BIP! Finder for COVID-19

This version of BIP! Finder aims to ease the exploration of COVID-19-related literature by enabling ranking articles based on various impact metrics.

Last Update: 24 - 11 - 2021

Provided impact measures:
Popularity: Citation-based measure reflecting the current impact.
Influence: Citation-based measure reflecting the total impact.
Reader Attention: The current number of Mendeley readers.
Social Media Attention: The number of recent tweets related to this article.
*More details on these impact measures can be found here.
Score interpretations:
Exceptional score (in top 0.01%).
Substantial score (in top 1%).
Average score (in bottom 99%).
Score not available.
Main data sources:
CORD-19 dataset(1) (list of papers)
LitCovid hub(2) (list of papers)
PMC & PubMed (citations)
Mendeley (number of readers)
COVID-19-TweetIDs(3) (tweets)

Use:  Impact  Relevance & Impact
1Safety and Efficacy of Imatinib for Hospitalized Adults with COVID-19: A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: Primary Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral administration of imatinib combined with the Best Conventional Care (BCC) versus placebo plus BCC in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Hypothesis: Addition of imatinib to the BCC will provide a superior clinical outcome for patients with COVID-19 compared with BCC plus placebo. This hypothesis is on the basis of 1) intralysosomal entrapment of imatinib will increase endosomal pH and effectively decrease SARS-CoV-2/cell fusion, 2) kinase inhibitory activity of imatinib will interfere with budding/release or replication of SARS-CoV-2, and 3) because of the critical role of mechanical ventilation in the care of patients with ARDS, imatinib will have a significant clinical impact for patients with critical COVID-19 infection in Intensive Care Unit (ICU). TRIAL DESIGN: This is an individual patient-level randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, two-parallel arm phase 3 study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of imatinib for the treatment of hospitalized adults with COVID-19. Participants will be followed for up to 60 days from the start of study drug administration. This trial will be conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and the Good Clinical Practice guidelines of the International Conference on Harmonization. PARTICIPANTS: Inclusion Criteria: Patients may be included in the study only if they meet all of the following criteria: 1) Ability to understand and willingness to sign a written informed consent document. Informed consent must be obtained prior to participation in the study. For patients who are too unwell to provide consent such as patients on invasive ventilator or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), their Legally Authorized Representative (LAR) can sign the informed consent, 2) Hospitalized patients ≥18 years of age, 3) Positive reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for SARS-CoV-2 in the respiratory tract sample (oropharyngeal, nasopharyngeal or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)) by Center for Disease Control or local laboratory within 7 days of randomization, 4) Women of childbearing potential must agree to use at least one primary form of contraception for the duration of the study. Exclusion Criteria: Patients meeting any of the following criteria are not eligible for the study: 1) Patients receiving any other investigational agents in a clinical trial. Off-label use of agents such as hydroxychloroquine is not an exclusion criterion, 2) Pregnant or breastfeeding women, 3) Patients with significant liver or renal dysfunction at the time of screening as defined as: 3.1) Direct bilirubin >2.5 mg/dL, 3.2) AST, ALT, or alkaline phosphatase >5x upper limit of normal, 3.3) eGFR ≤30 mL/min or requiring renal replacement therapy, 4) Patients with significant hematologic disorder at screen as defined as: 4.1) Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) <500/μL, 4.2) Platelet <20,000/μL, 4.3) Hemoglobin <7 g/dL, 5) Uncontrolled underlying illness including, but not limited to, symptomatic congestive heart failure, unstable angina pectoris, uncontrolled active seizure disorder, or psychiatric illness/social situations that per site Principal Investigator’s judgment would limit compliance with study requirements, 6) Known allergy to imatinib or its component products, 7) Any other clinical conditions that in the opinion of the investigator would make the subject unsuitable for the study. Both men and women of all races and ethnic groups are eligible for this trial. University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD is the initiating site. The study may be opened in other centers on the basis of the accrual rate or the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Imatinib: All doses of imatinib should be administered with a meal and a large glass of water. Imatinib can be dissolved in water or apple juice for patients having difficulty swallowing. In this study, patients with confirmed positive COVID-19 tests receive imatinib for a total of 14 days; 400 mg orally daily Days 1-14. Imatinib 400 mg tablets will be encapsulated using size 000 capsules and cellulose microcrystalline filler. For patients on ventilator or ECMO, imatinib will be given as oral suspension (40 mg/mL). To make the oral suspension, imatinib tablets will be crushed and mixed in Ora-sweet solution to yield a concentration of 40 mg/mL suspension by pharmacy. Additionally, in the absence of supportive microbiological testing results, we confirm that the in-use stability period for the prepared imatinib suspensions will be 24 hours at room temperature or 7 days at refrigerated conditions. The pharmacy staff will follow the American Society Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) guidelines for handling hazardous drugs. Placebo: The matching placebo will be packaged by Investigational Drug Service Pharmacy at University of Maryland Medical Center. The placebos will be prepared using size 000 capsules and cellulose microcrystalline filler. Imatinib 400 mg capsules and placebo capsules will be identical form and color. For patients on ventilator or ECMO, placebo will be given as oral suspension with similar process for making imatinib suspension. Concomitant Medications/supportive care: In both arms, patients can receive concomitant available local standard of care antipyretics, antibacterials, antivirals, antifungals and anti-inflammatory including hydroxychloroquine at the discretion of the treating physician as necessary. For other drug-drug interactions particularly with CYP P450, the treating physician should consider the risk and benefit of drug administration based on available information. Co-administration of off-label immunomodulatory treatments for COVID-19 including but not limited to corticosteroids, sarilumab, clazakizumab, tocilizumab, and anakinra will be allowed but may affect interpretability of study outcomes. The timing, dosing, and duration of these treatments will be meticulously collected, including any of these treatments that may be used for participants who experience progression of COVID-19 disease after study enrollment. Two analyses will be performed, the primary analysis will compare the primary endpoint in the two trial arms irrespective of any other treatment; the second analysis will be stratified for co-administration of immunomodulatory drugs. MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary endpoint is the proportion of patients with a two-point improvement at Day 14 from baseline using the 8-category ordinal scale. The ordinal scale is an evaluation of the clinical status at the first assessment of a given study day. The scale is as follows: 1) Not hospitalized, no limitations on activities; 2) Not hospitalized, limitation on activities and/or requiring home oxygen; 3) Hospitalized, not requiring supplemental oxygen – no longer requires ongoing medical care; 4) Hospitalized, not requiring supplemental oxygen - requiring ongoing medical care (COVID-19 related or otherwise); 5) Hospitalized, requiring supplemental oxygen; 6) Hospitalized, on non-invasive ventilation or high flow oxygen devices; 7) Hospitalized, on invasive mechanical ventilation or ECMO; 8) Death. The secondary endpoints include: All-cause mortality at Day 28, All-cause mortality at Day 60, Time to a 2-point clinical improvement difference over baseline, Duration of hospitalization, Duration of ECMO or invasive mechanical ventilation (for subjects who are on ECMO or mechanical ventilation at Day 1), Duration of ICU stay (for subjects who are in ICU at Day 1), Time to SARS-CoV-2 negative by RT-PCR, Proportion of patients with negative oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR on days 5, 10, 14, 21, and 28 after starting treatment, Proportion of subjects with serious adverse events, Proportion of subjects who discontinue study drug due to adverse events. The exploratory endpoints include: Determine the impact of treatment arms on IL-6 levels, Obtain blood/peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) for storage to look at transcriptomics in severe disease, Association of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) with severity of illness, Mean change in the ordinal scale from baseline, Time to an improvement of one category from admission using an ordinal scale, Duration of hospitalization, Duration of new oxygen use, Number of oxygenation free days, Duration of new mechanical ventilation, Number of ventilator free days. RANDOMIZATION: Eligible patients will be uniformly randomized in 1:1 ratio to receive either imatinib or placebo for 14 days. Both groups will receive the BCC. The randomized treatment allocations use stratified, permuted block randomization with a variable block size; blocks are generated using a validated random number generator. In order to balance the severity of the respiratory illness between the two arms, randomization will be stratified based on radiographic findings and oxygen requirements: 1) Severe disease: evidence of pneumonia on chest X-ray or CT scan OR chest auscultation (rales, crackles), and SpO(2) ≤92% on ambient air or PaO(2)/FiO(2) <300 mmHg, and requires supplemental oxygen administration by nasal cannula, simple face mask, or other similar oxygen delivery device; 2) Critical disease: requires supplemental oxygen delivered by non-rebreather mask or high flow cannula OR use of invasive or non-invasive ventilation OR requiring treatment in an intensive care unit, use of vasopressors, extracorporeal life support, or renal replacement therapy. BLINDING (MASKING): The participants, caregivers, and the statistician are blinded to group assignment. The only people who are not blinded are Site Pharmacists. Blinding will be performed via a specific randomization process. Centralized, concealed randomization will be executed by the Primary Site’s Pharmacist. Data on eligible consented cases will be submitted electronically on the appropriate on-study form to the pharmacy, where the patient is randomized to imatinib or placebo. Imatinib 400 mg capsules and placebo capsules will be identical form and color. For patients on ventilator or ECMO, placebo will be given as oral suspension with similar process for making imatinib suspension. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): The trial is designed as a double-blind, two-parallel arm, randomized controlled trial with a uniform (1:1) allocation ratio to: Arm A) Imatinib or Arm B) Placebo. Patients in both arms will receive the BCC per local institutional standards at the discretion of the treating physician. Group sample sizes of 102 in Arm A and 102 in Arm B achieve 80.6% power to detect a difference between the group proportions of 0.20. The proportion in Arm A (imatinib treatment arm) is assumed to be 0.30 under the null hypothesis and 0.50 under the alternative hypothesis. The proportion in Arm B (placebo control arm) is 0.30. The test statistic used is the two-sided Fisher's Exact Test. The significance level of the test is targeted at 0.05. The significance level actually achieved by this design is α=0.0385. The power of the test is calculated using binomial enumeration of all possible outcomes. The primary analysis will be conducted using an intention to treat principle (ITT) for participants who at least receive one dose of study drug or placebo. The sample size is not inflated for dropouts. All patients will be evaluable irrespective of the clinical course of their disease. TRIAL STATUS: Current protocol version is 1.2 from May 8, 2020. The recruitment started on June 15, 2020 and is ongoing. We originally anticipated that the trial would finish recruitment by mid 2021. We are aware of the enrollment requirement of approximately 200 patients, which is required to provide scientific integrity of the results. We are also aware of the fact that enrolling this number of patients in a single-site at University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) may take longer than expected, particularly taken into account other competing studies. For this reason, we are actively considering opening the protocol in other sites. After identification of other sites, we will fulfill all regulatory requirements before opening the protocol in other sites. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT04394416. First Posted: May 19, 2020; Last Update Posted: June 4, 2020. FDA has issued the “Study May Proceed” Letter for this clinical trial under the Investigational New Drug (IND) number 149239. 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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary information accompanies this paper at 10.1186/s13063-020-04819-9.

