Publications by authors named "Nicola Sweeney"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Clinical utility of targeted SARS-CoV-2 serology testing to aid the diagnosis and management of suspected missed, late or post-COVID-19 infection syndromes: Results from a pilot service implemented during the first pandemic wave.

PLoS One 2021 7;16(4):e0249791. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.

During the first wave of the global COVID-19 pandemic the clinical utility and indications for SARS-CoV-2 serological testing were not clearly defined. The urgency to deploy serological assays required rapid evaluation of their performance characteristics. We undertook an internal validation of a CE marked lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) (SureScreen Diagnostics) using serum from SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive individuals and pre-pandemic samples. This was followed by the delivery of a same-day named patient SARS-CoV-2 serology service using LFIA on vetted referrals at central London teaching hospital with clinical interpretation of result provided to the direct care team. Assay performance, source and nature of referrals, feasibility and clinical utility of the service, particularly benefit in clinical decision-making, were recorded. Sensitivity and specificity of LFIA were 96.1% and 99.3% respectively. 113 tests were performed on 108 participants during three-week pilot. 44% participants (n = 48) had detectable antibodies. Three main indications were identified for serological testing; new acute presentations potentially triggered by recent COVID-19 e.g. pulmonary embolism (n = 5), potential missed diagnoses in context of a recent COVID-19 compatible illness (n = 40), and making infection control or immunosuppression management decisions in persistently SARS-CoV-2 RNA PCR positive individuals (n = 6). We demonstrate acceptable performance characteristics, feasibility and clinical utility of using a LFIA that detects anti-spike antibodies to deliver SARS-CoV-2 serology service in adults and children. Greatest benefit was seen where there is reasonable pre-test probability and results can be linked with clinical advice or intervention. Experience from this pilot can help inform practicalities and benefits of rapidly implementing new tests such as LFIAs into clinical service as the pandemic evolves.
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April 2021

Bedaquiline as Treatment for Disseminated Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Infection in 2 Patients Co-Infected with HIV.

Emerg Infect Dis 2021 Mar;27(3):944-948

Nontuberculous mycobacteria can cause disseminated infections in immunocompromised patients and are challenging to treat because of antimicrobial resistance and adverse effects of prolonged multidrug treatment. We report successful treatment with bedaquiline, a novel antimycobacterial drug, as part of combination therapy for 2 patients with disseminated nontuberculous mycobacteria co-infected with HIV.
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March 2021

Returning to Elective Orthopedic Surgery During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multidisciplinary and Pragmatic Strategy for Initial Patient Selection.

J Patient Saf 2020 12;16(4):e292-e298

Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Research Unit of Cardiac Surgery, University Hospitals and KU Leuven.

Objective: The aim of the study was to design an objective, transparent, pragmatic, and flexible workflow to assist with patient selection during the initial phase of return to elective orthopedic surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic with the main purpose of enhancing patient safety.

Methods: A multidisciplinary working group was formed consisting of representatives for orthopedics, epidemiology, ethics, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and intensive care medicine. Preparation for upcoming meetings consisted of reading up on literature and testing of proposed methodologies on our own waiting lists.

Results: A workflow based on 3 domains, that is, required resources, patient fitness, and time sensitivity of the procedure, was considered most useful. All domains function as standalones, in a specific order, and no sum score is used. The domain of required resources demands input from the surgical team, results in a categorical (yes or no) outcome, and generates a list of potential patients who can be scheduled for surgery under these particular circumstances. The (weighted) items for the domain of patient fitness are the same for every patient, are scored on a numerical scale, but are likely to change during the pandemic as more data become available. Time sensitivity of the procedure is again scored on a numerical scale and becomes increasingly important when returning to elective surgery proves to be acceptably safe. After patient selection, an augmented informed consent, screening, and testing according to local guidelines will take place.

Conclusions: A workflow is proposed for patient selection aiming for the safest possible return to elective orthopedic surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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December 2020