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Oncology ◽  
2021 ◽  
Giuseppe Di Lorenzo ◽  
Mario Iervolino ◽  
Ferdinando Primiano ◽  
Maurizio D'Ambrosio ◽  
Concetta Ingenito ◽  

Introduction: Cancer aggravates COVID-19 prognosis. Nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is particularly frequent in cancer patients, who need to attend hospitals regularly. Since March, 2020, all cancer patients having access to the Oncology Unit at the “Andrea Tortora” Hospital (Pagani, Salerno - referred to as “the Hospital”) as inpatients or outpatients receiving intravenous therapy have been screened for SARS-CoV-2 using RT-PCR nasal swab. The ongoing COICA (COVID-19 Infection in Cancer Patients) study is an ambispective, multicenter, observational study designed to assess the prognosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cancer patients. The aim of the study presented here was to explore potential differences in COVID-19 related outcomes among screening-detected vs. non-screening detected SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. Methods: The COICA study enrolled cancer patients who had received any anti-cancer systemic therapy within 3 months since the day they tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on RT-PCR. The target accrual is 128 patients, and the study was approved by the competent Ethics Committee. Only the sub-group of patients enrolled at the Hospital was considered in this unplanned interim analysis. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association of screening-based vs. non screening based diagnosis. Results: Since March, 15 2020 until August, 15 2021, a total of 931 outpatients and 230 inpatients were repeatedly screened for SARS-CoV-2 using RT-PCR nasal swab at the Hospital. Among these, 71 asymptomatic patients were positive on routine screening and five patients were positive for SARS-CoV-2 outside the institutional screening. Seven patients died because of COVID-19. At univariate analysis, non-screening vs. screening detected SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with significantly higher odds of O2 Therapy (OR= 16.2; 95% CI =2.2 to 117.1; p =0.006),hospital admission (OR=31.5; 95% CI=3.1 to 317.8; p=0.003 ), admission to ICU (OR=23.0; 95% CI = 2.4 to 223.8; p= 0.007) and Death (OR=8.8; 95%CI= 1.2 to 65.5; p =0.034). Conclusion: Routine screening with RT-PCR may represent a feasible and effective strategy in reducing viral circulation and possibly COVID-19 mortality in patients with active cancer having repeated access to hospital facilities.

2021 ◽  
pp. 2979-2983
Hamong Suharsono ◽  
Ali Ghufron Mukti ◽  
Ketut Suryana ◽  
I. Wayan Masa Tenaya ◽  
Dilasdita Kartika Pradana ◽  

Background and Aim: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute infectious respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has spread rapidly globally, resulting in a pandemic. In humans, the main routes of transmission are respiratory droplets and close contact with infected individuals or through contact with an object infected with the virus, followed by touching mouth, nose, or eyes. It is assumed that SARS-CoV-2 was originated in wild animals and was then transmitted to humans. Although some wildlife and domestic animals can be naturally or experimentally infected with the virus, the intermediate hosts that transmitted it to humans are still unknown. Understanding the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 associated with possible zoonotic transmission of intermediate hosts is considered critical. Reportedly, cats or dogs living with COVID-19-positive humans tested positive for the disease, suggesting that the virus was transmitted to the animals from humans. Information regarding the epidemiological investigation and comprehensive studies is limited. Therefore, it is still unclear how high is the correlation of infection in humans and pet animals, especially those living together. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the pets of patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized at the Wangaya hospital, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Materials and Methods: A total of seven clinically asymptomatic pets (six dogs of different races and sexes and a cat [age, 360-2920 days]) were included in this study. These animals belonged to patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection from August to November 2020. Nasal swab and nasopharyngeal samples were collected from the pets individually under anesthetic condition and were collected 6-12 days after confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in owners and hospitalization at the Wangaya Hospital. The swab samples were then processed for RNA isolation and tested using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2, in accordance with the World Health Organization manual 2020. Results: RT-PCR results for all seven RNA samples, prepared from the swab samples, were negative. For the samples, all PCR products were below the threshold limit, suggesting no genetic material belonging to the samples tested. Conclusion: This was the first preliminary study of COVID-19 on pets in pandemic using RT-PCR. The study tested a very limited quantity of samples, and all of them were negative. However, the way in which the samples were prepared was considered appropriate. Therefore, in further studies, testing of more samples of pets of more individuals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection is required.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Paula Rofes ◽  
Marta Pineda ◽  
Lídia Feliubadaló ◽  
Mireia Menéndez ◽  
Rafael de Cid ◽  