Trials2020       LitCov and CORD-19
2Testing the efficacy and safety of BIO101, for the prevention of respiratory deterioration, in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (COVA study): a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: As of December, 1(st), 2020, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2, resulted in more than 1 472 917 deaths worldwide and death toll is still increasing exponentially. Many COVID-19 infected people are asymptomatic or experience moderate symptoms and recover without medical intervention. However, older people and those with comorbid hypertension, diabetes, obesity, or heart disease are at higher risk of mortality. Because current therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients are limited specifically for this elderly population at risk, Biophytis is developing BIO101 (20-hydroxyecdysone, a Mas receptor activator) as a new treatment option for managing patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection at the severe stage. The angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) serves as a receptor for SARS-CoV-2. Interaction between ACE2 and SARS-CoV2 spike protein seems to alter the function of ACE2, a key player in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). The clinical picture of COVID-19 includes acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), cardiomyopathy, multiorgan dysfunction and shock, all of which might result from an imbalance of the RAS. We propose that RAS balance could be restored in COVID-19 patients through MasR activation downstream of ACE2 activity, with 20-hydroxyecdysone (BIO101) a non-peptidic Mas receptor (MasR) activator. Indeed, MasR activation by 20-hydroxyecdysone harbours anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, and anti-fibrotic properties. BIO101, a 97% pharmaceutical grade 20-hydroxyecdysone could then offer a new therapeutic option by improving the respiratory function and ultimately promoting survival in COVID-19 patients that develop severe forms of this devastating disease. Therefore, the objective of this COVA study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of BIO101, whose active principle is 20-hydroxyecdysone, in COVID-19 patients with severe pneumonia. TRIAL DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-centre, group sequential and adaptive which will be conducted in 2 parts. Part 1: Ascertain the safety and tolerability of BIO101 and obtain preliminary indication of the activity of BIO101, in preventing respiratory deterioration in the target population Part 2: Re-assessment of the sample size needed for the confirmatory part 2 and confirmation of the effect of BIO101 observed in part 1 in the target population. The study is designed as group sequential to allow an efficient run-through, from obtaining an early indication of activity to a final confirmation. And adaptive – to allow accumulation of early data and adapt sample size in part 2 in order to inform the final design of the confirmatory part of the trial. PARTICIPANTS: : 1. Age: 45 and above. 2. A confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 infection, within the last 14 days, prior to randomization, as determined by PCR or other approved commercial or public health assay, in a specimen as specified by the test used. 3. Hospitalized, in observation or planned to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection symptoms with anticipated hospitalization duration ≥3 days. 4. a. Clinical findings on a physical examination. b. Respiratory symptoms developed within the past 7 days. 5. a. Tachypnea: ≥25 breaths per minute. b. Arterial oxygen saturation ≤92%. c. A special note should be made if there is suspicion of COVID-19-related myocarditis or pericarditis, as the presence of these is a stratification criterion. 6. a. ALT and AST ≤ 5x upper limit of normal (ULN). b. Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) ≤ 5x ULN. c. Total bilirubin ≤ 5×ULN. 7. Willing to participate and able to sign an informed consent form (ICF). Or, when relevant, a legally authorized representative (LAR) might sign the ICF on behalf of the study participant. 8. : a. Have a negative urine pregnancy test at screening. b. Be willing to use a contraceptive method as outlined in inclusion criterion 9 from screening to 30 days after last dose. 9. Male participants who are sexually active with a female partner must agree to the use of an effective method of birth control throughout the study and until 3 months after the last administration of the investigational product. (Note: medically acceptable methods of contraception that may be used by the participant and/or partner include combined oral contraceptive, contraceptive vaginal ring, contraceptive injection, intrauterine device, etonogestrel implant, each supplemented with a condom, as well as sterilization and vasectomy). 10. Female participants who are lactating must agree not to breastfeed during the study and up to 14 days after the intervention. 11. Male participants must agree not to donate sperm for the purpose of reproduction throughout the study and until 3 months after the last administration of the investigational product. 12. For France only: Being affiliated with a European Social Security. : 1. Not needing or not willing to remain in a healthcare facility during the study. 2. Moribund condition (death likely in days) or not expected to survive for >7 days – due to other and non-COVID-19 related conditions. 3. Participant on invasive mechanical ventilation via an endotracheal tube, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), or high-flow Oxygen (delivery of oxygen at a flow of ≥16 L/min.). 4. Participant is not able to take medications by mouth (as capsules or as a powder, mixed in water). 5. Disallowed concomitant medication: Consumption of any herbal products containing 20-hydroxyecdysone and derived from Leuzea carthamoides; Cyanotis vaga or Cyanotis arachnoidea is not allowed (e.g. performance enhancing agents). 6. Any known hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients, or excipients of the study medication, BIO101. 7. Renal disease requiring dialysis, or known renal insufficiency (eGFR≤30 mL/min/1.73 m2, based on Cockcroft & Gault formula). 8. a. Non-affiliation to compulsory French social security scheme (beneficiary or right-holder). b. Being under tutelage or legal guardianship. Participants will be recruited from approximately 30 clinical centres in Belgium, France, the UK, USA and Brazil. Maximum patients’ participation in the study will last 28 days. Follow-up of participants discharged from hospital will be performed through post-intervention phone calls at 14 (± 2) and 60 (± 4) days. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Two treatment arms will be tested in this study: interventional arm 350 mg b.i.d. of BIO101 (AP 20-hydroxyecdysone) and placebo comparator arm 350 mg b.i.d of placebo. Administration of daily dose is the same throughout the whole treatment period. Participants will receive the study medication while hospitalized for up to 28 days or until a clinical endpoint is reached (i.e., ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ event). Participants who are officially discharged from hospital care will no longer receive study medication. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary study endpoint: The proportion of participants with ‘negative’ events up to 28 days. Requiring mechanical ventilation (including cases that will not be intubated due to resource restrictions and triage). Requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Requiring high-flow oxygen defined as delivery of oxygen at a flow of ≥16 L/min. Only if the primary endpoint is significant at the primary final analysis the following Proportion of participants with events of respiratory failure at Day 28. Proportion of participants with ‘positive’ events at Day 28. Proportion of participants with events of all-cause mortality at Day 28. A ‘positive’ event is defined as the official discharge from hospital care by the department due to improvement in participant condition. Secondary and exploratory endpoints: In addition, a variety of functional measures and biomarkers (including the SpO2 / FiO2 ratio, viral load and markers related to inflammation, muscles, tissue and the RAS / MAS pathways) will also be collected. RANDOMIZATION: In part 1, randomization will be stratified by RAS pathway modulator use (yes/no) and co-morbidities (none vs. 1 and above). In Part 2, randomization will be stratified by centre, gender, RAS pathway modulator use (yes/no), co-morbidities (none vs. 1 and above), receiving Continuous Positive Airway Pressure/Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP/BiPAP) at study entry (Yes/No) and suspicion of COVID-19 related myocarditis or pericarditis (present or not). BLINDING (MASKING): Participants, caregivers, and the study team assessing the outcomes are blinded to group assignment. All therapeutic units (TU), BIO101 b.i.d. or placebo b.i.d., cannot be distinguished in compliance with the double-blind process. An independent data-monitoring committee (DMC) will conduct 2 interim analyses. A first one based on the data from part 1 and a second from the data from parts 1 and 2. The first will inform about BIO101 safety, to allow the start of recruitment into part 2 followed by an analysis of the efficacy data, to obtain an indication of activity. The second interim analysis will inform about the sample size that will be required for part 2, in order to achieve adequate statistical power. Numbers to be randomised (sample size) : Part 1: 50 (to obtain the proof of concept in COVID-19 patients). Part 2: 310, potentially increased by 50% (up to 465, based on interim analysis 2) (to confirm the effects of BIO101 observed in part 1). TRIAL STATUS: The current protocol Version is V 10.0, dated on 24.09.2020. The recruitment that started on September 1(st) 2020 is ongoing and is anticipated to finish for the whole study by March2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was registered before trial start in trial registries: EudraCT, No. 2020-001498-63, registered May 18, 2020; and, identifier NCT04472728, registered July 15, 2020. 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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13063-020-04998-5.

