Clin Infect Dis
BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCW) serving on the front lines of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have been at increased risk for infection due to SARS-CoV-2 in some settings. Healthcare-acquired infection has been reported in similar epidemics, but there are limited data on the prevalence of COVID-19 among HCWs and their associated clinical outcomes in the United States. METHODS: We established two high-throughput employee testing centers in Seattle, Washington with drive-through and walk-through options for symptomatic employees in the University of Washington Medicine system and its affiliated organizations. Using data from these testing centers, we report the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among symptomatic employees and describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes among employees with COVID-19. RESULTS: Between March 12 and April 23, a total of 3,477 symptomatic employees were tested for COVID-19 at two employee testing centers; 185 (5.3%) employees tested positive for COVID-19. The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was similar when comparing frontline HCWs (5.2%) to non-frontline staff (5.5%). Among 174 positive employees reached for follow-up at least 14 days after diagnosis, 6 reported COVID-related hospitalization; all recovered. CONCLUSIONS: During the study period, we observed that the prevalence of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests among symptomatic HCWs was comparable to that of symptomatic non-frontline staff. Reliable and rapid access to testing for employees is essential to preserve the health, safety, and availability of the healthcare workforce during this pandemic and to facilitate the rapid return of SARS-CoV-2 negative employees to work.
Ann Intern Med
Increasingly, public-health agencies are using pathogen genomic sequence data to support surveillance and epidemiological investigations. As access to whole-genome sequencing has grown, greater amounts of molecular data have helped improve the ability to detect and track outbreaks of diseases such as COVID-19, investigate transmission chains and explore large-scale population dynamics, such as the spread of antibiotic resistance. However, the wide adoption of whole-genome sequencing also poses new challenges for public-health agencies that must adapt to support a new set of expertise, which means that the capacity to perform genomic data assembly and analysis has not expanded as widely as the adoption of sequencing itself. In this Perspective, we make recommendations for developing an accessible, unified informatic ecosystem to support pathogen genomic analysis in public-health agencies across income settings. We hope that the creation of this ecosystem will allow agencies to effectively and efficiently share data, workflows and analyses and thereby increase the reproducibility, accessibility and auditability of pathogen genomic analysis while also supporting agency autonomy.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has spread globally, with >52,000 cases in California as of May 4, 2020. Here we investigate the genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Northern California from late January to mid-March 2020, using samples from 36 patients spanning 9 counties and the Grand Princess cruise ship. Phylogenetic analyses revealed the cryptic introduction of at least 7 different SARS-CoV-2 lineages into California, including epidemic WA1 strains associated with Washington State, with lack of a predominant lineage and limited transmission between communities. Lineages associated with outbreak clusters in 2 counties were defined by a single base substitution in the viral genome. These findings support contact tracing, social distancing, and travel restrictions to contain SARS-CoV-2 spread in California and other states.
Clin Infect Dis
Using data for 20,912 patients from two large academic health systems, we analyzed the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test-discordance among individuals initially testing negative by nasopharyngeal swab who were retested on clinical grounds within 7 days. The frequency of subsequent positivity within this window was 3.5% and similar across institutions.
Br J Haematol
Genome editing therapies represent a significant advancement in next-generation, precision medicine for the management of haematological diseases, and CRISPR/Cas9 has to date been the most successful implementation platform. From discovery in bacteria and archaea over three decades ago, through intensive basic research and pre-clinical development phases involving the modification of therapeutically relevant cell types, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing is now being investigated in ongoing clinic trials. Despite the widespread enthusiasm brought by this new technology, significant challenges remain before genome editing can be routinely recommended and implemented in the clinic. These include risks of genotoxicity resulting from off-target DNA cleavage or chromosomal rearrangement, and suboptimal efficacy of homology-directed repair editing strategies, which thus limit therapeutic options. Practical hurdles such as high costs and inaccessibility to patients outside specialised centres must also be addressed. Future improvements in this rapidly developing field should circumvent current limitations with novel editing platforms and with the simplification of clinical protocols using in vivo delivery of editing reagents.
