULTS: Of the 557 COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive cases admitted to PHH, the mean age was 34.4 years (SD 18.95 years; range 5 weeks to 87 years), 86.0% (479/557) were male, 41% (29/70) were blood group A+, and 57.1% (93/163) were overweight or obese. Significant past medical history was documented in 25.9% (144/557), significant surgical history in 12.6% (70/557), current smoking in 14.9% (83/557), and pregnancy in 0.5% (3/557). The mean duration of hospitalization was 16.4 (SD 9.3; range 5 to 70) days; 52.6% (293/557) were asymptomatic, and 12.9% (72/557) had more than 5 symptoms, with generalized malaise and dry cough the most common symptoms. Only 2.5% (14/557) had a respiratory rate over 25 breaths/minute, and 1.8% (10/557) had an oxygen saturation below 85%. Laboratory investigations showed a wide range of abnormalities, with lymphocytosis and elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and D-dimer the most common abnormalities. Ground glass opacity was the most common imaging finding. Men had a significantly higher frequency of symptoms, incidence of smoking, reduced hemoglobin, increased monocyte %, elevated creatinine levels, and intensive care unit admissions compared with women (P<.05). Hospitalization duration was associated with increased age, male gender, symptom score, history of smoking, elevated systolic blood pressure, elevated respiratory rate, and elevated monocyte %, CRP, ESR, creatinine, and D-dimer (P<.05). CONCLUSIONS: Most COVID-19 cases admitted to PHH were asymptomatic. Variabilities in symptoms, signs, laboratory results, and imaging findings should be noted. Increased age, male gender, smoking history, and elevated inflammatory markers were significantly associated with longer duration of hospitalization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Jordan/epidemiology , Laboratories , Male , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , Young Adult
15.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(5): 2787-2794, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411002

ABSTRACT

African swine fever (ASF) is a severe haemorrhagic disease of domestic and wild pigs caused by the African swine fever virus (ASFV). In recent years, ASF has steadily spread towards new geographical areas, reaching Europe and Asia. On January 15th, 2019, Mongolia reported its first ASF outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), becoming, after China, the second country in the region affected by the disease. Following an event of unusual mortality in domestic pigs in Bulgan Province, a field team visited four farms and a meat market in the region to conduct an outbreak investigation and collect samples for laboratory analysis. Different organs were examined for ASF associated lesions, and total nucleic acid was extracted for real-time PCR, virus isolation and molecular characterization. The real-time PCR results confirmed ASFV DNA in 10 out of 10 samples and ASFV was isolated. Phylogenetic analysis established that ASFVs from Mongolia belong to genotype II and serogroup 8. The viruses were identical to each other, and to domestic pig isolates identified in China and Russia, based on the comparison of five genomic targets. Our results suggest a cross-border spread of ASFV, without indicating the source of infection.


Subject(s)
African Swine Fever Virus , African Swine Fever , Swine Diseases , African Swine Fever/epidemiology , African Swine Fever Virus/genetics , Animals , Genotype , Mongolia , Phylogeny , Sus scrofa , Swine
16.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(7): 254-257, 2021 Feb 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389863

ABSTRACT

Universal masking is one of the prevention strategies recommended by CDC to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1). As of February 1, 2021, 38 states and the District of Columbia had universal masking mandates. Mask wearing has also been mandated by executive order for federal property* as well as on domestic and international transportation conveyances.† Masks substantially reduce exhaled respiratory droplets and aerosols from infected wearers and reduce exposure of uninfected wearers to these particles. Cloth masks§ and medical procedure masks¶ fit more loosely than do respirators (e.g., N95 facepieces). The effectiveness of cloth and medical procedure masks can be improved by ensuring that they are well fitted to the contours of the face to prevent leakage of air around the masks' edges. During January 2021, CDC conducted experimental simulations using pliable elastomeric source and receiver headforms to assess the extent to which two modifications to medical procedure masks, 1) wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask (double masking) and 2) knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask where they attach to the mask's edges and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face (knotted and tucked masks), could improve the fit of these masks and reduce the receiver's exposure to an aerosol of simulated respiratory droplet particles of the size considered most important for transmitting SARS-CoV-2. The receiver's exposure was maximally reduced (>95%) when the source and receiver were fitted with modified medical procedure masks. These laboratory-based experiments highlight the importance of good fit to optimize mask performance. Until vaccine-induced population immunity is achieved, universal masking is a highly effective means to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2** when combined with other protective measures, such as physical distancing, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and good hand hygiene. Innovative efforts to improve the fit of cloth and medical procedure masks to enhance their performance merit attention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Humans , Masks/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology
17.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int ; 28(27): 35822-35829, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384554