AbstractCase–control studies have shown an association of BARD1 with hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer (HBOC) predisposition. BARD1 alternatively spliced isoforms are abundant and some are highly expressed in different cancer types. In addition, a number of BARD1 germline pathogenic variants have been reported among HBOC patients. In previous reports, BARD1 c.1977A>G variant has been classified as pathogenic since it produces a frameshift transcript lacking exons 2 to 9. In the present study, we sought to validate the mRNA splicing results previously published and to contribute with new evidence to refine the classification of this substitution according to ACMG/AMP guidelines. The presence of the variant was screened in patients and controls. RT-PCR was performed in order to compare the transcriptional profiles of two variant carriers and ten non-carrier controls. In addition, allele-specific expression was assessed. No differences in variant frequency were detected between patients and controls. The RNA assay confirmed the presence of the shorter transcript lacking exons 2–9, but it was detected both in carriers and non-carriers. Furthermore, allelic imbalance was discarded and no significant differences in the proportion of full-length and shorter transcript were detected between carriers and controls. The shorter transcript detected corresponds to BARD1 isoform η, constituted by exons 1, 10 and 11. Our results support that this transcript is a constitutive splicing product rather than an aberrant transcript caused by BARD1 c.1977A>G variant, and for this reason this variant should be considered as likely benign following ACMG/AMP guidelines.

Mohammad Ashraful Amin ◽  
Md. Taufiqul Islam ◽  
Ishtiakul Islam Khan ◽  
Zahid Hasan Khan ◽  
Firdausi Qadri ◽  

Bangladesh recently faced large outbreaks of both COVID-19 and Dengue fever. A 28-year-old woman suffered from symptoms including hemoptysis as first presentation followed by high-grade fever, sore throat, and fatigue. SARS-CoV-2 was confirmed by RT-PCR and also diagnosed dengue later on.COVID-19 and dengue fever could be a harmful combination.

2021 ◽  
In Bum Suh ◽  
Jaegyun Lim ◽  
Hyo Seon Kim ◽  
Guil Rhim ◽  
Heebum Kim ◽  

Rapid and accurate detection of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is essential for the successful control of the current global COVID-19 pandemic. The real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (Real-time RT-PCR) is the most widely used detection technique. This research describes the development of two novel multiplex real-time RT-PCR kits, AccuPower ® COVID-19 Multiplex Real-Time RT-PCR Kit (NCVM) specifically designed for use with the ExiStation ™48 system (comprised of ExiPrep ™48 Dx and Exicycler ™96 by BIONEER, Korea) for sample RNA extraction and PCR detection, and AccuPower ® SARS-CoV-2 Multiplex Real-Time RT-PCR Kit (SCVM) designed to be compatible with manufacturers` on-market PCR instruments. The limit of detection (LoD) of SCVM was 2 copies/µ L and the LoD of the NCVM was 120 copies/mL for both the gene and the SARS-CoV-2 gene (N gene and RdRp gene). The AccuPower ® kits demonstrated high precision with no cross reactivity to other respiratory-related microorganisms. The clinical performance of AccuPower ® kits was evaluated using the following clinical samples: sputum and nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swab (NPS/OPS) samples. Overall agreement of the AccuPower ® kits with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved emergency use authorized commercial kit (STANDARD ™ M nCoV Real-Time Detection kit, SD BIOSENSOR, Korea) was above 95% (Cohen`s kappa coefficient ≥ 0.95), with a sensitivity of over 95%. The NPS/OPS specimen pooling experiment was conducted to verify the usability of AccuPower ® kits on pooled samples and the results showed greater than 90% agreement with individual NPS/OPS samples. The clinical performance of AccuPower ® kits with saliva samples was also compared with NPS/OPS samples and demonstrated over 95% agreement (Cohen`s kappa coefficient > 0.95). This study shows the BIONEER NCVM and SCVM assays are comparable with the current standard confirmation assay and are suitable for effective clinical management and control of SARS-CoV-2.

