BBIBP-CorV vaccination accelerates anti-viral antibody responses in heterologous Omicron infection: A retrospective observation study in Shanghai.
OBJECTIVES To investigate how BBIBP-CorV vaccination affecting antibody responses upon heterologous Omicron infection. METHODS 440 Omicron-infected patients were recruited in this study. Antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) and nucleoprotein of both wild-type (WT) and Omicron were detected by ELISA. The clinical relevance was further analyzed. RESULTS BBIBP-CorV vaccinated patients exhibited higher anti-RBD IgG levels targeting both WT and Omicron than non-vaccinated patients at different stages. By using a 3-day moving average analysis, we found that BBIBP-CorV vaccinated patients exhibited the increases in both anti-WT and Omicron RBD IgG from the onset and reached the plateau at Day 8 whereas those in non-vaccinated patients remained low during the disease. Significant increase in anti-WT RBD IgA was observed only in vaccinated patients. anti-Omicron RBD IgA levels remained low in both vaccinated and non-vaccinated patients. Clinically, severe COVID-19 only occurred in non-vaccinated group. anti-RBD IgG and IgA targeting both WT and Omicron were negatively correlated with virus load, hospitalization days and virus elimination in vaccinated patients. CONCLUSIONS BBIBP-CorV vaccination effectively reduces the severity of Omicron infected patients. The existence of humoral memory responses established through BBIBP-CorV vaccination facilitates to induce rapid recall antibody responses when encountering SARS-CoV-2 variant infection.
Diagnosing the acute abdomen during a global contrast shortage: a single centre experience.
ANZ journal of surgery. 2023;(6):1599-1603
BACKGROUND The COVID-19 pandemic led to a global shortage of iodinated contrast media (ICM) in early 2022. ICM is used in more than half of the computed tomography of the abdomen and pelvis (CTAP) performed to diagnose an acute abdomen (AA). In response to the shortage, the RANZCR published contrast-conserving recommendations. This study aimed to compare AA diagnostic outcomes of non-contrast CTs performed before and during the shortage. METHODS A single-centre retrospective observational cohort study of all adult patients presenting with an AA who underwent a CTAP was conducted during the contrast shortage period from May to July 2022. The pre-shortage control comparison group was from January to March 2022; key demographics, imaging modality indication and diagnostic outcomes were collected and analysed using SPSS v27. RESULTS Nine hundred and sixty-two cases met the inclusion criteria, of which n = 502, 52.2% were in the shortage period group. There was a significant increase of 464% in the number of non-contrast CTAPs performed during the shortage period (P < 0.001). For the six AA pathologies, only n = 3, 1.8% of non-contrast CTAPs had equivocal findings requiring further imaging with a contrast CTAP. Of the total CTs performed, n = 464, 48.2% were negative. CONCLUSION This study showed that when non-contrast CTs are selected appropriately, they appear to be non-inferior to contrast-enhanced CTAPs in diagnosing acute appendicitis, colitis, diverticulitis, hernia, collection, and obstruction. This study highlights the need for further research into utilizing non-contrast scans for assessing the AA to minimize contrast-associated complications.
Safety of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) during the month of Ramadan in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Pakistani population-an observational study from a tertiary care center in Karachi.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Primary aim was to assess the safety of SGLT2-i in patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2D) in a real-life scenario during Ramadan by finding the frequency and severity of hypoglycemic/hyperglycemic events, dehydration, and Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Secondary aim was to assess changes in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), weight and creatinine levels. METHODS This prospective, observational, controlled cohort study was conducted at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan from March 15 to June 30, 2021. Participants were over 21 years of age, on stable doses of SGLT2-I, which was started at least 2 months before Ramadan. Endpoint assessments were done 1 month before and within 6 weeks after Ramadan. RESULTS Of 102 participants enrolled, 82 completed the study. Most (52%) were males, with mean age 52.2 ± 9.5 years and average duration of T2D 11.2 ± 6.5 years. 63% were on Empagliflozin (mean dose; 14.8 ± 7.2 mg/day) whereas 37% were on Dapagliflozin (mean dose; 8.2 ± 2.7 mg/day). Six (7.3%) documented symptoms of hypoglycemia. However, no episode of severe hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, dehydration, DKA, hospitalization or discontinuation of SGLT2i was reported. HbA1c changes were (7.7 ± 1.2% from 7.9 ± 2.3%, p 0.34), weight (78.4 ± 12.9 kgs from 78.9 ± 13.3, p 0.23) and eGFR (87.8 ± 27.9 from 94.3 ± 37.6, p < 0.001). The reasons of study participants drop outs were: six did not keep any fasts; four discontinued study participation for personal reasons; three were out of city and missed post Ramadan follow-up, two protocol violation and five could not be contacted for post-Ramadan follow up during the third wave of COVID-19. CONCLUSION Results showed the safety of SGLT2i agents during Ramadan in the Pakistani population recommending it as a treatment option in adults with T2D, without any additional adverse events.