ABSTRACT

This study aims to investigate the potential safety hazards and provide reference for improving the medical waste disposal procedure in SARS-CoV-2 testing laboratory. Our SARS-CoV-2 testing group detected the RNA residue on the surface of medical waste with Droplet Digital PCR, and held a meeting to discuss the risks in the laboratory medical waste disposal process. After effective autoclaving, SARS-CoV-2 contaminated on the surface of medical waste bags was killed, but the average concentration of viral RNA residues was still 0.85 copies/cm2. It would not pose a health risk, but might contaminate the laboratory and affect the test results. When the sterilized medical waste bags were transferred directly by the operators without hand disinfection, re-contamination would happen, which might cause the virus to leak out of the laboratory. Furthermore, we found that sterilization effect monitoring and cooperation among operators were also very important. In summary, we investigated and analyzed the potential safety hazards during the medical waste disposal process in SARS-CoV-2 testing laboratory, and provided reasonable suggestions to ensure the safety of medical waste disposal.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medical Waste Disposal , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Laboratories , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Virol J ; 18(1): 1, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388776

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Virus neutralization by antibodies is an important prognostic factor in many viral diseases. To easily and rapidly measure titers of neutralizing antibodies in serum or plasma, we developed pseudovirion particles composed of the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 incorporated onto murine leukemia virus capsids and a modified minimal murine leukemia virus genome encoding firefly luciferase. This assay design is intended for use in laboratories with biocontainment level 2 and therefore circumvents the need for the biocontainment level 3 that would be required for replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 virus. To validate the pseudovirion assay, we set up comparisons with other available antibody tests including those from Abbott, Euroimmun and Siemens, using archived, known samples. RESULTS: 11 out of 12 SARS-CoV-2-infected patient serum samples showed neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2-spike pseudotyped MLV viruses, with neutralizing titers-50 (NT50) that ranged from 1:25 to 1:1,417. Five historical samples from patients hospitalized for severe influenza infection in 2016 tested negative in the neutralization assay (NT50 < 25). Three serum samples with high neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2/MLV pseudoviruses showed no detectable neutralizing activity (NT50 < 25) against SARS-CoV-1/MLV pseudovirions. We also compared the semiquantitative Siemens SARS-CoV-2 IgG test, which measures binding of IgG to recombinantly expressed receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein with the neutralization titers obtained in the pseudovirion assay and the results show high concordance between the two tests (R2 = 0.9344). CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 spike/MLV pseudovirions provide a practical means of assessing neutralizing activity of antibodies in serum or plasma from infected patients under laboratory conditions consistent with biocontainment level 2. This assay offers promise also in evaluating immunogenicity of spike glycoprotein-based candidate vaccines in the near future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Leukemia/immunology , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virion/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Mice
19.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(3): ofab043, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387998

ABSTRACT

A comparison of rapid point-of-care serology tests using finger prick and venous blood was done on 278 participants. In a laboratory setting, immunoglobulin G (IgG) sensitivity neared 100%; however, IgG sensitivity dramatically dropped (82%) in field testing. Possible factors include finger prick volume variability, hemolysis, cassette readability, and operator training.

20.
Front Microbiol ; 11: 2020, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389203

ABSTRACT

Emerging highly pathogenic human coronaviruses (CoVs) represent a serious ongoing threat to the public health worldwide. The spike (S) proteins of CoVs are surface glycoproteins that facilitate viral entry into host cells via attachment to their respective cellular receptors. The S protein is believed to be a major immunogenic component of CoVs and a target for neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and most candidate vaccines. Development of a safe and convenient assay is thus urgently needed to determine the prevalence of CoVs nAbs in the population, to study immune response in infected individuals, and to aid in vaccines and viral entry inhibitor evaluation. While live virus-based neutralization assays are used as gold standard serological methods to detect and measure nAbs, handling of highly pathogenic live CoVs requires strict bio-containment conditions in biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) laboratories. On the other hand, use of replication-incompetent pseudoviruses bearing CoVs S proteins could represent a safe and useful method to detect nAbs in serum samples under biosafety level-2 (BSL-2) conditions. Here, we describe a detailed protocol of a safe and convenient assay to generate vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based pseudoviruses to evaluate and measure nAbs against highly pathogenic CoVs. The protocol covers methods to produce VSV pseudovirus bearing the S protein of the Middle East respiratory syndrome-CoV (MERS-CoV) and the severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2), pseudovirus titration, and pseudovirus neutralization assay. Such assay could be adapted by different laboratories and researchers working on highly pathogenic CoVs without the need to handle live viruses in the BSL-3 environment.

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