Clin Infect Dis
BACKGROUND: Limited evidence suggests that the non-hormonal contraceptive copper intrauterine device (Cu-IUD) may increase bacterial vaginosis (BV) risk, possibly due to increased volume and duration of menses, a common side effect of Cu-IUD use. While increases in bleeding typically resolve within 6-12 months following initiation, evaluations of the association between Cu-IUD and BV have not included more than six months of follow-up. METHODS: This secondary analysis of an HIV-1 prevention trial included 2,585 African women ages 18-45 followed for up to 33 months. Women reported contraceptive use each month. BV was evaluated by Nugent score in six-monthly intervals and, if clinically indicated, by Amsel's criteria. Andersen-Gill proportional hazards models were used to (1) evaluate BV risk among Cu-IUD users relative to women using no/another non-hormonal contraceptive and (2) test changes in BV frequency before, while using, and following Cu-IUD discontinuation. RESULTS: BV frequency was highest among Cu-IUD users at 153.6 episodes per 100 person-years (95% CI: 145.2, 162.4). In adjusted models, Cu-IUD users experienced 1.28-fold (95% CI: 1.12, 1.46) higher BV risk relative to women using no/another non-hormonal contraception. Compared to the six months prior to initiation, BV risk was 1.52-fold (95% CI: 1.16, 2.00) higher in the first six months of Cu-IUD use and remained elevated over eighteen months of use (p<0.05). Among women who discontinued Cu-IUD, BV frequency was similar to pre-initiation rates within one year. CONCLUSIONS: Cu-IUD users experienced elevated BV risk that persisted throughout use. Women and their providers may wish to consider BV risk when discussing contraceptive options.
ABSTRACT The inability to access health services when needed is a critical barrier to HIV prevention, treatment and care among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW). Using data collected in HPTN 075, we explored factors associated with any experienced healthcare-related stigma. HPTN 075 was a cohort study to assess the feasibility of recruiting and retaining MSM and TGW in clinical trials in sub-Saharan Africa. Of 401 MSM and TGW enrolled at four sites (Kisumu, Kenya; Blantyre, Malawi; Cape Town, Soweto, South Africa) 397 contributed to the analysis (79.9% cis-gender and 20.1% TGW). Of these, (45.3%; 180/397) reported one or more of healthcare-related stigma experiences. Most frequently reported experiences included fear to seek healthcare services (36.3%) and avoiding seeking such services because of the discovery of MSM status (29.2%). Few men and TGW (2.5%) reported having been denied health services because of having sex with men. In multivariable analysis, more participants in Soweto [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.60] and fewer participants in Blantyre (AOR = 0.27) reported any healthcare-related stigma experiences, in comparison to participants in Kisumu. MSM and TGW that did not have a supportive gay community to rely on were more likely to report any healthcare-related stigma experiences (AOR = 1.46), whereas MSM and TGW who reported high social support and who never had engaged in transactional sex were less likely to report such experiences (AOR = 0.76 and AOR = 0.43, respectively). Our results suggest that encouraging support groups for MSM and TGW as well as training and sensitizing healthcare staff, and the general community, on MSM and TGW health issues and cultural competence may reduce stigma, improve access to healthcare, which could ultimately reduce HIV transmission.