BMJ ◽  
2021 ◽  
pp. e067873 ◽  
Ariel Israel ◽  
Eugene Merzon ◽  
Alejandro A Schäffer ◽  
Yotam Shenhar ◽  
Ilan Green ◽  

Abstract Objectives To determine whether time elapsed since the second injection of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was significantly associated with the risk of covid-19 infection after vaccination in people who received two vaccine injections. Design Test negative design study. Setting Electronic health records of a large state mandated healthcare organisation, Israel. Participants Adults aged ≥18 years who had received a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test between 15 May 2021 and 17 September 2021, at least three weeks after their second vaccine injection, had not received a third vaccine injection, and had no history of covid-19 infection. Main outcome measures Positive result for the RT-PCR test. Individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and controls were matched for week of testing, age category, and demographic group (ultra-orthodox Jews, individuals of Arab ancestry, and the general population). Conditional logistic regression was adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic status, and comorbid conditions. Results 83 057 adults received an RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 during the study period and 9.6% had a positive result. Time elapsed since the vaccine injection was significantly longer in individuals who tested positive (P<0.001). Adjusted odds ratio for infection at time intervals >90 days since vaccination were significantly increased compared with the reference of <90 days: 2.37 (95% confidence interval 1.67 to 3.36) for 90-119 days, 2.66 (1.94 to 3.66) for 120-149 days, 2.82 (2.07 to 3.84) for 150-179 days, and 2.82 (2.07 to 3.85) for ≥180 days (P<0.001 for each 30 day interval). Conclusions In this large population of adults tested for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR after two doses of mRNA BNT162b2 vaccine, a gradual increase in the risk of infection was seen for individuals who received their second vaccine dose after at least 90 days.

Plant Disease ◽  
2021 ◽  
Ashwini Kumar ◽  
Bichhinna Maitri Rout ◽  
Shakshi Choudhary ◽  
Amish K. Sureja ◽  
V. K. Baranwal ◽  

Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata), a member of the family Cucurbitaceae, is widely cultivated throughout the world including India. During August 2020 to January 2021, stunted pumpkin plants (cv. Pusa Vishwas), showing chlorotic patches, mosaic, and vein banding on leaves (e-Xtra Fig.1), were observed in the experimental fields of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, India. Leaf-dip electron microscopy (EM) of the symptomatic plants (12 out of 37 samples) revealed the association of long flexuous virus particles measuring 650-950nm×10-12nm, suggestive of the presence of either crinivirus or potyvirus or both. Subsequently, a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed on RNA extracted from the samples that had long flexuous virus particles using generic primers for criniviruses i.e. CriniPol-F: GCY CCS AGR GTK AAT GA and CriniPol-R: ACC TTG RGA YTT RTC AAA targeting partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase coding region (Martin et al. 2003) and specific primers for papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) targeting a part of 3’ NIb and full coat protein (CP) gene (Basavaraj et al., 2019) separately. All tested samples were positive for both crinivirus and PRSV as expected size amplicons were obtained, accounting for about 32% prevalence. As PRSV is a well-studied virus infecting cucurbits, further work was not carried on this virus and only the RT-PCR amplicon indicative of crinivirus (~515 bp) was cloned into the pGEM-T easy cloning vector (Promega, Madison, WI) and sequenced for further confirmation of the virus presence. The obtained sequence (GenBank accession No MZ318672) shared up to 90% nucleotide and 100% amino acid sequence identity with the corresponding genomic region of a cucurbit chlorotic yellows virus (CCYV) isolate from Greece (LT841297). To confirm the identity of the crinivirus species present in the same pumpkin sample, the CP gene (753bp) was amplified and sequenced using CCYV CP gene-specific primers CP-F (5’-ATG GAG AAG ACY GAC AAT AAA CAA AAT GAT GA-3’) and CP-R (5’-TTA TTT ACT ACA ACC TCC CGG TGC CAA C-3’) (modified from Kheireddine et al. 2020). Sequence analysis using the BioEdit tool (version 2.0) revealed that the crinivirus present in pumpkin (KC577202) shared 95 to 100% nucleotide (and 98 to 100% amino acid) sequence identity with the corresponding gene sequences of CCYV isolates originating from cucurbitaceous hosts from diverse locations. The presence of CCYV was further validated by a whitefly transmission-based bioassay followed by RT-PCR confirmation. The bioassay was performed by the whitefly species Bemisia tabaci (biotype Asia II7) using the acquisition access period and inoculation access period of 24 hours each. Six whitefly individuals per plant were used for inoculating ten pumpkin plants (cv. Pusa Vishwas) at the first true leaf stage grown in pots containing soilrite as the medium in insect-proof cages. All ten plants inoculated using whiteflies exhibited chlorosis and stunting symptoms 12-15 days post-inoculation (e-Xtra Fig.2) and were found positive for CCYV in RT-PCR assay performed using CCYV CP gene-specific primers. Though CCYV had been reported worldwide (Tzanetakis et al. 2013), its occurrence had not been reported from India. Results of the present study confirm the infection of pumpkin plants by CCYV and constitute the first report of its presence in India. Further, there is a need to investigate the extent of its spread and impact of this virus on the production of cucurbitaceous crops in the country.