Trials2021       LitCov and CORD-19
3Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of four different strategies for SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in the general population (CoV-Surv Study): a structured summary of a study protocol for a cluster-randomised, two-factorial controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: In this cluster-randomised controlled study (CoV-Surv Study), four different “active” SARS-CoV-2 testing strategies for general population surveillance are evaluated for their effectiveness in determining and predicting the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in a given population. In addition, the costs and cost-effectiveness of the four surveillance strategies will be assessed. Further, this trial is supplemented by a qualitative component to determine the acceptability of each strategy. Findings will inform the choice of the most effective, acceptable and affordable strategy for SARS-CoV-2 surveillance, with the most effective and cost-effective strategy becoming part of the local public health department’s current routine health surveillance activities. Investigating its everyday performance will allow us to examine the strategy’s applicability to real time prevalence prediction and the usefulness of the resulting information for local policy makers to implement countermeasures that effectively prevent future nationwide lockdowns. The authors would like to emphasize the importance and relevance of this study and its expected findings in the context of population-based disease surveillance, especially in respect to the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In Germany, but also in many other countries, COVID-19 surveillance has so far largely relied on passive surveillance strategies that identify individuals with clinical symptoms, monitor those cases who then tested positive for the virus, followed by tracing of individuals in close contact to those positive cases. To achieve higher effectiveness in population surveillance and to reliably predict the course of an outbreak, screening and monitoring of infected individuals without major symptoms (about 40% of the population) will be necessary. While current testing capacities are also used to identify such asymptomatic cases, this rather passive approach is not suitable in generating reliable population-based estimates of the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers to allow any dependable predictions on the course of the pandemic. To better control and manage the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, current strategies therefore need to be complemented by an active surveillance of the wider population, i.e. routinely conducted testing and monitoring activities to identify and isolate infected individuals regardless of their clinical symptoms. Such active surveillance strategies will enable more effective prevention of the spread of the virus as they can generate more precise population-based parameters during a pandemic. This essential information will be required in order to determine the best strategic and targeted short-term countermeasures to limit infection spread locally. TRIAL DESIGN: This trial implements a cluster-randomised, two-factorial controlled, prospective, interventional, single-blinded design with four study arms, each representing a different SARS-CoV-2 testing and surveillance strategy. PARTICIPANTS: Eligible are individuals age 7 years or older living in Germany’s Rhein-Neckar Region who consent to provide a saliva sample (all four arms) after completion of a brief questionnaire (two arms only). For the qualitative component, different samples of study participants and non-participants (i.e. eligible for study, but refuse to participate) will be identified for additional interviews. For these interviews, only individuals age 18 years or older are eligible. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Of the four surveillance strategies to be assessed and compared, Strategy A1 is considered the gold standard for prevalence estimation and used to determine bias in other arms. To determine the cost-effectiveness, each strategy is compared to status quo, defined as the currently practiced passive surveillance approach. Strategy A1: Individuals (one per household) receive information and study material by mail with instructions on how to produce a saliva sample and how to return the sample by mail. Once received by the laboratory, the sample is tested for SARS-CoV-2 using Reverse Transcription Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP). Strategy A2: Individuals (one per household) receive information and study material by mail with instructions on how to produce their own as well as saliva samples from each household member and how to return these samples by mail. Once received by the laboratory, the samples are tested for SARS-CoV-2 using RT-LAMP. Strategy B1: Individuals (one per household) receive information by mail on how to complete a brief pre-screening questionnaire which asks about COVID-19 related clinical symptoms and risk exposures. Only individuals whose pre-screening score crosses a defined threshold, will then receive additional study material by mail with instructions on how to produce a saliva sample and how to return the sample by mail. Once received by the laboratory, the saliva sample is tested for SARS-CoV-2 using RT-LAMP. Strategy B2: Individuals (one per household) receive information by mail on how to complete a brief pre-screening questionnaire which asks about COVID-19 related clinical symptoms. Only individuals whose pre-screening score crosses a defined threshold, will then receive additional study material by mail with instructions how to produce their own as well as saliva samples from each household member and how to return these samples by mail. Once received by the laboratory, the samples are tested for SARS-CoV-2 using RT-LAMP. In each strategy, RT-LAMP positive samples are additionally analyzed with qPCR in order to minimize the number of false positives. MAIN OUTCOMES: The identification of the one best strategy will be determined by a set of parameters. Primary outcomes include costs per correctly screened person, costs per positive case, positive detection rate, and precision of positive detection rate. Secondary outcomes include participation rate, costs per asymptomatic case, prevalence estimates, number of asymptomatic cases per study arm, ratio of symptomatic to asymptomatic cases per study arm, participant satisfaction. Additional study components (not part of the trial) include cost effectiveness of each of the four surveillance strategies compared to passive monitoring (i.e. status quo), development of a prognostic model to predict hospital utilization caused by SARS-CoV-2, time from test shipment to test application and time from test shipment to test result, and perception and preferences of the persons to be tested with regard to test strategies. RANDOMISATION: Samples are drawn in three batches of three continuous weeks. Randomisation follows a two-stage process. First, a total of 220 sampling points have been allocated to the three different batches. To obtain an integer solution, the Cox-algorithm for controlled rounding has been used. Afterwards, sample points have been drawn separately per batch, following a probability proportional to size (PPS) random sample. Second, for each cluster the same number of residential addresses is randomly sampled from the municipal registries (self-weighted sample of individuals). The 28,125 addresses drawn per municipality are then randomly allocated to the four study arms A1, A2, B1, and B2 in the ratio 5 to 2.5 to 14 to 7 based on the expected response rates in each arm and the sensitivity and specificity of the pre-screening tool as applied in strategy B1 and B2. Based on the assumptions, this allocation should yield 2500 saliva samples in each strategy. Although a municipality can be sampled by multiple batches and the overall number of addresses per municipality might vary, the number of addresses contacted in each arm is kept constant. BLINDING (MASKING): The design is single-blinded, meaning the staff conducting the SARS-CoV-2 tests are unaware of the study arm assignment of each single participant and test sample. SAMPLE SIZES: Total sample size for the trial is 10,000 saliva samples equally allocated to the four study arms (i.e. 2,500 participants per arm). For the qualitative component, up to 60 in-depth interviews will be conducted with about 30 study participants (up to 15 in each arm A and B) and 30 participation refusers (up to 15 in each arm A and B) purposefully selected from the quantitative study sample to represent a variety of gender and ages to explore experiences with admission or rejection of study participation. Up to 25 asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 positive study participants will be purposefully selected to explore the way in which asymptomatic men and women diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 give meaning to their diagnosis and to the dialectic between feeling concurrently healthy and yet also being at risk for transmitting COVID-19. In addition, 100 randomly selected study participants will be included to explore participants’ perspective on testing processes and implementation. TRIAL STATUS: Final protocol version is “Surveillance_Studienprotokoll_03Nov2020_v1_2” from November 3, 2020. Recruitment started November 18, 2020 and is expected to end by or before December 31, 2020. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial is currently being registered with the German Clinical Trials Register (Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien), DRKS00023271 ( HTML&TRIAL_ID=DRKS00023271). Retrospectively registered 30 November 2020. 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.

Trials2021       LitCov and CORD-19
4Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China  

Summary Background A recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of these patients. Methods All patients with suspected 2019-nCoV were admitted to a designated hospital in Wuhan. We prospectively collected and analysed data on patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Data were obtained with standardised data collection forms shared by WHO and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium from electronic medical records. Researchers also directly communicated with patients or their families to ascertain epidemiological and symptom data. Outcomes were also compared between patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and those who had not. Findings By Jan 2, 2020, 41 admitted hospital patients had been identified as having laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. Most of the infected patients were men (30 [73%] of 41); less than half had underlying diseases (13 [32%]), including diabetes (eight [20%]), hypertension (six [15%]), and cardiovascular disease (six [15%]). Median age was 49·0 years (IQR 41·0–58·0). 27 (66%) of 41 patients had been exposed to Huanan seafood market. One family cluster was found. Common symptoms at onset of illness were fever (40 [98%] of 41 patients), cough (31 [76%]), and myalgia or fatigue (18 [44%]); less common symptoms were sputum production (11 [28%] of 39), headache (three [8%] of 38), haemoptysis (two [5%] of 39), and diarrhoea (one [3%] of 38). Dyspnoea developed in 22 (55%) of 40 patients (median time from illness onset to dyspnoea 8·0 days [IQR 5·0–13·0]). 26 (63%) of 41 patients had lymphopenia. All 41 patients had pneumonia with abnormal findings on chest CT. Complications included acute respiratory distress syndrome (12 [29%]), RNAaemia (six [15%]), acute cardiac injury (five [12%]) and secondary infection (four [10%]). 13 (32%) patients were admitted to an ICU and six (15%) died. Compared with non-ICU patients, ICU patients had higher plasma levels of IL2, IL7, IL10, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A, and TNFα. Interpretation The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality. Major gaps in our knowledge of the origin, epidemiology, duration of human transmission, and clinical spectrum of disease need fulfilment by future studies. Funding Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.

