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  • COVID-19

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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Michael Axenhus; Kristian Steen Frederiksen; Robin Ziyue Zhou; Gunhild Waldemar; Bengt Winblad;
    Country: Denmark

    Abstract Introduction Significant mortality amongst vulnerable populations, such as people living with dementia, might go undetected during pandemic conditions due to refocus of care efforts. There is an urgent need to fully evaluate the pandemic impact on mortality amongst people living with dementia in order to facilitate future healthcare reforms and prevent deaths. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was any significant difference in mortality amongst people with dementia without COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous years. Methods A literature search was conducted in 5 databases. The relative risk ratio and confidence interval was used to estimate the change in mortality rates amongst people with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic. The I2 value was used to assess heterogeneity, publication bias, and sensitivity analyses were performed. Results Pooled analysis of 11 studies showed that mortality amongst people living with dementia was significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic for people with dementia without COVID-19. Mortality risk increased by 25% during the time period studied. Subgroup analysis was not performed due the low number of included studies. Conclusions The results of this study suggest that people with dementia had a significant increased mortality during the pandemic even if they did not have COVID-19. People with dementia should participate in efforts that reduce general social spread and pandemic impact on healthcare system such as vaccinations, mask mandates, and testing. These results have clinical implications as preventing direct COVID-19 infection is not enough to adequately protect people living with dementia from increased mortality. Measures to limit social spread of infections and help support patients should also be a focus for clinicians. Further research should focus on the identification of mechanisms and other explanations for increased mortality as well as contributing factors such as living in care homes and differences between countries with various pandemic strategies.

  • Publication . Article . 2022
    Open Access
    Authors: 
    Nielsen, Nete Munk; Junker, Thor Grønborg; Cohen, Arieh S.; Munger, Kassandra L.; Stenager, Egon; Ascherio, Alberto; Boding, Lasse; Hviid, Anders;
    Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
    Country: Denmark

    AbstractWe explored the association between COVID-19 severity and vitamin D status using information from Danish nation-wide health registers, the COVID-19 surveillance database and stored blood samples from the national biobank. 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) was measured using tandem mass spectroscopy. The association between 25(OH)D levels and COVID-19 severity, classified hierarchical as non-hospitalized, hospitalized but not admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), admitted to ICU, and death, was evaluated by proportional odds ratios (POR) assuming proportionality between the four degrees of severity. Among 447 adults tested SARS-CoV-2 positive in the spring of 2020, low levels of 25(OH)D were associated with a higher risk of severe COVID-19. Thus, odds of experiencing more severe COVID-19 among individuals with insufficient (25 to < 50 nmol/L) and sufficient (≥ 50 nmol/L) 25(OH)D levels were approximately 50% of that among individuals with deficient levels (< 25 nmol/L) (POR = 0.49 (95% CI 0.25–0.94), POR = 0.51 (95% CI 0.27–0.96), respectively). Dividing sufficient vitamin D levels into 50 to < 75 nmol/L and ≥ 75 nmol/L revealed no additional beneficial effect of higher 25(OH)D levels. In this observational study, low levels of 25(OH)D were associated with a higher risk of severe COVID-19. A possible therapeutic role of vitamin D should be evaluated in well-designed interventional studies.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Eric Lyimo; Cyrielle Fougeroux; Anangisye Malabeja; Joyce Mbwana; Paul M. Hayuma; Edwin Liheluka; Louise Turner; Samwel Gesase; Thomas Lavstsen; John P. A. Lusingu; +2 more
    Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
    Country: Denmark

