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Adam D. A guide to R — the pandemic’s misunderstood metric. Nature News. 03 July 2020. Full-text: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02009-w
Nice article about what R, the reproduction number, can and can’t tell us about managing COVID-19. Politicians seem to have embraced R with enthusiasm but it’s far more important to watch for clusters of cases and to set up comprehensive systems to test people, trace their contacts and isolate those infected, than to look at R.
Pollán M, Pérez-Gómez B, Pastor-Barriuso R, et al. Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Spain (ENE-COVID): a nationwide, population-based seroepidemiological study. The Lancet 2020, July 06, 2020. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31483-5
The vast majority (95%) of the Spanish population is seronegative, even in hotspot areas. In this nationwide, representative study, 61,075 participants were tested. Seroprevalence was 5·0% (95% CI 4.7–5.4) by the point-of-care test and 4.6% (4.3–5.0) by immunoassay, with a lower seroprevalence in children younger than 10 years (< 3.1% by the point-of-care test). There was high geographical variability, with higher prevalence around Madrid (> 10%) and lower in coastal areas (< 3%).
Eckerle I, Meyer B. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in COVID-19 hotspots. The Lancet July 06, 2020. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31482-3
Comment on these findings. Most of the population appears to have remained unexposed to SARS-CoV-2, even in areas with widespread virus circulation. Any proposed approach to achieve herd immunity through natural infection is not only highly unethical, but also unachievable. With a large majority of the population being infection-naïve, virus circulation can quickly return to early pandemic dimensions in a second wave once measures are lifted.
Schmidt M, Hoehl S, Berger A, et al. Novel multiple swab method enables high efficiency in SARS-CoV-2 screenings without loss of sensitivity for screening of a complete population. Transfusion. 2020 Jul 6. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32627200. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1111/trf.15973
The authors present a novel alternate multiple swab protocol that is based on incubation of a respiratory swab first in a single-sample tube, and then again in a multiple-sample tube. No significant difference in the amount of virus was detected by NAT in the single-sample or multiple-swab tube. The novel protocol was able to reduce the total number of required NAT tests by up to 80%, without loss of diagnostic sensitivity.
Tadic M, Cuspidi C, Grassi G, Mancia G. COVID-19 and arterial hypertension: Hypothesis or evidence? J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2020 Jul 6. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32627330. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1111/jch.13925
Hypertension has been proven to be more prevalent in patients with an adverse outcome. So far, there is no study that demonstrates the independent predictive value of hypertension on mortality in COVID‐19 patients. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the relationship between hypertension and COVID‐19 and the role of hypertension on outcome in these patients.
Kollias A, Kyriakoulis KG, Stergiou GS, Syrigos K. Heterogeneity in reporting venous thromboembolic phenotypes in COVID-19: Methodological issues and clinical implications. Br J Haematol. 2020 Jul 4. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32621757. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16993
Some thoughts about the heterogeneity in the reported VTE risk as well as in the thromboembolic phenotypes of COVID-19 patients (isolated DVT, isolated pulmonary embolism/thrombosis, concurrent DVT and pulmonary embolism/thrombosis). It might be suggested that variation in VTE accounts for this heterogeneity: characteristics of the patients include well-established risk factors for VTE, hospitalization conditions and interventions as well as SARS-CoV-2 specific factors.
Nightingale R, Nwosu N, Kutubudin F, et al. Is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) a new standard of care for type 1 respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients? A retrospective observational study of a dedicated COVID-19 CPAP service. BMJ Open Respir Res. 2020 Jul;7(1):e000639. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32624495. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjresp-2020-000639
Small retrospective study of 24 patients. According to the authors, with careful patient selection and close monitoring, CPAP can be a successful treatment strategy in critically ill patients with type 1 respiratory failure in COVID-19, and that it can be safely deployed outside the critical care environment.
Li L, Tong X, Chen H, et al. Characteristics and serological patterns of COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors: optimal donors and timing of donation. Transfusion. 2020 Jul 6. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32627216. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1111/trf.15918
When is the best time to donate plasma? In 49 donors, S‐RBD‐specific and N‐specific IgG antibodies increased after 4 weeks from the onset of symptoms, with no significant correlation to age, sex, or ABO blood type. Donors with disease presentation of fever exceeding 38.5°C or lasting longer than 3 days exhibited higher levels of S‐RBD‐specific IgG antibodies at the time of donation. The authors recommend the following selection criteria for optimal donation of COVID‐19 convalescent plasma: 28 days after the onset of symptoms and with a disease presentation of fever lasting longer than 3 days or a body temperature exceeding 38.5°C. Selection based on these criteria can ensure a high likelihood of achieving sufficiently high S‐RBD‐specific IgG titers.
Della-Torre E, Campochiaro C, Cavalli G, et al. Interleukin-6 blockade with sarilumab in severe COVID-19 pneumonia with systemic hyperinflammation: an open-label cohort study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2020 Jul 3. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32620597. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-218122
Open-label study of sarilumab (a recombinant human IL-6Rα antagonist) in severe COVID-19 pneumonia with hyperinflammation. Sarilumab 400 mg was administered intravenously in addition to standard of care to 28 patients and results were compared with 28 contemporary matched patients treated with standard of care alone. At day 28, 61% of patients treated with sarilumab experienced clinical improvement and 7% died. These findings were not significantly different from the comparison group. However, sarilumab was associated with faster recovery in a subset of patients showing minor lung consolidation at baseline.
Gao J, Li W, Hu X, et al. Disappearance of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Infants Born to Women with COVID-19, Wuhan, China. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 3;26(10). PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32620180. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2610.202328
First study on detection and decline over time of antibodies in infants born to women with COVID-19. Among the 24 infants born to women with COVID-19, 15 (62.5%) had detectable IgG and 6 (25.0%) had detectable IgM; nucleic acid test results were all negative. Among 11 infants tested at birth, all had detectable IgG and 5 had detectable IgM. IgG titers with positive IgM declined more slowly than those without.