Lancet2020       LitCov and CORD-19
5Controlled, double-blind, randomized trial to assess the efficacy and safety of hydroxychloroquine chemoprophylaxis in SARS CoV2 infection in healthcare personnel in the hospital setting: A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial  

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 infection presents a high transmission in the group of health professionals in Spain (12-15% infected). Currently there is no accepted chemoprophylaxis but hydroxychloroquine (HDQ) is known to inhibit the coronavirus in vitro. Our hypothesis is that oral administration of hydroxychloroquine to healthcare professionals can reduce the incidence and prevalence of infection as well as its severity in this group. METHODS: Design: Prospective, single center, double blind, randomised, controlled trial (RCT). Participants: Adult health-care professionals (18-65 years) working in areas of high exposure and high risk of transmission of SARS-COV-2 (COVID areas, Intensive Care Unit –ICUs-, Emergency, Anesthesia and all those performing aerosol-generating procedures) will be included. Exclusion criteria include previous infection with SARS CoV2 (positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR or IgG serology), pregnancy or lactation, any contraindication to hydroxychloroquine or evidence of unstable or clinically significant systemic disease. INTERVENTIONS: Patients will be randomized (1:1) to receive once-daily oral Hydroxychloroquine 200mg for two months (HC group) or placebo (P group) in addition to the protective measures appropriate to the level of exposure established by the hospital. A serological evaluation will be carried out every 15 days with PCR in case of seroconversion, symptoms or risk exposure. Primary outcome is the percentage of subjects presenting infection (seroconversion and/or PCR +ve) by the SARS-Cov-2 virus during the observation period. Additionally, both the percentage of subjects in each group presenting Pneumonia with severity criteria (Curb 65 ≥2) and that of subjects requiring admission to ICU will be determined. DISCUSSION: While awaiting a vaccine, hygiene measures, social distancing and personal protective equipment are the only primary prophylaxis measures against SARS-CoV-2, but they have not been sufficient to protect our healthcare professionals. Some evidence of the in vitro efficacy of hydroxychloroquine against this virus is known, along with some clinical data that would support the study of this drug in the chemoprophylaxis of infection. However, there are still no data from controlled clinical trials in this regard. If our hypothesis is confirmed, hydroxychloroquine can help professionals fight this infection with more guarantees. PARTICIPANTS: This is a single-center study that will be carried out at the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital. 450 health professionals working at the Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla in areas of high exposure and high risk of transmission of SARS COV2 (COVID hospital areas, Intensive Care Unit, Emergency, Anesthesia and all those performing aerosol-generating procedures) will be included. Inclusion criteria: 1) Health professionals aged between 18 and 65 years (inclusive) at the time of the first screening visit; 2) They must provide signed written informed consent and agree to comply with the study protocol; 3) Active work in high exposure areas during the last two weeks and during the following weeks. Exclusion criteria: 1) Previous infection with SARS CoV2 (positive coronavirus PCR or positive serology with SARS Cov2 negative PCR and absence of symptoms); 2) Current treatment with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine; 3) Hypersensitivity, allergy or any contraindication for taking hydroxychloroquine, in the technical sheet; 4) Previous or current treatment with tamoxifen or raloxifene; 5) Previous eye disease, especially maculopathy; 6) Known heart failure (Grade III to IV of the New York Heart Association classification) or prolonged QTc; 7) Any type of cancer (except basal cell) in the last 5 years; 6) Refusal to give informed consent; 8) Evidence of any other unstable or clinically significant untreated immune, endocrine, hematological, gastrointestinal, neurological, neoplastic or psychiatric illness; 9) Antibodies positive for the human immunodeficiency virus; 10) Significant kidney or liver disease; 11) Pregnancy or lactation. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: 1. Intervention: (n = 225): One 200 mg hydroxychloroquine sulfate coated tablet once daily for two months. 2. Comparator (control group) (n = 225): One hydroxychloroquine placebo tablet (identical to that of the drug) once daily for two months. MAIN OUTCOMES: number and percentage of healthcare personnel presenting symptomatic and asymptomatic infection (see “Diagnosis of SARS CoV2 infection” below) by the SARS-Cov2 virus during the study observation period (8 weeks) in both treatment arms; number and percentage of healthcare personnel in each group presenting with Pneumonia with severity criteria (Curb 65 ≥2) and number and percentage of healthcare personnel requiring admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in both treatment arms. DIAGNOSIS OF SARS COV2 INFECTION: Determination of IgA, IgM and IgG type antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 using the Anti-SARS-CoV-2 ELISA kit (EUROIMMUN Medizinische Labordiagnostika AG, Germany) every two weeks. In cases of seroconversion, a SARS-CoV-2 PCR will be performed to rule out / confirm an active infection (RT-PCR in One Step: RT performed with mastermix (Takara) and IDT probes, following protocol published and validated by the CDC Evaluation of COVID-19 in case of SARS-CoV-2 infection RANDOMISATION: Participants will be allocated to intervention and comparator groups according to a balanced randomization scheme (1: 1). The assignment will be made through a computer-generated numeric sequence for all participants BLINDING (MASKING): Both participants and investigators responsible for recruiting and monitoring participants will be blind to the assigned arm. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): Taking into account the current high prevalence of infection in healthcare personnel in Spain (up to 15%), to detect a difference equal to or greater than 8% in the percentage estimates through a two-tailed 95% CI, with a statistical power of 80% and a dropout rate of 5%, a total of 450 participants will need to be included (250 in each arm). TRIAL STATUS: The protocol approved by the health authorities in Spain (Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products “AEMPS”) and the Ethics and Research Committee of Cantabria (CEIm Cantabria) corresponds to version 1.1 of April 2, 2020. Currently, recruitment has not yet started, with the start scheduled for the second week of May 2020. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Eudra CT number: 2020-001704-42 (Registered on 29 March 2020) 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. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2).

Trials2020       LitCov and CORD-19
6Health professionals facing the COVID-19 pandemic: What are the mental health risks?  

RÉSUMÉ Objectifs: La pandémie de la maladie à coronavirus (COVID-19) a provoqué une crise sanitaire majeure et mis en quarantaine la moitié de la population planétaire. En France, elle a provoqué une réorganisation en urgence de l’offre de soins mobilisant les soignants dans un climat d’incertitude. L'objectif du présent article est de faire le point sur les risques associés à l’exposition des soignants au COVID-19 pour leur santé mentale. Méthodes: Les auteurs ont conduit une revue de la littérature internationale tenant compte des données des précédentes épidémies (SARS-CoV-1, H1N1) et des données plus récentes concernant le COVID-19. Résultats: Les caractéristiques de cette pandémie (rapidité de diffusion, connaissances incertaines, sévérité, morts de soignants) ont installé un climat anxiogène. Des facteurs organisationnels peuvent être source de stress : déficit d’équipement de protection individuel, réaffectation de postes, manque de communication, manque de matériels de soins, bouleversement de la vie quotidienne familiale et sociale. D’autres facteurs de risque sont identifiés comme l’absence de soutien, la crainte de contaminer un proche, l’isolement ou la stigmatisation sociale, le haut niveau de stress au travail, ou les patterns d’attachement insécure. Les soignants ont ainsi un risque augmenté d’anxiété, de dépression, d’épuisement, d’addiction et de trouble de stress post-traumatique. Conclusions: Cette crise sanitaire devrait nous aider à mieux comprendre la vulnérabilité des soignants à la souffrance psychologique afin de renforcer les stratégies de prévention primaire et la formation aux enjeux psychologiques des soins, de la relation, et de la gestion des situations de crises sanitaires. ABSTRACT Objectives: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused major sanitary crisis worldwide. Half of the world has been placed in quarantine. In France, this large-scale health crisis urgently triggered the restructuring and reorganization of health service delivery to support emergency services, medical intensive care units and continuing care units. Health professionals mobilized all their resources to provide emergency aid in a general climate of uncertainty. Concerns about the mental health, psychological adjustment, and recovery of health care workers treating and caring for patients with COVID-19 are now arising. The goal of the present article is to provide an up-to-date information on potential mental health risks associated with exposure of health professionals to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Authors performed a narrative review identifying relevant results in the scientific and medical literature considering previous epidemics of 2003 (SARS-CoV-1) and 2009 (H1N1) with the more recent data about the COVID-19 pandemic. We highlighted most relevant data concerning the disease characteristics, the organizational factors and personal factors that may contribute to developing psychological distress and other mental health symptoms. Results: The disease characteristics of the current COVID-19 pandemic provoked a generalized climate of wariness and uncertainty, particularly among health professionals, due to a range of causes such as the rapid spread of COVID-19, the severity of symptoms it can cause in a segment of infected individuals, the lack of knowledge of the disease, and deaths among health professionals. Stress may also be caused by organizational factors, such as depletion of personal protection equipment, concern about not being able to provide competent care if deployed to new area, concern about rapidly changing information, lack of access to up-to-date information and communication, lack of specific drugs, the shortage of ventilators and intensive care unit beds necessary to care for the surge of critically ill patients, and significant change in their daily social and family life. Further risk factors have been identified, including feelings of being inadequately supported, concerns about health of self, fear of taking home infection to family members or others, and not having rapid access to testing through occupational health if needed, being isolated, feelings of uncertainty and social stigmatization, overwhelming workload, or insecure attachment. Additionally, we discussed positive social and organizational factors that contribute to enhance resilience in the face of the pandemic. There is a consensus in all the relevant literature that health care professionals are at an increased risk of high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder, which could have long-term psychological implications. Conclusions: In the long run, this tragic health crisis should significantly enhance our understanding of the mental health risk factors among the health care professionals facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Reporting information such as this is essential to plan future prevention strategies. Protecting health care professionals is indeed an important component of public health measures to address large-scale health crisis. Thus, interventions to promote mental well-being in health care professionals exposed to COVID-19 need to be immediately implemented, and to strengthen prevention and response strategies by training health care professionals on mental help and crisis management.