Obstetric referrals, complications and health outcomes in maternity wards of large hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed methods study of six hospitals in Guinea, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.
BMJ open. 2023;(9):e076364
OBJECTIVES The COVID-19 pandemic affected provision and use of maternal health services. This study describes changes in obstetric complications, referrals, stillbirths and maternal deaths during the first year of the pandemic and elucidates pathways to these changes. DESIGN Prospective observational mixed-methods study, combining monthly routine data (March 2019-February 2021) and qualitative data from prospective semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed separately, triangulated during synthesis and presented along three country-specific pandemic periods: first wave, slow period and second wave. SETTING Six referral maternities in four sub-Saharan African countries: Guinea, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. PARTICIPANTS 22 skilled health personnel (SHP) working in the maternity wards of various cadres and seniority levels. RESULTS Percentages of obstetric complications were constant in four of the six hospitals. The percentage of obstetric referrals received was stable in Guinea and increased at various times in other hospitals. SHP reported unpredictability in the number of referrals due to changing referral networks. All six hospitals registered a slight increase in stillbirths during the study period, the highest increase (by 30%-40%) was observed in Uganda. Four hospitals registered increases in facility maternal mortality ratio; the highest increase was in Guinea (by 158%), which had a relatively mild COVID-19 epidemic. These increases were not due to mortality among women with COVID-19. The main pathways leading to these trends were delayed care utilisation and disruptions in accessing care, including sub-optimal referral linkages and health service closures. CONCLUSIONS Maternal and perinatal survival was negatively affected in referral hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa during COVID-19. Routine data systems in referral hospitals must be fully used as they hold potential in informing adaptations of maternal care services. If combined with information on women's and care providers' needs, this can contribute to ensuring continuation of essential care provision during emergency.
Clinical outcomes of aspergillosis among paediatric and adult inpatients: A multicentre study in a Brazilian metropolitan area.
Journal de mycologie medicale. 2023;(4):101435
BACKGROUND Invasive Aspergillosis (IA) is a disease of significant clinical relevance, especially among immunosuppressed patients, and is associated with high mortality rates. In this study, we evaluated the epidemiological features and clinical outcomes in children and adults with IA. METHODS This was an observational, multicentre, prospective surveillance study of inpatients with IA at two different hospitals in Campinas, Brazil, between 2018 and 2021. RESULTS A total of 44 patients were identified (54.5% males), with a median age of 42 years (interquartile range (IQR):19.25-59 years, varying between 1 and 89 years). The following baseline conditions were identified: 61.4% were oncohaematological patients and 20.5% were solid organ transplant recipients. Among oncohaematological patients, 77.8% exhibited severe or persistent neutropenia. The median time between the onset of neutropenia and the diagnosis of fungal infection was 20 days (IQR: 10.5-26 days; range, 0-68 days). The interval between neutropenia onset and fungal infection was longer in paediatric than in general hospital (average, 29 vs. 13.4 days; median 26 vs 11 days; p=0.010). After the diagnosis of IA, the survival rates were 44.2% and 30.0% at 180 and 360 days, respectively. Survival was greater in patients aged ≤ 21 years (p = 0.040; log-rank test). They observed no difference in IA mortality related to COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSION High mortality associated with IA was observed in both hospitals. Individuals over the age of 21 have a lower survival rate than younger patients.
Nutritional status of patients with COVID-19 1-y post-ICU stay: A prospective observational study.
Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.). 2023;:112025
OBJECTIVES Patients discharged from the intensive care unit (ICU) often experience physical complaints and poor nutritional intake, which negatively affect their nutritional status (NS). The aim of this study was to describe the NS of patients with COVID-19 1-y post-ICU stay. METHODS This was an observational study of adult patients with COVID-19 1-y post-ICU stay. NS assessment (nutrient balance, body composition, and physical status) was performed. We examined nutritional intake and nutrition-related complaints. Nutritional requirements were determined with indirect calorimetry and body composition with bioelectrical impedance. Fat-free mass index (FFMI) and fat mass index (FMI) were calculated. Physical status was determined using handgrip strength, the 6-min walk test, and the 1-min sit-to-stand test. Descriptive statistics and paired sample t tests were used for analysis. RESULTS We included 48 patients (73% men; median age 60 y [IQR 52;65]). Median weight loss during the ICU stay was 13%. One-y post-ICU stay, 12% of weight was regained. Median body mass index was 26 kg/m2 and 23% of the patients were obese (body mass index >30 kg/m2 and high FMI). Of the patients, 50% had high FMI and 19% had low FFMI. Median reported nutritional intake was 90% of measured resting energy expenditure. Nutrition-related complaints were seen in 16%. Percentages of normal values reached in physical tests were 92% of handgrip strength, 95% of 6-min walking distance, and 79% of 1-min sit-to-stand test. CONCLUSIONS Despite almost fully regained weight and good physical recovery in adult patients 1-y post-ICU stay, NS remained impaired because of elevated FMI, even though reported nutritional intake was below the estimated requirements.
Homeopathic Medicines in Second Wave of COVID-19: Prognostic Factor Research.
Homeopathy : the journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy. 2023;(1):12-21
BACKGROUND The clinical profile and course of COVID-19 evolved perilously in a second wave, leading to the use of various treatment modalities that included homeopathy. This prognostic factor research (PFR) study aimed to identify clinically useful homeopathic medicines in this second wave. METHODS This was a retrospective, multi-centred observational study performed from March 2021 to May 2021 on confirmed COVID-19 cases who were either in home isolation or at COVID Care Centres in Delhi, India. The data were collected from integrated COVID Care Centres where homeopathic medicines were prescribed along with conventional treatment. Only those cases that met a set of selection criteria were considered for analysis. The likelihood ratio (LR) was calculated for the frequently occurring symptoms of the prescribed medicines. An LR of 1.3 or greater was considered meaningful. RESULTS Out of 769 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported, 514 cases were selected for analysis, including 467 in home isolation. The most common complaints were cough, fever, myalgia, sore throat, loss of taste and/or smell, and anxiety. Most cases improved and there was no adverse reaction. Certain new symptoms, e.g., headache, dryness of mouth and conjunctivitis, were also seen. Thirty-nine medicines were prescribed, the most frequent being Bryonia alba followed by Arsenicum album, Pulsatilla nigricans, Belladonna, Gelsemium sempervirens, Hepar sulphuris, Phosphorus, Rhus toxicodendron and Mercurius solubilis. By calculating LR, the prescribing indications of these nine medicines were ascertained. CONCLUSION Add-on use of homeopathic medicines has shown encouraging results in the second wave of COVID-19 in integrated care facilities. Further COVID-related research is required to be undertaken on the most commonly prescribed medicines.
Effectiveness of kumquat decoction for the improvement of cough caused by SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants, a multicentre, prospective observational study.
Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology. 2023;:155008
BACKGROUND Kumquat decoction is a traditional Chinese medicine formula and has been widely used to alleviate the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related cough in China. However, the effectiveness and safety of kumquat decoction remain unclear. PURPOSE To assess the effectiveness and safety of kumquat decoction for COVID-19-related cough. STUDY DESIGN A multicentre, prospective observational study. METHODS We enrolled consecutive patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 from December 31, 2022, to January 3, 2023, during the Omicron phase in Yangshuo County, China. The primary outcome was the time from study baseline to sustained cough resolution by the last follow-up day on January 31, 2023. The effectiveness was evaluated by Cox proportional hazards models based on propensity score analyses. The secondary outcomes were the resolution of cough and other COVID-19-related symptoms by Days 3, 5, and 7. RESULTS Of 1434 patients, 671 patients were excluded from the analysis of cough resolution. Among the remaining 763 patients, 481 (63.04%) received kumquat decoction, and 282 (36.96%) received usual care. The median age was 38.0 (interquartile range [IQR] 29.0, 50.0) years, and 55.7% were women. During a median follow-up of 7.000 days, 68.2% of patients in the kumquat group achieved sustained cough resolution (93.77 per 1000 person-days) compared to 39.7% in the usual care group (72.94 per 1000 person-days). The differences in restricted mean survival time (RMST) (kumquat decoction minus usual care group) for cough resolution were -0.742 days (95% CI, -1.235 to -0.250, P = 0.003) on Day 7. In the main analysis using propensity-score matching, the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for cough resolution (kumquat decoction vs. usual care group) was 1.94 (95% CI, 1.48 to 2.53, P < 0.001). Similar findings were found in multiple sensitivity analyses. In addition, the use of kumquat decoction was associated with the resolution of cough, and a stuffy nose on Days 5 and 7, as well as the resolution of sore throat on Day 7 following medication. CONCLUSION In this study among patients with COVID-19-related cough, receiving kumquat decoction was associated with an earlier resolution of cough symptoms.