OBJECTIVES: Primary Objective To test the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) (400 mg orally daily for 3 days then 200 mg orally daily for an additional 11 days, to complete 14 days) to prevent incident SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to ascorbic acid among contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection Secondary objectives To determine the safety and tolerability of HCQ as SARS-CoV-2 Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in adults To test the efficacy of HCQ (400 mg orally daily for 3 days then 200 mg orally daily for an additional 11 days, to complete 14 days) to prevent incident SARS-CoV-2 infection 2 weeks after completing therapy, compared to ascorbic acid among contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection To test the efficacy of HCQ to shorten the duration of SARS-CoV-2 shedding among those with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the HCQ PEP group To test the efficacy of HCQ to prevent incident COVID-19 TRIAL DESIGN: This is a randomized, multi-center, placebo-equivalent (ascorbic acid) controlled, blinded study of HCQ PEP for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in adults exposed to the virus. PARTICIPANTS: This study will enroll up to 2000 asymptomatic adults 18 to 80 years of age (inclusive) at baseline who are close contacts of persons with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 or clinically suspected COVID-19 and a pending SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. This multisite trial will be conducted at seven sites in Seattle (UW), Los Angeles (UCLA), New Orleans (Tulane), Baltimore (UMB), New York City (NYU), Syracuse (SUNY-Upstate), and Boston (BMC). Inclusion criteria Participants are eligible to be included in the study only if all of the following criteria apply: 1.Men or women 18 to 80 years of age inclusive, at the time of signing the informed consent2.Willing and able to provide informed consent3.Had a close contact of a person (index) with known PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection or index who is currently being assessed for COVID-19 Close contact is defined as: a.Household contact (i.e., residing with the index case in the 14 days prior to index diagnosis or prolonged exposure within a residence/vehicle/enclosed space without maintaining social distance)b.Medical staff, first responders, or other care persons who cared for the index case without personal protection (mask and gloves)4.Less than 4 days since last exposure (close contact with a person with SARS-CoV-2 infection) to the index case5.Access to device and internet for Telehealth visits6.Not planning to take HCQ in addition to the study medication Exclusion criteria Participants are excluded from the study if any of the following criteria apply: 1.Known hypersensitivity to HCQ or other 4-aminoquinoline compounds2.Currently hospitalized3.Symptomatic with subjective fever, cough, or shortness of breath4.Current medications exclude concomitant use of HCQ5.Concomitant use of other anti-malarial treatment or chemoprophylaxis, including chloroquine, mefloquine, artemether, or lumefantrine.6.History of retinopathy of any etiology7.Psoriasis8.Porphyria9.Known bone marrow disorders with significant neutropenia (polymorphonuclear leukocytes <1500) or thrombocytopenia (<100 K)10.Concomitant use of digoxin, cyclosporin, cimetidine, amiodarone, or tamoxifen11.Known moderate or severe liver disease12.Known long QT syndrome13.Severe renal impairment14.Use of any investigational or non-registered drug or vaccine within 30 days preceding the first dose of the study drugs or planned use during the study period INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Households will be randomized 1:1 (at the level of household), with close contact participants receiving one of the following therapies: HCQ 400 mg orally daily for 3 days then 200 mg orally daily for an additional 11 days Placebo-like control (ascorbic acid) 500 mg orally daily for 3 days then 250 mg orally daily for 11 days MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary outcome of the study is the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection through day 14 among participants who are SARS-CoV-2 negative at baseline by randomization group. RANDOMISATION: Participants will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to HCQ or ascorbic acid at the level of the household (all eligible participants in 1 household will receive the same intervention). The randomization code and resulting allocation list will be generated and maintained by the Study Statistician. The list will be blocked and stratified by site and contact type (household versus healthcare worker). BLINDING (MASKING): This is a blinded study. HCQ and ascorbic acid will appear similar, and taste will be partially masked as HCQ can be bitter and ascorbic acid will be sour. The participants will be blinded to their randomization group once assigned. Study team members, apart from the Study Pharmacist and the unblinded statistical staff, will be blinded. Laboratory staff are blinded to the group allocation. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): The sample size for the study is N=2 000 participants randomized 1:1 to either HCZ (n=1 000) and ascorbic acid (n=1 000). TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version: 1.2 05 April 2020 Recruitment is ongoing, started March 31 and anticipated end date is September 30, 2020. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, Protocol Registry Number: NCT04328961 Date of registration: April 1, 2020, retrospectively registered FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.