Encephale2020       LitCov and CORD-19
7Measures implemented in the school setting to contain the COVID-19 pandemic: a scoping review  


Cochrane Database Syst Rev2020       LitCov and CORD-19
8Virtualized clinical studies to assess the natural history and impact of gut microbiome modulation in non-hospitalized patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 a randomized, open-label, prospective study with a parallel group study evaluating the physiologic effects of KB109 on gut microbiota structu  

OBJECTIVES: These 2 parallel studies (K031 and K032) aim to evaluate the safety of KB109 in addition to supportive self-care (SSC) compared with SSC alone in outpatients with mild to moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). KB109 is a novel synthetic glycan that was formulated to modulate the gut microbiome composition and metabolic output in order to increase beneficial short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production in the gut. The K031 study is designed to evaluate the safety of KB109 and characterize its impact on the natural progression of COVID-19 in patients with mild to moderate disease. The K032 study is evaluating the effect of KB109 on the gut microbiota structure and function in this same patient population. Additionally, both studies are evaluating measures of health care utilization, quality of life (QOL), laboratory indices, biomarkers of inflammation, and serological measures of immunity in patients who received SSC alone or with KB109. Noteworthy aspects of these outpatient studies include study design measures aimed at limiting in-person interactions to minimize the risk of infection spread, such as use of online diaries, telemedicine, and at-home sample collection. STUDY DESIGN: K031 and K032 are randomized, controlled, open-label, clinical food studies. PARTICIPANTS: Inclusion Criteria: • Adults ≥18 years of age • Patients willing and able to give informed consent • Screening/randomization telemedicine visit within 2 days of testing positive test for COVID-19 ○ In K031 study, symptomatic patients at COVID-19 testing must report new or worsening symptoms at baseline that have not been present for more than 5 days ▪ Cardinal COVID-19 symptoms include fever, chills/repeated shaking with chills, cough, shortness of breath, headache, muscle pain, anosmia/ageusia, and sore throat. The 5 additional symptoms include gastrointestinal (GI) disturbance/symptoms (other than diarrhea), diarrhea, fatigue, nasal congestion, and chest tightness ○ In K031, at COVID-19 testing, pre-symptomatic patients must report new cardinal COVID-19 symptoms within 7 days of a positive test and they must be screened and randomized within 5 days of developing symptoms • Mild to moderate COVID-19 and self-reported outpatient management ○ In K032, mild to moderate COVID-19 was defined as having the following symptoms for no more than 72 hours before COVID-19 testing: a self- reported fever or cough (new or exacerbated) or presence of at least 2 of the following: anosmia, sore throat, or nasal congestion • Ability to adhere to the study visit schedule and other protocol requirements • Consistent internet or cell phone access with a data plan and access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer • The K031 and K032 studies are currently being conducted at 17 clinical institutions throughout the United States. Exclusion Criteria: • In the primary investigator’s (PI) judgement, patients likely to require hospitalization for COVID-19 • Patients who are hospitalized for in-patient treatment or currently being evaluated for potential hospitalization at the time of informed consent for conditions other than COVID-19 • History of chronic lung disease with chronic hypoxia • History of documented cirrhosis or end-stage liver disease • Ongoing requirement for oxygen therapy • Shortness of breath in resting position • Diagnosis of sleep apnea requiring bilevel positive airway pressure (BIPAP)/continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) • Female patients who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or lactating • Concurrent use of immunomodulatory agent within 12 months; systemic antibiotics, antifungals, or antivirals for treatment of active infection within 28 days; systemic immunosuppressive therapy within 3 months; or drugs or other compounds that modulate GI motility (eg, stool softeners, laxatives, or fiber supplements) taken currently, or within 7 days. Antacid (histamine 2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors) and antidiarrheal agents are not prohibited • History of GI surgery (6 months prior to randomization), including but not limited to bariatric surgery and bowel resection, or history of, or active GI disease(s) that may affect assessment of tolerability, including but not limited to inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune disease, or GI malignancy • Participation in an interventional clinical trial or use of any investigational agent within 30 days before randomization • Clinically significant or uncontrolled concomitant medical condition that would put the patient at risk or jeopardize the objectives of the study in the opinion of the PI • In the opinion of the PI, patient unlikely for any reason to be able to comply with study procedures • Contraindications, sensitivities, or known allergy to the use of the study product or its components INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Patients will be randomized (1,1) to receive either SSC and KB109 or SSC alone. During SSC, patients should follow the steps as instructed by their healthcare provider to care for themselves and protect other people in the home and community from potentially contracting COVID-19. Management of COVID-19-related symptoms with over-the-counter cough, cold, and anti-pyretic medications by patients is permitted in accordance with the medications’ respective drug facts label or as instructed by the patient’s healthcare provider. Following randomization, patients assigned to receive KB109 and SSC will receive a Kaleido Biosciences, Inc at-home study kit including a thermometer, pulse oximeter, and KB109. During the Intake Period (days 1–14), KB109 will be reconstituted in water by the patient and consumed by the patient twice daily (at least 8 hours apart), following an up-titration dosing schedule: Days 1 to 2: 9 g twice daily for a total daily dose of 18 g Days 3 to 4: 18 g twice daily for a total daily dose of 36 g Days 5 to 14: 36 g twice daily for a total daily dose of 72 g During the intake period, patients will record their daily COVID-19–related symptoms, selected COVID-19 signs (as self-measured using the provided thermometer and pulse oximeter), responses to questions related to QOL measures, health care use measures, and concomitant medications taken in the previous 24 hours. Wellness visits by telephone will be conducted between days 1 and 14 to follow up on patient’s health status and to ascertain compliance with KB109 and completion of questions. On day 14, all patients will undergo a telemedicine visit where the following will be conducted: abbreviated physical examination, assessment of safety and other protocol-specified measures of health, and an evaluation of whether follow-up treatment is recommended owing to a progression of COVID-19 symptoms. If feasible, blood samples for clinical chemistries, biomarkers and serological measure of immunity, and nasal/oropharyngeal swabs for quantitative viral load assessments will be collected. Beginning on day 15, patients in both groups will enter the follow-up period (days 15–35) where COVID-19 signs, symptoms, and health care use indices will be collected. Wellness visits by telephone will be conducted on days 21, 28, and 35 to follow-up on the patient’s health status. On day 35, all patients will undergo a telemedicine visit where the same information as the day 14 telemedicine visit will be collected, including any blood samples. MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary outcome for the K031 and K032 studies is to evaluate the safety of KB109 in addition to SSC compared with SSC alone in outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 by assessing the number of patients experiencing KB109-related treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) during the study. K031 will also evaluate duration of symptoms among outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19. This will be as an assessment made during the intake and/or follow-up periods of the following: • Time to resolution of the 13 overall and the 8 cardinal COVID-19–related symptoms from day 1 until the day at which the composite score of the 13 overall and 8 cardinal COVID-19–related symptoms becomes 0 or 1 and remains at 0 or 1 for the rest of the intake period and for the follow-up period • Proportion of patients with a reduction from baseline in each of the 13 overall COVID-19–related symptoms • Proportion of patients in whom symptoms (present at baseline) become absent for each of the 13 overall COVID-19–related symptoms • Change from baseline in the overall composite score of the 13 overall COVID-19–related symptoms and the 8 cardinal COVID-19–related symptoms • Time to resolution of fever (defined as from day 1 until the day at which a patient’s daily maximum temperature achieves and remains below 100.4°F without antipyretic medication) • Proportion of patients with oxygen saturation <95% and <98% on days 14 and 35 • Measures collected from the health care provider wellness visits • Proportion of patients experiencing hospital admissions (all cause and COVID-19–related) • Health care use K032 will evaluate the effect of KB109 in addition to SSC compared with SSC alone on the gut microbiota structure and function in outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Before days 1, 14, and 35, microbiota structure (eg, magnitude of change in gut microbiome structure, composition of gut microbiome) will be analysed by methods such as nucleic acid sequencing and gut microbiome function will be analysed via levels of stool inflammatory biomarkers (eg, lipocalin) and gut microbiome metabolites (eg, SCFA). The health of outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 will be evaluated during the intake and follow- up periods by: measures of QOL; measures collected from the healthcare provider wellness visits; the proportion of patients experiencing hospital admissions; health care use, the proportions of patients with oxygen saturation <95% and <98%, and the proportion of patients with temperature below 100.4 °F without an anti-pyretic medication. Potential exploratory outcome measures may include: changes from baseline (day 1) in laboratory measures, specific biomarkers of infection, serology, inflammation (eg, D-dimer, lipocalin, cytokines, IgM/IgG sero-conversion, and neutralization assays), and viral load in outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 in the presence and absence of KB109. RANDOMISATION: All patients deemed eligible for the studies will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to KB109 in addition to SSC or SSC alone group using an interactive response technology system. Randomization will be stratified by study site/center, age groups (≥18–<45 years, ≥45–<65 years, ≥65 years), and comorbidity status (yes, no). BLINDING (MASKING): These studies are open-label; therefore, no blinding is necessary. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): K031 will enroll approximately 350 to 400 (175–200 patients per group) whereas K032 will enroll approximately 50 patients (25 per group). STUDY STATUS: K031 protocol version 4, December 9, 2020; recruitment started in August, 2020, and the study is estimated to be completed in March 2021. This study is active and enrollment was completed in January, 2021. K032 protocol version 2, June 30, 2020; recruitment is estimated to start in July, 2020. This study is recruiting and the study is estimated to be completed in March 2021. STUDY REGISTRATION: K031 is registered with the US National Library of Medicine, Identifier NCT04414124 as of June 4, 2020. K032 is registered with the US National Library of Medicine, Identifier NCT04486482 as of July 24, 2020. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocols are attached as additional files (Additional files 1 and 2), accessible from the website. 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 protocols. The study protocols have been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional files 3 and 4). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13063-021-05157-0.