    Abstract Background African countries stand out globally as the region seemingly least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. Besides a younger population and potential pre-existing immunity to a SARS-CoV-2-like virus, it has been hypothesized that co-infection or recent history of Plasmodium falciparum malaria may be protective of COVID-19 severity and mortality. The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, however, may be vastly undercounted. Very little is known about the extent to which the Tanzanian population has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Here, we investigated the seroprevalence of IgG to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in two Tanzanian rural communities 1½ years into the pandemic and the association of coinciding malaria infection and exposure. Methods During a malariometric survey in July 2021 in two villages in north-eastern Tanzania, blood samples were taken from 501 participants (0–19 years old). Malaria was detected by mRDT and microscopy. Levels of IgG against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 were measured by ELISA as well as IgG against five different antigens of P. falciparum; CIDRα1.1, CIDRα1.4 and CIDRα1.5 of PfEMP1 and GLURP and MSP3. Results The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG was 39.7% (106/267) in Kwamasimba and 32.5% (76/234) in Mkokola. In both villages the odds of being seropositive increased significantly with age (AOR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.07–1.17, p < 0.001). P. falciparum malaria prevalence by blood smear microscopy was 7.9% in Kwamasimba and 2.1% in Mkokola. 81.3% and 70.5% in Kwamasimba and Mkokola, respectively, showed recognition of minimum one malaria antigen. Residing in Kwamasimba was associated with a broader recognition (AOR = 1.91, 95% CI 1.34–2.71, p < 0.001). The recognition of malaria antigens increased significantly with age in both villages (AOR = 1.12; 95% CI 1.08–1.16, p < 0.001). Being SARS-CoV-2 seropositive did not associate with the breadth of malaria antigen recognition when adjusting for age (AOR = 0.99; 95% CI 0.83–1.18; p = 0.91). Conclusion More than a third of the children and adolescents in two rural communities in Tanzania had antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. In particular, the adolescents were seropositive but being seropositive did not associate with the status of coinciding malaria infections or previous exposure. In Tanzania, natural immunity may have developed fast, potentially protecting a substantial part of the population from later variants.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Silje Rebekka Heltveit-Olsen; Lene Lunde; Anja Maria Brænd; Ivan Spehar; Sigurd Høye; Ingmarie Skoglund; Pär-Daniel Sundvall; Guro Haugen Fossum; Jørund Straand; Mette Bech Risør;
    Country: Denmark
  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Robert Böhm; Cornelia Betsch; Yana Litovsky; Philipp Sprengholz; Noel Brewer; Gretchen B. Chapman; Julie Leask; George Loewenstein; Martha Scherzer; Cass R. Sunstein; +1 more
    Publisher: Center for Open Science
    Country: Denmark

    SummaryBackgroundCOVID-19 booster vaccine uptake rates are behind the rate of primary vaccination in many countries. Governments and non-governmental institutions rely on a range of interventions aiming to increase booster uptake. Yet, little is known how experts and the general public evaluate these interventions.MethodsWe applied a novel crowdsourcing approach to provide rapid insights on the most promising interventions to promote uptake of COVID-19 booster vaccines. In the first phase (December 2021), international experts (n = 78 from 17 countries) proposed 46 unique interventions. To reduce noise and potential bias, in the second phase (January 2022), experts (n = 307 from 34 countries) and representative general population samples from the UK (n = 299) and the US (n = 300) rated the proposed interventions on several evaluation criteria, including effectiveness and acceptability, on a 5-point Likert-type scale.FindingsSanctions were evaluated as potentially most effective but least accepted. Evaluations by expert and general population samples were considerably aligned. Interventions that received the most positive evaluations regarding both effectiveness and acceptability across evaluation groups were: a day off work after getting vaccinated, financial incentives, tax benefits, promotional campaigns, and mobile vaccination teams.InterpretationThe results provide useful insights to help governmental and non-governmental institutions in their decisions about which interventions to implement. Additionally, the applied crowdsourcing method may be used in future studies to retrieve rapid insights on the comparative evaluation of (health) policies.FundingThis study received funding from the Austrian Science Fund (SFB F63) and the University of Vienna.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Maria Overvad; Anders Koch; Bente Jespersen; Finn Gustafsson; Tyra Grove Krause; Christian Holm Hansen; Steen Ethelberg; Niels Obel;
    Country: Denmark

    The risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, hospitalization and death, and the effects of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) is still debated. We performed a nationwide, population-based, matched cohort study, including all Danish SOTRs (n = 5184) and a matched cohort from the general population (n = 41 472). Cox regression analyses were used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs). SOTRs had a slightly increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and were vaccinated earlier than the general population. The overall risk of hospital contact with COVID-19, severe COVID-19, need for assisted respiration, and hospitalization followed by death was substantially higher in SOTRs (IRR: 32.8 95%CI [29.0-37.0], 9.2 [6.7-12.7], 12.5 [7.6-20.8], 12.4 [7.9-12.7]). The risk of hospitalization and death after SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased substantially in SOTRs after the emergence of the Omicron variant (IRR: 0.45 [0.37-0.56], 0.17 [0.09-0.30]). Three vaccinations reduced the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection only marginally compared to two vaccinations, but SOTRs with three vaccinations had a lower risk of death (IRR: 022 [0.16-0.35]). We conclude that SOTRs have a risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection comparable to the general population, but substantially increased the risk of hospitalization and death following SARS-CoV-2 infection. A third vaccination only reduces the risk of SARS-CoV2 infection marginally, but SOTRs vaccinated 3 times have reduced mortality.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Berg-Beckhoff, G.; Bask, Miia; Jervelund, S. S.; Guldager, J. D.; Quickfall, A.; Rabiee Khan, F.; Oddsson, G.; van der Wel, K. A.; Sarasjärvi, K. K.; Olafsdottir, S.; +3 more
    Countries: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium

    Understanding predictors of adherence to governmental measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 is fundamental to guide health communication. This study examined whether political stringency and infection rates during the first wave of the pandemic were associated with higher education students' adherence to COVID-19 government measures in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden) and the United Kingdom. Both individual- and country-level data were used in present study. An international cross-sectionalsubsample (n = 10,345) of higher-education students was conducted in May–June 2020 to collect individual-level information on socio-demographics, study information, living arrangements, health behaviors, stress, and COVID-19-related concerns, including adherence to government measures. Country-level data on political stringency from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker and national infection rates were added to individual-level data. Multiple linear regression analyses stratified by country were conducted. Around 66% of students reported adhering to government measures, with the highest adherence in the UK (73%) followed by Iceland (72%), Denmark (69%), Norway (67%), Finland (64%) and Sweden (49%). Main predictors for higher adherence were older age, being femaleand being worried about getting infected with COVID-19 (individual-level), an increase in number of days since lockdown, political stringency, and information about COVID-19 mortality rates (country-level). However, incidence rate was an inconsistent predictor, which may be explained by imperfect data quality during the onset of the pandemic. We conclude that shorter lockdown periods and political stringency are associated with adherence to government measures among higher education students at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Peer reviewed

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Krause, Robert; Snyman, Jumari; Shi-Hsia, Hwa; Muema, Daniel; Karim, Farina; Ganga, Yashica; Ngoepe, Abigail; Zungu, Yenzekile; Gazy, Inbal; Bernstein, Mallory; +13 more
    Country: Denmark
    Project: WT

    Background:HIV infection dysregulates the B cell compartment, affecting memory B cell formation and the antibody response to infection and vaccination. Understanding the B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 in people living with HIV (PLWH) may explain the increased morbidity, reduced vaccine efficacy, reduced clearance, and intra-host evolution of SARS-CoV-2 observed in some HIV-1 coinfections.Methods:We compared B cell responses to COVID-19 in PLWH and HIV negative (HIV-ve) patients in a cohort recruited in Durban, South Africa, during the first pandemic wave in July 2020 using detailed flow cytometry phenotyping of longitudinal samples with markers of B cell maturation, homing, and regulatory features.Results:This revealed a coordinated B cell response to COVID-19 that differed significantly between HIV-ve and PLWH. Memory B cells in PLWH displayed evidence of reduced germinal centre (GC) activity, homing capacity, and class-switching responses, with increased PD-L1 expression, and decreased Tfh frequency. This was mirrored by increased extrafollicular (EF) activity, with dynamic changes in activated double negative (DN2) and activated naïve B cells, which correlated with anti-RBD-titres in these individuals. An elevated SARS-CoV-2-specific EF response in PLWH was confirmed using viral spike and RBD bait proteins.Conclusions:Despite similar disease severity, these trends were highest in participants with uncontrolled HIV, implicating HIV in driving these changes. EF B cell responses are rapid but give rise to lower affinity antibodies, less durable long-term memory, and reduced capacity to adapt to new variants. Further work is needed to determine the long-term effects of HIV on SARS-CoV-2 immunity, particularly as new variants emerge.Funding:This work was supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust to the Africa Health Research Institute (Wellcome Trust Strategic Core Award [grant number 201433/Z/16/Z]). Additional funding was received from the South African Department of Science and Innovation through the National Research Foundation (South African Research Chairs Initiative [grant number 64809]), and the Victor Daitz Foundation.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Pitt, Bertram; Agarwal, Rajiv; Anker, Stefan D.; Ruilope, Luis M.; Rossing, Peter; Ahlers, Christiane; Brinker, Meike; Joseph, Amer; Lambelet, Marc; Lawatscheck, Robert; +1 more
    Country: Denmark

