Publications by authors named "Antonio Sanguedolce"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Investigation of an outbreak of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01-lineage B.1.1.7 infection in healthcare workers, Italy.

Clin Microbiol Infect 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology-Hygiene Section, University of Bari, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

Objectives: In December 2020, Italy began a national immunization campaign using the BNT162b2 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mRNA vaccine, prioritizing healthcare workers (HCWs). Immune serum from vaccinated subjects seems (largely) to retain titres of neutralizing antibodies, even against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) VOC 202012/01-lineage B.1.1.7. Here, we describe an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 infection in three HCWs in a hospital setting; two of the HCWs were fully vaccinated (i.e. had received two doses).

Methods: Two physicians and one nurse working on the same shift on 20th February 2021 were involved in the outbreak. Real-time PCR, antigen tests, and serological tests for the IgG anti-spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 were performed, along with whole-genome sequencing (WGS).

Results: SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed in all three HCWs; all presented with mild symptoms of COVID-19. The two physicians were fully vaccinated with BNT162b2 vaccine, with the second dose administered 1 month before symptom onset. Both had high titres of IgG anti-spike antibodies at the time of diagnosis. WGS confirmed that all virus strains were VOC 202012/01-lineage B.1.1.7, suggesting a common source of exposure. Epidemiological investigation revealed that the suspected source was a SARS-CoV-2-positive patient who required endotracheal intubation due to severe COVID-19. All procedures were carried out using a full suite of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Conclusions: This mini-outbreak highlights some important issues about the efficacy of vaccines against transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variants, the high risk of exposure among HCWs, and the need for optimized implementation of PPE in hospitals. The wide circulation of VOC 202012/01 in Europe and Italy highlights the need to improve surveillance and genetic sequencing.
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May 2021

Spatial Epidemiology of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in Apulia, Italy.

Neuroepidemiology 2020 27;54(1):83-90. Epub 2019 Sep 27.

Department of Neuroscience, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy,

Background: Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare neurodegenerative disease caused by prions that is randomly distributed in all countries, with an overall yearly mortality rate of about 1-2 cases per million people. On a few occasions, however, sporadic CJD occurred with higher than expected rates, but further investigations failed to recognize any convincing causal link. In Italy, cluster analyses of sporadic CJD cases have not been performed previously.

Objective: To investigate the geographical distribution of sporadic CJD using municipality geographical data of Apulia with the aim of detecting spatial clusters of disease.

Patients And Methods: Patients included in this study were diagnosed as probable or definite sporadic CJD and were residents of the Apulia Region (Italy). Bayesian hierarchical models with spatially structured and unstructured random components were used to describe the spatial pattern of the disease and to assess the extent of heterogeneity among municipalities. The Kulldorff-Nagarwalla scan test and the flexible spatial scan statistic were used for detecting spatial clusters.

Results: Smoothed Bayesian relative risks above the null value were observed in a few adjacent municipalities in the north and middle areas of Apulia. However, both the circular scanning method and the flexible spatial scan statistic identified only a single cluster in the central part of the region.

Conclusion: Geographical analyses and tests for spatial randomness identified a restricted area with an unusually high number of sporadic CJD cases in the Apulia region of Italy. Environmental and genetic risk factors other than mutations in the prion protein gene however, need to be investigated.
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February 2021