Trials2021       LitCov and CORD-19
9Travel-related control measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic: a rapid review  


Cochrane Database Syst Rev2020       LitCov and CORD-19
10PROTECT Trial: A cluster-randomized study with hydroxychloroquine vs observational support for prevention or early-phase treatment of Coronavirus disease: A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: Hydroxychloroquine has shown to have antiviral activity in vitro against coronaviruses, specifically SARS-CoV-2. It is believed to block virus infection by increasing endosomal pH required for virus cell fusion and glycosylation of viral surface proteins. In addition to its antiviral activity, hydroxychloroquine has an immune-modulating activity that may synergistically enhance its antiviral effect in vivo, making it a potentially promising drug for the prevention and the cure of SARS-CoV-19. However, randomized controlled trials are needed to assess whether it can be used safely to treat COVID-19 patients or to prevent infection. The main objective of the present study is to evaluate the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine for (I) the prevention of COVID-19 or related symptoms in SARS-CoV-2-exposed subjects, such as as household members/contacts of COVID-19 patients and (II) the treatment of early-phase asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic COVID-19 patients. TRIAL DESIGN: This is a controlled, open label, cluster-randomized, superiority trial with parallel group design. Subjects will be randomized either to receive hydroxychloroquine or to observation (2:1). PARTICIPANTS: SARS-CoV-2-exposed subjects, including household members and/or contacts of COVID-19 patients and healthcare professionals (Group 1) or patients with COVID-19 (positive PCR test on a rhinopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2), asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic in home situations who are not undergoing treatment with any anti COVID-19 medication (Group 2), will be enrolled. Paucisymptomatic patients are defined as patients with a low number of mild symptoms. All subjects must be aged ≥18 years, male or female, must be willing and able to give informed consent and must not have any contraindications to take hydroxychloroquine (intolerance or previous toxicity for hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine, bradycardia or reduction in heart rhythm with arrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, retinopathy, congestive heart failure with use of diuretics, favism or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, diabetes type 1, major comorbidities such as advanced chronic kidney disease or dialysis therapy, known history of ventricular arrhythmia, any oncologic/hematologic malignancy, severe neurological and mental illness, current use of medications with known significant drug-drug interactions, and known prolonged QT syndrome or current use of drugs with known QT prolongation). The study is monocentric and will be conducted at Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS. Subjects will be enrolled from a large epidemic region (North-Central Italy). The Public Health Departments of several Italian regions will collaborate by identifying potentially eligible subjects. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: The participants will be randomized (2:1 randomization) to receive either hydroxychloroquine (Arm A) or to Observation (Arm B). Hydroxychloroquine will be administered with the following schedule: Group1: A loading dose hydroxychloroquine 400 mg twice daily on day 1, followed by a weekly dose of hydroxychloroquine 200 mg twice daily on days 8, 15 and 22, for a total of one month of treatment. Group 2: A loading dose hydroxychloroquine 400 mg twice daily on day 1 followed by 200 mg twice daily for a total of 5-7 days. The comparator in this trial is observation given that currently neither treatment is administered to asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic subjects, nor prophylaxis is available for contacts. Hydroxychloroquine will be shipped to subjects within 24 hours of randomization. Given the extraordinary nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, only telephonic interviews will be carried out and electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePRO) completed. During treatment, each subject will be contacted every other day for the first week and weekly thereafter (Group 2) or weekly (Group 1) by a study physician to assess early onset of any COVID-19 symptom or any adverse reaction to hydroxychloroquine and to check subject compliance. Furthermore, all subjects will receive periodic ePROs which may be completed through smartphone or tablets to record drug self-administration and onset of any symptom or adverse event. All subjects will be followed up for a total of 6 months by periodic telephonic interviews and ePROs. MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary endpoint/outcome measure for this trial is: for Group 1, the proportion of subjects who become symptomatic and/or swab-positive in each arm within one month of randomization; for Group 2, the proportion of subjects who become swab-negative in each arm within 14 days of randomization. RANDOMIZATION: All household members and/or contacts of each COVID-19 index case, and the COVID-19 patient himself/herself, fulfilling all inclusion criteria will be grouped into a single cluster and this cluster will be randomized (2:1) to either arm A or arm B. Information on each subject will be recorded in specific data records. Randomization lists will be stratified according to the following factors regarding COVID-19 index cases: 1. COVID-19 risk level on the basis of province of residence (high vs. low/intermediate); 2. Index case is a healthcare professional (yes 3. Index case with COVID-19 treatment (yes vs. no) An independent statistician not otherwise involved in the trial will generate the allocation sequence, and COVID-19 response teams will be unaware of the allocation of clusters. Randomization will be performed through an interactive web-based electronic data-capturing database. An Independent Data Monitoring Committee has been established. BLINDING (MASKING): This study is open label. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): For Group 1, a sample size of about 2000 SARS-CoV-2-exposed subjects such as household members and/or contacts of COVID-19 patients will take part in the study. Assuming around 1.5-2.0 asymptomatic household members and/or contacts for each COVID-19 patient, we expect to identify approximately 1000-1300 COVID-19 index cases to be randomized. An interim analysis on efficacy is planned using standard alpha-spending function. For Group 2, sufficient power for primary objective (negative swab within 14 days of randomization) will be reached given a sample size of 300 asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic COVID-19 subjects in home situations not treated for COVID-19 (25%-30% of about 1000-1300 expected index cases). Since up to date reduced evidence about COVID-19 infection epidemiology, the continuous update of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, the sample size estimation could be updated after a one third of population will be recruited and eventually modified according to a substantial protocol amendment. An interim analysis at 100 enrolled COVID-19 patients is planned. We have planned a Generalized Estimating Equation analysis, which is more efficient than a cluster level analysis, to take advantage of subject-specific covariates. The above reported sample size analysis is therefore to be considered conservative. TRIAL STATUS: The current version of the PROTECT trial protocol is ‘Final version, 15 April 2020’. The study started on 9(th) May 2020. The first patient was enrolled on 14(th) May 2020. Recruitment is expected to last through September 2020. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The PROTECT trial is registered in the EudraCT database (no. 2020-001501-24) and in (NCT04363827), date of registration 24 April 2020. FULL PROTOCOL: The full PROTECT protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interests of 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 (Protocol final version, 15(th) April 2020). The study protocol has been reported in accordance with Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2).

Trials2020       LitCov and CORD-19
11A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (inactivated, Vero cell): a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective is to evaluate the efficacy of an inactivated and aluminium hydroxide adsorbed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (Sinovac, China) in voluntary participants after 14 days of the second dose against RT-PCR confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 cases. The secondary objectives include evaluating the efficacy after at least one dose of the vaccine against RT-PCR confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 cases; the efficacy of two doses of the vaccine on the rates of hospitalization and death; the safety of the vaccine including adverse reactions up to one year after the 2(nd) dose of vaccination; and the immunogenicity of the vaccine and its duration up to 120 days. TRIAL DESIGN: This is a phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled case driven clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. The study is planned to be carried out within two separate cohorts in voluntary participants aged between 18-59 years old. The first cohort includes healthcare professionals actively working in healthcare units, who are assumed to have higher risk of acquiring COVID-19, and the second cohort includes other immunocompetent subjects in the same age group, who are at a regular risk for COVID-19 disease. In Cohort 1, healthcare professionals will be randomized to receive two intramuscular doses of investigational product or the placebo in a 1:1 ratio and they will be monitored for 12 months by active surveillance of COVID-19. In Cohort 2, immunocompetent subjects will be randomized to receive vaccine or the placebo in a 2:1 ratio. PARTICIPANTS: Healthcare professionals of both genders, including medical doctors, nurses, cleaners, hospital technicians, and administrative personnel who work in any department of a healthcare unit and immunocompetent individuals of both genders are included. Pregnant (confirmed by positive beta-hCG test) and breastfeeding women as well as those intending to become pregnant within three months after vaccination are excluded. Other exclusion criteria include history of COVID-19 test positivity (PCR or immunoglobulin test results), any form of immunosuppressive therapy including corticosteroids within 6 months, history of bleeding disorders, asplenia, and administration of any form of immunoglobulins or blood products within 3 months. Exclusion criteria for the second dose include any serious adverse events related with the vaccine, anaphylaxis or hypersensitivity after vaccination, or any confirmed or suspected autoimmune or immunosuppressive disease (including HIV infection). Participants are only included after signing the voluntary informed consent form, ensuring cooperation in visits, undergoing screening for evaluation, and conforming to all the inclusion and exclusion criteria. All clinical sites are located in Turkey. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: The vaccine was manufactured by Sinovac Research & Development Co., Ltd. It is a preparation made from a novel coronavirus (strain CZ02) grown in the kidney cell cultures (Vero Cell) of the African green monkey and contains inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus, aluminium hydroxide, disodium hydrogen phosphate, sodium dihydrogen phosphate, and sodium chloride. A dose of 0.5 mL contains 600 SU of SARS-CoV-2 virus antigen. The placebo contains aluminium hydroxide, disodium hydrogen phosphate, sodium dihydrogen phosphate, and sodium chloride (0.5mL/dose). Scheduled visits and additional unscheduled weekly visits will be performed for the first 13 weeks and neutralizing antibody test, IgG test, T-Cell activation test, pregnancy test, and RT-PCR tests along with total antibody test will be performed. Adverse events and serious adverse events during the follow-up will be recorded on diary cards. Diary cards will collect information on the timing and severity of COVID-19 symptoms and solicited adverse events recorded by the subjects during one-year follow-up period. All serious adverse events will be managed and necessary treatment will be ensured according to the local regulations. All serious adverse events following vaccination will be reported to the ethics committee, the Ministry of Health, and the study sponsor within 24 hours of detection. MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary efficacy endpoint is the incidence of symptomatic cases of COVID-19 disease confirmed by RT-PCR two weeks after the second dose of vaccination. Secondary efficacy endpoints are the incidence of hospitalization/mortality rates among one or two dose regimens, duration of immunogenicity rates up to 120 days, the seroconversion rate, the seropositivity rate, neutralizing antibody titer, and IgG levels 14 days after each dose of vaccination. The primary safety endpoint is the severity and frequency of local and systemic adverse reactions during the period of one week after vaccination. The study would be terminated if more than 15% of the subjects have grade ≥3 adverse events related to vaccination including local reactions. RANDOMISATION: Eligible subjects will be randomized at their Study Day 0 to two study groups using an Interactive Web Response System (IWRS; developed by Omega CRO, Ankara, Turkey) in both risk groups. The IWRS system customizes the randomization algorithm. After enrolment in the study, each participant will be randomly assigned to either of the two treatment arms at a ratio of 1:1 in the high-risk group and at a ratio of 2:1 in the normal risk group. Each enrolled participant will be assigned to a code and will receive the treatment labelled with the code. BLINDING (MASKING): The trial is a double-blind study to avoid introducing bias. The blinding may be broken by the investigator in the event of a medical emergency in which knowledge of the identity of the study vaccine is critical for management of the subject’s immediate treatment. The Data and Safety Monitoring Board is to be contacted in case of breaking the blinding for a study object. The blood samples will be taken from both placebo and vaccinated groups, in order not to break the blinding. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): The study is planned to be carried out with two separate cohorts. The Cohort 1 includes healthcare professionals working in healthcare units and the Cohort 2 consists of immunocompetent subjects having normal risk for COVID-19 disease. The Cohort 2 will be initiated after the evaluation of the interim safety report of the Cohort 1 by the Data and Safety Monitoring Board. Both cohorts will be followed-up via RT-PCR to confirm symptomatic COVID-19 cases. If the clinical efficacy of the vaccine is shown in the Cohort 1 or 2, the subjects randomized into the placebo arm will also be vaccinated. In the Cohort 1, 588 subjects should be included in both arms with the assumption that the risk of infection with COVID-19 will be 5% for the placebo arm and 2% for the vaccine arm in the high-risk group. Considering 10% of drop-out rate and 5% of seropositivity or PCR positivity at baseline, 680 subjects should be screened at both arms of the Cohort 1. Group sample sizes of 7545 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and 3773 placebo suits at a two-sided 95% confidence interval for the difference in population proportions with a width equal to 1.0%, when the estimated incidence rate for vaccinated group is 1.0% and the estimated incidence rate for placebo group is 2.0%. Drop-out rate is assumed to be 10% and seropositivity or PCR positivity at baseline is assumed to be 5%; accordingly, 13000 participants are needed to be enrolled totally in both cohorts. The remaining 11640 subjects will be screened in the Cohort 2 and eligible subjects will be randomized at a ratio of 2:1. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version 6.0 – 15 October 2020. Recruitment started on 15.09.2020 and is expected to end on February 2022. TRIAL REGISTRATION:, NCT04582344. Registered 8 October 2020 FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol of the trial 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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13063-021-05180-1.