    ImportancePatients with chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing pneumonia as well as an increased risk of severe COVID-19–associated adverse events and mortality. Therefore, the anti-inflammatory effects of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists via blockade of the mineralocorticoid receptor may alter the risk of pneumonia and COVID-19–associated adverse events in patients with chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.ObjectiveTo evaluate whether the selective, nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist finerenone is associated with protection against pneumonia and COVID-19 adverse events in patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.Design, Setting, and ParticipantsThis secondary analysis used patient-level data from FIDELITY, a prespecified pooled analysis of 2 multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, event-driven, phase 3 randomized clinical trials: FIDELIO-DKD and FIGARO-DKD, conducted between September 2015 and February 2021. Patients in FIDELIO-DKD or FIGARO-DKD with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease (urine albumin to creatine ratio, 30-5000 mg/g, estimated glomerular filtration rate ≥25 mL/min/1.73 m2) were assessed. Data were analyzed from May 15, 2021, to July 28, 2022.ExposurePatients were randomized to finerenone (10 or 20 mg once daily) or matching placebo.Main Outcomes and MeasuresThe main outcomes were investigator-reported incidences of treatment-emergent infective pneumonia adverse events and serious adverse events (during and up to 3 days after treatment) and any COVID-19 adverse events.ResultsOf 13 026 randomized patients (mean [SD] age, 64.8 [9.5] years; 9088 [69.8%] men), 12 999 were included in the FIDELITY safety population (6510 patients receiving finerenone; 6489 patients receiving placebo). Over a median (range) treatment duration of 2.6 (0-5.1) years, finerenone was consistently associated with reduced risk of pneumonia and serious pneumonia vs placebo. Overall, 307 patients (4.7%) treated with finerenone and 434 patients (6.7%) treated with placebo experienced pneumonia (hazard ratio [HR], 0.71; 95% CI, 0.64-0.79; P &amp;lt; .001). Serious pneumonia occurred in 171 patients (2.6%) treated with finerenone and 250 patients (3.9%) treated with placebo (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.60-0.79; P &amp;lt; .001). Incidence proportions of COVID-19 adverse events were 86 patients (1.3%) in the finerenone group and 118 patients (1.8%) in the placebo group (HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.60-0.89; P = .002).Conclusions and RelevanceThese findings suggest that mineralocorticoid receptor blockade with finerenone was associated with protection against pneumonia and COVID-19 adverse events in patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Further clinical studies may be warranted.Trial RegistrationClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: FIDELIO-DKD: NCT02540993; FIGARO-DKD: NCT02545049

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Astrid Brink Hundebøll; Stine Rosenstrøm; Magnus Thorsten Jensen; Ulrik Dixen;
    Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    Country: Denmark

    Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a rapid shift towards telephone consultations (TC) in the out-patient clinic setting with little knowledge of the consequences. The aims of this study were to evaluate patient-centred experiences with TC, to describe patterns in clinical outcomes from TC and to pinpoint benefits and drawbacks associated with this type of consultations. Methods This mixed methods study combined an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. A quantitative, retrospective observational study was conducted employing data from all 248 patients who received TC at an out-patient cardiology clinic during April 2020 with a one-month follow-up. Semi-structured interviews were conducted; Ten eligible patients were recruited from the outpatient clinic by purposive sampling. Results Within the follow-up period, no patients died or were acutely hospitalised. Approximately one in every four patients was transferred to their general practitioner, while the remaining three-quarter of the patients had a new examination or a new consultation planned. The cardiologist failed to establish contact with more than a fifth of the patients, often due to missing phone numbers. Ten patients were interviewed. Five themes emerged from the interviews: 1) Knowing an estimated time of the consultation is essential for patient satisfaction, 2) TC are well perceived when individually adapted, 3) TC can be a barrier to patient questions, 4) Video consultations should only be offered to patients who request it, and 5) Prescriptions or instructions made via TC do not cause uncertainty in patients. Conclusions The TC program was overall safe and the patients felt comfortable. Crucial issues include precise time planning, the patient’s availability on the phone and a correct phone number. Patients stressed that TC are unsuitable when addressing sensitive topics. A proposed visitation tool is presented.