F1000Research ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 10 ◽  
pp. 123
Maysaa El Sayed Zaki ◽  
Raghdaa Shrief ◽  
Rasha H. Hassan

Background: Sapovirus has emerged as a viral cause of acute gastroenteritis. However, there is limited data on sapovirus in Egypt. . The present study aimed to evaluate the presence of sapovirus in children with acute gastroenteritis <5 years in Mansoura, Egypt from January 2019 to February 2020 by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Methods: The cross-sectional study enrolled a 100 children <5 years who presented with acute gastroenteritis at an outpatient clinic in Mansoura, Egypt between January 2019 and February 2020. Clinical data, demographic data and a stool sample was collected from each child. Stools were screened by microscopy for parasites and culture methods for bacteria and excluded from the study if positive for either. Specimens were also screened for rotavirus by enzyme immune assays (EIA) and sapovirus by reverse transcription PCR. Results: The most frequently detected virus was rotavirus by ELISA 25% (25/100). RT-PCR detected sapovirus in 7% (7/100) of the stool samples. The children with sapovirus were all from rural regions and presented mainly during the winter season in Egypt 42.9% (3/7). The main presenting symptoms were fever 71.4% (5/7) and vomiting 57.1% (4/7). None of the children with sapovirus had dehydration. Rotavirus was significantly associated with sapovirus infections in  five samples (5/7) , 71.4%, P=0.01. Conclusion: The present study highlights the emergence of sapovirus as a frequent pathogen associated with acute gastroenteritis in children. There is a need for a national survey program for the study of sapovirus among other pathogens associated with acute gastroenteritis for better management of such infection.

2021 ◽  
Vol 37 (4) ◽  
pp. 256-262
Kristen L. Burkhalter ◽  
Michael O'Keefe ◽  
Zachary Holbert-Watson ◽  
Theodore Green ◽  
Harry M. Savage ◽  

ABSTRACT Although the specific cDNA amplification mechanisms of reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and RT loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) are very different, both molecular assays serve as options to detect arboviral RNA in mosquito pools. Like RT-PCR, RT-LAMP uses a reverse transcription step to synthesize complementary DNA (cDNA) from an RNA template and then uses target-specific primers to amplify cDNA to detectable levels in a single-tube reaction. Using laboratory-generated West Nile virus (WNV) samples and field-collected mosquito pools, we evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of a commercially available WNV real-time RT-LAMP assay (Pro-AmpRT™ WNV; Pro-Lab Diagnostics, Inc., Round Rock, Texas) and compared the results to a validated real-time RT-PCR assay. Laboratory generated virus stock samples containing ≥ 2.3 log10 plaque-forming units (PFU)/ml and intrathoracically inoculated mosquitoes containing ≥ 2.4 log10 PFU/ml produced positive results in the Pro-AmpRT WNV assay. Of field-collected pools that were WNV positive by real-time RT-PCR, 74.5% (70 of 94) were also positive by the Pro-AmpRT WNV assay, resulting in an overall Cohen's kappa agreement of 79.4% between the 2 tests. The Pro-AmpRT WNV assay shows promise as a suitable virus screening tool for vector surveillance programs provided agencies are aware of its characteristics and limitations.

2021 ◽  
Serkan Surme ◽  
Gulsah Tuncer ◽  
Betul Copur ◽  
Esra Zerdali ◽  
Inci Yilmaz Nakir ◽  

Background: We aimed to compare the clinical, laboratory and radiological findings of confirmed COVID-19 and unconfirmed patients. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective study. Results: Overall, 620 patients (338 confirmed COVID-19 and 282 unconfirmed) were included. Confirmed COVID‐19 patients had higher percentages of close contact with a confirmed or probable case. In univariate analysis, the presence of myalgia and dyspnea, decreased leukocyte, neutrophil and platelet counts were best predictors for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positivity. Multivariate analyses revealed that only platelet count was an independent predictor for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positivity. Conclusion: Routine complete blood count may be helpful for distinguishing COVID-19 from other respiratory illnesses at an early stage, while PCR testing is unique for the diagnosis of COVID-19.

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