Trials2021       LitCov and CORD-19
12A prospective, randomized, single-blinded, crossover trial to investigate the effect of a wearable device in addition to a daily symptom diary for the remote early detection of SARS-CoV-2 infections (COVID-RED): a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: It is currently thought that most—but not all—individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 develop symptoms, but that the infectious period starts on average two days before the first overt symptoms appear. It is estimated that pre- and asymptomatic individuals are responsible for more than half of all transmissions. By detecting infected individuals before they have overt symptoms, wearable devices could potentially and significantly reduce the proportion of transmissions by pre-symptomatic individuals. the algorithm using Ava bracelet data when coupled with self-reported Daily Symptom Diary data (Wearable + Symptom Data Algo; experimental condition); the algorithm using self-reported Daily Symptom Diary data alone (Symptom Only Algo; control condition). In addition, we will determine which of the two algorithms has superior performance characteristics for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection including early or asymptomatic infection as confirmed by SARS-CoV-2 virus testing. TRIAL DESIGN: The trial is a randomized, single-blinded, two-period, two-sequence crossover trial. All subjects will participate in an initial Learning Phase (varying from 2 weeks to 3 months depending on enrolment date), followed by two contiguous 3-month test phases, Period 1 and Period 2. Each subject will undergo the experimental condition (the Wearable + Symptom Data Algo) in one of these periods and the control condition (Symptom Only Algo) in the other period. The order will be randomly assigned, resulting in subjects being allocated 1:1 to either Sequence 1 (experimental condition first) or Sequence 2 (control condition first). Based on demographics, medical history and/or profession, each subject will be stratified at baseline into a high-risk and normal-risk group within each sequence. PARTICIPANTS: The trial will be conducted in the Netherlands. A target of 20,000 subjects will be enrolled. Based on demographics, medical history and/or profession, each subject will be stratified at baseline into a high-risk and normal-risk group within each sequence. This results in approximately 6,500 normal-risk individuals and 3,500 high-risk individuals per sequence. Subjects will be recruited from previously studied cohorts as well as via public campaigns and social media. All data for this study will be collected remotely through the Ava COVID-RED app, the Ava bracelet, surveys in the COVID-RED web portal, and self-sampling serology and PCR kits. During recruitment, subjects will be invited to visit the COVID-RED web portal ( After successfully completing the enrolment questionnaire, meeting eligibility criteria and indicating interest in joining the study, subjects will receive the subject information sheet and informed consent form. Subjects can enrol in COVID-RED if they comply with the following inclusion and exclusion criteria. Resident of the Netherlands. At least 18 years old. Informed consent provided (electronic). Willing to adhere to the study procedures described in the protocol. Must have a smartphone that runs at least Android 8.0 or iOS 13.0 operating systems and is active for the duration of the study (in the case of a change of mobile number, study team should be notified). Be able to read, understand and write Dutch. Previous positive SARS-CoV-2 test result (confirmed either through PCR/antigen or antibody tests; self-reported). Previously received a vaccine developed specifically for COVID-19 or in possession of an appointment for vaccination in the near future (self-reported). Current suspected (e.g., waiting for test result) COVID-19 infection or symptoms of a COVID-19 infection (self-reported). Participating in any other COVID-19 clinical drug, vaccine, or medical device trial (self-reported). Electronic implanted device (such as a pacemaker; self-reported). Pregnant at time of informed consent (self-reported). Suffering from cholinergic urticaria (per the Ava bracelet’s User Manual; self-reported). Staff involved in the management or conduct of this study. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: All subjects will be instructed to complete the Daily Symptom Diary in the Ava COVID-RED app daily, wear their Ava bracelet each night and synchronise it with the app each day for the entire period of study participation. Provided with wearable sensor and/or self-reported symptom data within the last 24 hours, the Ava COVID-RED app’s underlying algorithms will provide subjects with a real-time indicator of their overall health and well-being. Subjects will see one of three messages, notifying them that: no seeming deviations in symptoms and/or physiological parameters have been detected; some changes in symptoms and/or physiological parameters have been detected and they should self-isolate; or alerting them that deviations in their symptoms and/or physiological parameters could be suggestive of a potential COVID-19 infection and to seek additional testing. We will assess intraperson performance of the algorithms in the experimental condition (Wearable + Symptom Data Algo) and control conditions (Symptom Only Algo). MAIN OUTCOMES: The trial will evaluate the use and performance of the Ava COVID-RED app and Ava bracelet, which uses sensors to measure breathing rate, pulse rate, skin temperature, and heart rate variability for the purpose of early and asymptomatic detection and monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in general and high-risk populations. Using laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections (detected via serology tests, PCR tests and/or antigen tests) as the gold standard, we will determine the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) for each of the following two algorithms to detect first-time SARS-CoV-2 infection including early or asymptomatic infection: the algorithm using Ava Bracelet data when coupled with the self-reported Daily Symptom Diary data, and the algorithm using self-reported Daily Symptom Diary data alone. In addition, we will determine which of the two algorithms has superior performance characteristics for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection including early or asymptomatic infection as confirmed by SARS-CoV-2 virus testing. The protocol contains an additional seventeen secondary outcomes which address infection incidence rates, health resource utilization, symptoms reported by SARS-CoV-2 infected participants, and the rate of breakthrough and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections among individuals vaccinated against COVID-19. PCR or antigen testing will occur when the subject receives a notification from the algorithm to seek additional testing. Subjects will be advised to get tested via the national testing programme, and report the testing result in the Ava COVID-RED app and a survey. If they cannot obtain a test via the national testing programme, they will receive a nasal swab self-sampling kit at home, and the sample will be tested by PCR in a trial-affiliated laboratory. In addition, all subjects will be asked to take a capillary blood sample at home at baseline (Month 0), and at the end of the Learning Phase (Month 3), Period 1 (Month 6) and Period 2 (Month 9). These samples will be used for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody testing in a trial-affiliated laboratory, differentiating between antibodies resulting from a natural infection and antibodies resulting from COVID-19 vaccination (as vaccination will gradually be rolled out during the trial period). Baseline samples will only be analysed if the sample collected at the end of the Learning Phase is positive, and samples collected at the end of Period 1 will only be analysed if the sample collected at the end of Period 2 is positive. When subjects obtain a positive PCR/antigen or serology test result during the study, they will continue to be in the study but will be moved into a so-called “COVID-positive” mode in the Ava COVID-RED app. This means that they will no longer receive recommendations from the algorithms but can still contribute and track symptom and bracelet data. The primary analysis of the main objective will be executed using data collected in Period 2 (Month 6 through 9). Within this period, serology tests (before and after Period 2) and PCR/antigen tests (taken based on recommendations by the algorithms) will be used to determine if a subject was infected with SARS-CoV-2 or not. Within this same time period, it will be determined if the algorithms gave any recommendations for testing. The agreement between these quantities will be used to evaluate the performance of the algorithms and how these compare between the study conditions. RANDOMISATION: All eligible subjects will be randomized using a stratified block randomization approach with an allocation ratio of 1:1 to one of two sequences (experimental condition followed by control condition or control condition followed by experimental condition). Based on demographics, medical history and/or profession, each subject will be stratified at baseline into a high-risk and normal-risk group within each sequence, resulting in equal numbers of high-risk and normal-risk individuals between the sequences. BLINDING (MASKING): In this study, subjects will be blinded as to study condition and randomization sequence. Relevant study staff and the device manufacturer will be aware of the assigned sequence. The subject will wear the Ava bracelet and complete the Daily Symptom Diary in the Ava COVID-RED app for the full duration of the study, and they will not know if the feedback they receive about their potential infection status will only be based on data they entered in the Daily Symptom Diary within the Ava COVID-RED app or based on both the data from the Daily Symptom Diary and the Ava bracelet. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): 20,000 subjects will be recruited and randomized 1:1 to either Sequence 1 (experimental condition followed by control condition) or Sequence 2 (control condition followed by experimental condition), taking into account their risk level. This results in approximately 6,500 normal-risk and 3,500 high-risk individuals per sequence. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version: 1.2, dated January 22(nd), 2021 Start of recruitment: February 22(nd), 2021 End of recruitment (estimated): April 2021 End of follow-up (estimated): December 2021 TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial has been registered at the Netherlands Trial Register on the 18(th) of February, 2021 with number NL9320 ( 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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13063-021-05241-5.