Advanced search in Research products
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The following results are related to COVID-19. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
788 Research products, page 1 of 79
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Michael Axenhus; Kristian Steen Frederiksen; Robin Ziyue Zhou; Gunhild Waldemar; Bengt Winblad;
    Country: Denmark

    Abstract Introduction Significant mortality amongst vulnerable populations, such as people living with dementia, might go undetected during pandemic conditions due to refocus of care efforts. There is an urgent need to fully evaluate the pandemic impact on mortality amongst people living with dementia in order to facilitate future healthcare reforms and prevent deaths. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was any significant difference in mortality amongst people with dementia without COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous years. Methods A literature search was conducted in 5 databases. The relative risk ratio and confidence interval was used to estimate the change in mortality rates amongst people with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic. The I2 value was used to assess heterogeneity, publication bias, and sensitivity analyses were performed. Results Pooled analysis of 11 studies showed that mortality amongst people living with dementia was significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic for people with dementia without COVID-19. Mortality risk increased by 25% during the time period studied. Subgroup analysis was not performed due the low number of included studies. Conclusions The results of this study suggest that people with dementia had a significant increased mortality during the pandemic even if they did not have COVID-19. People with dementia should participate in efforts that reduce general social spread and pandemic impact on healthcare system such as vaccinations, mask mandates, and testing. These results have clinical implications as preventing direct COVID-19 infection is not enough to adequately protect people living with dementia from increased mortality. Measures to limit social spread of infections and help support patients should also be a focus for clinicians. Further research should focus on the identification of mechanisms and other explanations for increased mortality as well as contributing factors such as living in care homes and differences between countries with various pandemic strategies.

  • Publication . Article . 2022
    Open Access
    Authors: 
    Nielsen, Nete Munk; Junker, Thor Grønborg; Cohen, Arieh S.; Munger, Kassandra L.; Stenager, Egon; Ascherio, Alberto; Boding, Lasse; Hviid, Anders;
    Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
    Country: Denmark

    AbstractWe explored the association between COVID-19 severity and vitamin D status using information from Danish nation-wide health registers, the COVID-19 surveillance database and stored blood samples from the national biobank. 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) was measured using tandem mass spectroscopy. The association between 25(OH)D levels and COVID-19 severity, classified hierarchical as non-hospitalized, hospitalized but not admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), admitted to ICU, and death, was evaluated by proportional odds ratios (POR) assuming proportionality between the four degrees of severity. Among 447 adults tested SARS-CoV-2 positive in the spring of 2020, low levels of 25(OH)D were associated with a higher risk of severe COVID-19. Thus, odds of experiencing more severe COVID-19 among individuals with insufficient (25 to < 50 nmol/L) and sufficient (≥ 50 nmol/L) 25(OH)D levels were approximately 50% of that among individuals with deficient levels (< 25 nmol/L) (POR = 0.49 (95% CI 0.25–0.94), POR = 0.51 (95% CI 0.27–0.96), respectively). Dividing sufficient vitamin D levels into 50 to < 75 nmol/L and ≥ 75 nmol/L revealed no additional beneficial effect of higher 25(OH)D levels. In this observational study, low levels of 25(OH)D were associated with a higher risk of severe COVID-19. A possible therapeutic role of vitamin D should be evaluated in well-designed interventional studies.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Eric Lyimo; Cyrielle Fougeroux; Anangisye Malabeja; Joyce Mbwana; Paul M. Hayuma; Edwin Liheluka; Louise Turner; Samwel Gesase; Thomas Lavstsen; John P. A. Lusingu; +2 more
    Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
    Country: Denmark