COVID-19 symptoms and antibody positivity among unvaccinated pregnant women: An observational study in seven countries from the Global Network.
BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology. 2023;:140-148
OBJECTIVE To determine the relation of COVID-19 symptoms to COVID-19 antibody positivity among unvaccinated pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). DESIGN COVID-19 infection status measured by antibody positivity at delivery was compared with the symptoms of COVID-19 in the current pregnancy in a prospective, observational cohort study in seven LMICs. SETTING The study was conducted among women in the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health's Maternal and Newborn Health Registry (MNHR), a prospective, population-based study in Kenya, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Bangladesh, Pakistan, India (Belagavi and Nagpur sites) and Guatemala. POPULATION Pregnant women enrolled in the ongoing pregnancy registry at study sites. METHODS Data on COVID-19 symptoms during the current pregnancy were collected by trained staff between October 2020 and June 2022. COVID-19 antibody testing was performed on samples collected at delivery. The relation between COVID-19 antibody positivity and symptoms was assessed using generalised linear models with a binomial distribution adjusting for site and symptoms. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES COVID-19 antibody status and symptoms of COVID-19 among pregnant women. RESULTS Among 19 218 non-vaccinated pregnant women who were evaluated, 14.1% of antibody-positive women had one or more symptoms compared with 13.4% in antibody-negative women. Overall, 85.3% of antibody-positive women reported no COVID-19 symptoms during the present pregnancy. Reported fever was significantly associated with antibody status (relative risk [RR] 1.10, 95% CI 1.03-11.18; P = 0.008). A multiple variable model adjusting for site and all eight symptoms during pregnancy showed similar results (RR 1.13, 95% CI 1.04-1.23; P = 0.012). None of the other symptoms was significantly related to antibody positivity. CONCLUSIONS In a population-based cohort in LMICs, unvaccinated pregnant women who were antibody-positive had slightly more symptoms during their pregnancy and a small but significantly greater increase in fever. However, for prevalence studies, evaluating COVID-19-related symptoms does not appear to be useful in differentiating pregnant women who have had a COVID-19 infection.
Impact of Type of Enteral Feeds on Early Postoperative Outcomes After Congenital Heart Surgery in Neonates and Young Infants: A Single Center Experience in a Limited Resource Environment.
World journal for pediatric & congenital heart surgery. 2023;(3):300-306
Background: Breast milk is known to prevent infections and is recommended for enteral feeding of infants after congenital heart surgery (CHS). During the Covid-19 pandemic, expressed breast milk (EBM) was not always available; hence, feeding after CHS was maintained with EBM or infant formula (IF) or both; we evaluated the impact of enteral feed type on early postoperative outcomes after CHS. Methods: In a prospective observational study, consecutive neonates and infants <4 months undergoing CHS were divided into EBM, IF, or EBM+IF groups; incidences of postoperative infections, ventilation duration, intensive care unit (ICU) stay, and mortality were studied. Results: Among 270 patients; 90 (33.3%) received EBM, 89 (32.9%) received IF, and 91 (33.7%) received EBM+IF. IF group had more neonates (78.7%[IF] vs 42.2%[EBM] and 52.7%[EBM+IF], P < 0.001) and greater surgical complexity. Postoperative infections were 9 (10.0%) in EBM; 23 (25.8%) in IF; and 14 (15.4%) in EBM+IF (P = .016). IF group (OR 2.58 [1.05-6.38], P = .040), absence of preoperative feeding (OR 6.97 [1.06-45.97], P = .040), and increase in cardiopulmonary bypass time (OR 1.005 [1.001-1.010], P = .027) were associated with postoperative infection. Ventilation duration in hours was 26 (18-47.5) in EBM; 47 (28-54.5) in IF; and 40 (17.5-67) in EBM+IF (P = .004). ICU stay in days was 4 (3-7) in EBM; 6 (5-9) in IF; and 5 (3-9) in EBM+IF (P = .001). Mortality did not differ (P = .556). Conclusion: IF group had a greater proportion of neonates with higher surgical complexity. Patients who received EBM after CHS had fewer postoperative infections and better postoperative outcomes compared to those receiving IF or EBM+IF.