    Abstract Background African countries stand out globally as the region seemingly least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. Besides a younger population and potential pre-existing immunity to a SARS-CoV-2-like virus, it has been hypothesized that co-infection or recent history of Plasmodium falciparum malaria may be protective of COVID-19 severity and mortality. The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, however, may be vastly undercounted. Very little is known about the extent to which the Tanzanian population has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Here, we investigated the seroprevalence of IgG to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in two Tanzanian rural communities 1½ years into the pandemic and the association of coinciding malaria infection and exposure. Methods During a malariometric survey in July 2021 in two villages in north-eastern Tanzania, blood samples were taken from 501 participants (0–19 years old). Malaria was detected by mRDT and microscopy. Levels of IgG against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 were measured by ELISA as well as IgG against five different antigens of P. falciparum; CIDRα1.1, CIDRα1.4 and CIDRα1.5 of PfEMP1 and GLURP and MSP3. Results The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG was 39.7% (106/267) in Kwamasimba and 32.5% (76/234) in Mkokola. In both villages the odds of being seropositive increased significantly with age (AOR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.07–1.17, p < 0.001). P. falciparum malaria prevalence by blood smear microscopy was 7.9% in Kwamasimba and 2.1% in Mkokola. 81.3% and 70.5% in Kwamasimba and Mkokola, respectively, showed recognition of minimum one malaria antigen. Residing in Kwamasimba was associated with a broader recognition (AOR = 1.91, 95% CI 1.34–2.71, p < 0.001). The recognition of malaria antigens increased significantly with age in both villages (AOR = 1.12; 95% CI 1.08–1.16, p < 0.001). Being SARS-CoV-2 seropositive did not associate with the breadth of malaria antigen recognition when adjusting for age (AOR = 0.99; 95% CI 0.83–1.18; p = 0.91). Conclusion More than a third of the children and adolescents in two rural communities in Tanzania had antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. In particular, the adolescents were seropositive but being seropositive did not associate with the status of coinciding malaria infections or previous exposure. In Tanzania, natural immunity may have developed fast, potentially protecting a substantial part of the population from later variants.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Silje Rebekka Heltveit-Olsen; Lene Lunde; Anja Maria Brænd; Ivan Spehar; Sigurd Høye; Ingmarie Skoglund; Pär-Daniel Sundvall; Guro Haugen Fossum; Jørund Straand; Mette Bech Risør;
    Country: Denmark
  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Robert Böhm; Cornelia Betsch; Yana Litovsky; Philipp Sprengholz; Noel Brewer; Gretchen B. Chapman; Julie Leask; George Loewenstein; Martha Scherzer; Cass R. Sunstein; +1 more
    Publisher: Center for Open Science
    Country: Denmark

    SummaryBackgroundCOVID-19 booster vaccine uptake rates are behind the rate of primary vaccination in many countries. Governments and non-governmental institutions rely on a range of interventions aiming to increase booster uptake. Yet, little is known how experts and the general public evaluate these interventions.MethodsWe applied a novel crowdsourcing approach to provide rapid insights on the most promising interventions to promote uptake of COVID-19 booster vaccines. In the first phase (December 2021), international experts (n = 78 from 17 countries) proposed 46 unique interventions. To reduce noise and potential bias, in the second phase (January 2022), experts (n = 307 from 34 countries) and representative general population samples from the UK (n = 299) and the US (n = 300) rated the proposed interventions on several evaluation criteria, including effectiveness and acceptability, on a 5-point Likert-type scale.FindingsSanctions were evaluated as potentially most effective but least accepted. Evaluations by expert and general population samples were considerably aligned. Interventions that received the most positive evaluations regarding both effectiveness and acceptability across evaluation groups were: a day off work after getting vaccinated, financial incentives, tax benefits, promotional campaigns, and mobile vaccination teams.InterpretationThe results provide useful insights to help governmental and non-governmental institutions in their decisions about which interventions to implement. Additionally, the applied crowdsourcing method may be used in future studies to retrieve rapid insights on the comparative evaluation of (health) policies.FundingThis study received funding from the Austrian Science Fund (SFB F63) and the University of Vienna.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Maria Overvad; Anders Koch; Bente Jespersen; Finn Gustafsson; Tyra Grove Krause; Christian Holm Hansen; Steen Ethelberg; Niels Obel;
    Country: Denmark

    The risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, hospitalization and death, and the effects of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) is still debated. We performed a nationwide, population-based, matched cohort study, including all Danish SOTRs (n = 5184) and a matched cohort from the general population (n = 41 472). Cox regression analyses were used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs). SOTRs had a slightly increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and were vaccinated earlier than the general population. The overall risk of hospital contact with COVID-19, severe COVID-19, need for assisted respiration, and hospitalization followed by death was substantially higher in SOTRs (IRR: 32.8 95%CI [29.0-37.0], 9.2 [6.7-12.7], 12.5 [7.6-20.8], 12.4 [7.9-12.7]). The risk of hospitalization and death after SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased substantially in SOTRs after the emergence of the Omicron variant (IRR: 0.45 [0.37-0.56], 0.17 [0.09-0.30]). Three vaccinations reduced the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection only marginally compared to two vaccinations, but SOTRs with three vaccinations had a lower risk of death (IRR: 022 [0.16-0.35]). We conclude that SOTRs have a risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection comparable to the general population, but substantially increased the risk of hospitalization and death following SARS-CoV-2 infection. A third vaccination only reduces the risk of SARS-CoV2 infection marginally, but SOTRs vaccinated 3 times have reduced mortality.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Berg-Beckhoff, G.; Bask, Miia; Jervelund, S. S.; Guldager, J. D.; Quickfall, A.; Rabiee Khan, F.; Oddsson, G.; van der Wel, K. A.; Sarasjärvi, K. K.; Olafsdottir, S.; +3 more
    Countries: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium

    Understanding predictors of adherence to governmental measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 is fundamental to guide health communication. This study examined whether political stringency and infection rates during the first wave of the pandemic were associated with higher education students' adherence to COVID-19 government measures in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden) and the United Kingdom. Both individual- and country-level data were used in present study. An international cross-sectionalsubsample (n = 10,345) of higher-education students was conducted in May–June 2020 to collect individual-level information on socio-demographics, study information, living arrangements, health behaviors, stress, and COVID-19-related concerns, including adherence to government measures. Country-level data on political stringency from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker and national infection rates were added to individual-level data. Multiple linear regression analyses stratified by country were conducted. Around 66% of students reported adhering to government measures, with the highest adherence in the UK (73%) followed by Iceland (72%), Denmark (69%), Norway (67%), Finland (64%) and Sweden (49%). Main predictors for higher adherence were older age, being femaleand being worried about getting infected with COVID-19 (individual-level), an increase in number of days since lockdown, political stringency, and information about COVID-19 mortality rates (country-level). However, incidence rate was an inconsistent predictor, which may be explained by imperfect data quality during the onset of the pandemic. We conclude that shorter lockdown periods and political stringency are associated with adherence to government measures among higher education students at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Peer reviewed

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Krause, Robert; Snyman, Jumari; Shi-Hsia, Hwa; Muema, Daniel; Karim, Farina; Ganga, Yashica; Ngoepe, Abigail; Zungu, Yenzekile; Gazy, Inbal; Bernstein, Mallory; +13 more
    Country: Denmark
    Project: WT

    Background:HIV infection dysregulates the B cell compartment, affecting memory B cell formation and the antibody response to infection and vaccination. Understanding the B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 in people living with HIV (PLWH) may explain the increased morbidity, reduced vaccine efficacy, reduced clearance, and intra-host evolution of SARS-CoV-2 observed in some HIV-1 coinfections.Methods:We compared B cell responses to COVID-19 in PLWH and HIV negative (HIV-ve) patients in a cohort recruited in Durban, South Africa, during the first pandemic wave in July 2020 using detailed flow cytometry phenotyping of longitudinal samples with markers of B cell maturation, homing, and regulatory features.Results:This revealed a coordinated B cell response to COVID-19 that differed significantly between HIV-ve and PLWH. Memory B cells in PLWH displayed evidence of reduced germinal centre (GC) activity, homing capacity, and class-switching responses, with increased PD-L1 expression, and decreased Tfh frequency. This was mirrored by increased extrafollicular (EF) activity, with dynamic changes in activated double negative (DN2) and activated naïve B cells, which correlated with anti-RBD-titres in these individuals. An elevated SARS-CoV-2-specific EF response in PLWH was confirmed using viral spike and RBD bait proteins.Conclusions:Despite similar disease severity, these trends were highest in participants with uncontrolled HIV, implicating HIV in driving these changes. EF B cell responses are rapid but give rise to lower affinity antibodies, less durable long-term memory, and reduced capacity to adapt to new variants. Further work is needed to determine the long-term effects of HIV on SARS-CoV-2 immunity, particularly as new variants emerge.Funding:This work was supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust to the Africa Health Research Institute (Wellcome Trust Strategic Core Award [grant number 201433/Z/16/Z]). Additional funding was received from the South African Department of Science and Innovation through the National Research Foundation (South African Research Chairs Initiative [grant number 64809]), and the Victor Daitz Foundation.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Pitt, Bertram; Agarwal, Rajiv; Anker, Stefan D.; Ruilope, Luis M.; Rossing, Peter; Ahlers, Christiane; Brinker, Meike; Joseph, Amer; Lambelet, Marc; Lawatscheck, Robert; +1 more
    Country: Denmark

    ImportancePatients with chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing pneumonia as well as an increased risk of severe COVID-19–associated adverse events and mortality. Therefore, the anti-inflammatory effects of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists via blockade of the mineralocorticoid receptor may alter the risk of pneumonia and COVID-19–associated adverse events in patients with chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.ObjectiveTo evaluate whether the selective, nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist finerenone is associated with protection against pneumonia and COVID-19 adverse events in patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.Design, Setting, and ParticipantsThis secondary analysis used patient-level data from FIDELITY, a prespecified pooled analysis of 2 multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, event-driven, phase 3 randomized clinical trials: FIDELIO-DKD and FIGARO-DKD, conducted between September 2015 and February 2021. Patients in FIDELIO-DKD or FIGARO-DKD with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease (urine albumin to creatine ratio, 30-5000 mg/g, estimated glomerular filtration rate ≥25 mL/min/1.73 m2) were assessed. Data were analyzed from May 15, 2021, to July 28, 2022.ExposurePatients were randomized to finerenone (10 or 20 mg once daily) or matching placebo.Main Outcomes and MeasuresThe main outcomes were investigator-reported incidences of treatment-emergent infective pneumonia adverse events and serious adverse events (during and up to 3 days after treatment) and any COVID-19 adverse events.ResultsOf 13 026 randomized patients (mean [SD] age, 64.8 [9.5] years; 9088 [69.8%] men), 12 999 were included in the FIDELITY safety population (6510 patients receiving finerenone; 6489 patients receiving placebo). Over a median (range) treatment duration of 2.6 (0-5.1) years, finerenone was consistently associated with reduced risk of pneumonia and serious pneumonia vs placebo. Overall, 307 patients (4.7%) treated with finerenone and 434 patients (6.7%) treated with placebo experienced pneumonia (hazard ratio [HR], 0.71; 95% CI, 0.64-0.79; P &amp;lt; .001). Serious pneumonia occurred in 171 patients (2.6%) treated with finerenone and 250 patients (3.9%) treated with placebo (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.60-0.79; P &amp;lt; .001). Incidence proportions of COVID-19 adverse events were 86 patients (1.3%) in the finerenone group and 118 patients (1.8%) in the placebo group (HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.60-0.89; P = .002).Conclusions and RelevanceThese findings suggest that mineralocorticoid receptor blockade with finerenone was associated with protection against pneumonia and COVID-19 adverse events in patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Further clinical studies may be warranted.Trial RegistrationClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: FIDELIO-DKD: NCT02540993; FIGARO-DKD: NCT02545049

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Astrid Brink Hundebøll; Stine Rosenstrøm; Magnus Thorsten Jensen; Ulrik Dixen;
    Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    Country: Denmark

    Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a rapid shift towards telephone consultations (TC) in the out-patient clinic setting with little knowledge of the consequences. The aims of this study were to evaluate patient-centred experiences with TC, to describe patterns in clinical outcomes from TC and to pinpoint benefits and drawbacks associated with this type of consultations. Methods This mixed methods study combined an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. A quantitative, retrospective observational study was conducted employing data from all 248 patients who received TC at an out-patient cardiology clinic during April 2020 with a one-month follow-up. Semi-structured interviews were conducted; Ten eligible patients were recruited from the outpatient clinic by purposive sampling. Results Within the follow-up period, no patients died or were acutely hospitalised. Approximately one in every four patients was transferred to their general practitioner, while the remaining three-quarter of the patients had a new examination or a new consultation planned. The cardiologist failed to establish contact with more than a fifth of the patients, often due to missing phone numbers. Ten patients were interviewed. Five themes emerged from the interviews: 1) Knowing an estimated time of the consultation is essential for patient satisfaction, 2) TC are well perceived when individually adapted, 3) TC can be a barrier to patient questions, 4) Video consultations should only be offered to patients who request it, and 5) Prescriptions or instructions made via TC do not cause uncertainty in patients. Conclusions The TC program was overall safe and the patients felt comfortable. Crucial issues include precise time planning, the patient’s availability on the phone and a correct phone number. Patients stressed that TC are unsuitable when addressing sensitive topics. A proposed visitation tool is presented.