Trials2021       LitCov and CORD-19
13Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease cases at a screening clinic during the early outbreak period: a single-center study  

INTRODUCTION. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Corona Virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, and has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing 2019–2020 corona virus pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is closely related to the original SARS-CoV. It is thought to have a zoonotic origin. The virus is primarily spread between people during close contact, often via small droplets produced by coughing, sneezing or talking. People may also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their face. COVID-19 patients currently remain the primary source of infection. An epidemiological survey indicated that the general population is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. The spectrum of this disease ranges from mild to life-threatening. Fever is the most common symptom, although older people and those with comorbidities may experience fever later in the disease. Other common symptoms include cough, loss of appetite, fatigue, shortness of breath, sputum production, and muscle and joint pains. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have been observed in varying percentages. Some cases might progress promptly to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and/or multiple organ function failure. Asymptomatic carriers and those in the incubation period may also be infectious. AIM. To determine the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients presenting with COVID-19 at the screening clinic of a tertiary care hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan. METHODOLOGY. In this descriptive study, we analysed data of patients presenting to a newly established Covid-19 screening clinic in Rehman Medical Institute. Anyone who reported with new onset fever and/or cough was tested for SARS-CoV-2 in the screening clinic. We documented and analysed demographic, epidemiological and clinical characteristics, which included age, sex, travel history, clinical features, comorbidities and laboratory data of patients confirmed by real-time reverse-transcription (RT)-PCR at Rehman Medical Institute, Peshawar, Pakistan from 15 March till 21 April 2020. Paired specimens of throat swabs and nasal swabs were obtained from 845 patients, ribonucleic acid (RNA) was extracted and tested for SARS-CoV-2 by the RT-PCR assay. RESULTS. A total of 845 specimens were taken as described above. The positive rate for SARS-CoV-2 was about 14.3%. Male and older population had a significantly higher positive rate. Of the 121 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, the mean age was 43.19 years (sd, 17.57) and the infections were more frequent among male gender accounting for 85 (70.25 %) patients. Common symptoms included fever (88 patients, 72 %), cough (72 patients, 59.5 %) and shortness of breath (69 patients, 57 %). Twenty-two (18 %) patients had recent travel history outside Pakistan in the previous 14 days, the majority of whom had returned back from Saudi Arabia. CONCLUSION. In this single-centre, prospective, descriptive study, fever, cough and shortness of breath were the most common symptoms. Old age (>50 years), chronic underlying comorbidities and travel history may be risk factors. Therefore, we concluded that viral nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) played an important role in identifying SARS-CoV-2 infection in a screening clinic, which helped with isolation and cohorting of these patients.

J Med Microbiol2020       LitCov and CORD-19
14Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study  

BACKGROUND: Since December, 2019, Wuhan, China, has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 have been reported but risk factors for mortality and a detailed clinical course of illness, including viral shedding, have not been well described. METHODS: In this retrospective, multicentre cohort study, we included all adult inpatients (≥18 years old) with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from Jinyintan Hospital and Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital (Wuhan, China) who had been discharged or had died by Jan 31, 2020. Demographic, clinical, treatment, and laboratory data, including serial samples for viral RNA detection, were extracted from electronic medical records and compared between survivors and non-survivors. We used univariable and multivariable logistic regression methods to explore the risk factors associated with in-hospital death. FINDINGS: 191 patients (135 from Jinyintan Hospital and 56 from Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital) were included in this study, of whom 137 were discharged and 54 died in hospital. 91 (48%) patients had a comorbidity, with hypertension being the most common (58 [30%] patients), followed by diabetes (36 [19%] patients) and coronary heart disease (15 [8%] patients). Multivariable regression showed increasing odds of in-hospital death associated with older age (odds ratio 1·10, 95% CI 1·03–1·17, per year increase; p=0·0043), higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score (5·65, 2·61–12·23; p<0·0001), and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL (18·42, 2·64–128·55; p=0·0033) on admission. Median duration of viral shedding was 20·0 days (IQR 17·0–24·0) in survivors, but SARS-CoV-2 was detectable until death in non-survivors. The longest observed duration of viral shedding in survivors was 37 days. INTERPRETATION: The potential risk factors of older age, high SOFA score, and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL could help clinicians to identify patients with poor prognosis at an early stage. Prolonged viral shedding provides the rationale for a strategy of isolation of infected patients and optimal antiviral interventions in the future. FUNDING: Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences; National Science Grant for Distinguished Young Scholars; National Key Research and Development Program of China; The Beijing Science and Technology Project; and Major Projects of National Science and Technology on New Drug Creation and Development.

Lancet2020       LitCov and CORD-19
15Beyond the black stump: rapid reviews of health research issues affecting regional, rural and remote Australia  


Med J Aust2020       CORD-19
16The British variant of the new coronavirus-19 (Sars-Cov-2) should not create a vaccine problem  


J Biol Regul Homeost Agents2021       LitCov and CORD-19
17Clinical Characteristics of COVID-19 in China  

BACKGROUND: Since December 2019, when coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emerged in Wuhan city and rapidly spread throughout China, data have been needed on the clinical characteristics of the affected patients. METHODS: We extracted data regarding 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in mainland China through January 29, 2020. The primary composite end point was admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the use of mechanical ventilation, or death. RESULTS: The median age of the patients was 47 years; 41.9% of the patients were female. The primary composite end point occurred in 67 patients (6.1%), including 5.0% who were admitted to the ICU, 2.3% who underwent invasive mechanical ventilation, and 1.4% who died. Only 1.9% of the patients had a history of direct contact with wildlife. Among nonresidents of Wuhan, 72.3% had contact with residents of Wuhan, including 31.3% who had visited the city. The most common symptoms were fever (43.8% on admission and 88.7% during hospitalization) and cough (67.8%). Diarrhea was uncommon (3.8%). The median incubation period was 4 days (interquartile range, 2 to 7). On admission, ground-glass opacity was the most common radiologic finding on chest computed tomography (CT) (56.4%). No radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9%) with nonsevere disease and in 5 of 173 patients (2.9%) with severe disease. Lymphocytopenia was present in 83.2% of the patients on admission. CONCLUSIONS: During the first 2 months of the current outbreak, Covid-19 spread rapidly throughout China and caused varying degrees of illness. Patients often presented without fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings. (Funded by the National Health Commission of China and others.)

N Engl J Med2020       LitCov and CORD-19
18Efficacy of hydroxychloroquine for post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection among adults exposed to coronavirus disease: a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial  

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 1. Men or women 18 to 80 years of age inclusive, at the time of signing the informed consent. 2. Willing and able to provide informed consent. 3. 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. 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 case; 5. Access to device and internet for Telehealth visits; 6. Not planning to take HCQ in addition to the study medication. Exclusion criteria 1. Known hypersensitivity to HCQ or other 4-aminoquinoline compounds. 2. Currently hospitalized. 3. Symptomatic with subjective fever, cough, or shortness of breath. 4. Current medications exclude concomitant use of HCQ. 5. Concomitant use of other anti-malarial treatment or chemoprophylaxis, including chloroquine, mefloquine, artemether, or lumefantrine. 6. History of retinopathy of any etiology. 7. Psoriasis. 8. Porphyria. 9. Known bone marrow disorders with significant neutropenia (polymorphonuclear leukocytes <1500) or thrombocytopenia (<100 K). 10. Concomitant use of digoxin, cyclosporin, cimetidine, amiodarone, or tamoxifen. 11. Known moderate or severe liver disease. 12. Known long QT syndrome. 13. Severe renal impairment. 14. 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:, 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.

Trials2020       LitCov and CORD-19
19The SARS-CoV-2 Ivermectin Navarra-ISGlobal Trial (SAINT) to Evaluate the Potential of Ivermectin to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission in low risk, nonsevere COVID-19 patients in the first 48 hours after symptoms onset: A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomized control pilot trial  

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective is to determine the efficacy of a single dose of ivermectin, administered to low risk, non-severe COVID-19 patients in the first 48 hours after symptom onset to reduce the proportion of patients with detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test from nasopharyngeal swab at day 7 post-treatment. 1. To assess the efficacy of ivermectin to reduce the SARS-CoV-2 viral load in the nasopharyngeal swab at day 7 post treatment. 2. To assess the efficacy of ivermectin to improve symptom progression in treated patients. 3. To assess the proportion of seroconversions in treated patients at day 21. 4. To assess the safety of ivermectin at the proposed dose. 5. To determine the magnitude of immune response against SARS-CoV-2. 6. To assess the early kinetics of immunity against SARS-CoV-2. TRIAL DESIGN: SAINT is a single centre, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, superiority trial with two parallel arms. Participants will be randomized to receive a single dose of 400 μg/kg ivermectin or placebo, and the number of patients in the treatment and placebo groups will be the same (1:1 ratio). PARTICIPANTS: The population for the study will be patients with a positive nasopharyngeal swab PCR test for SARS-CoV-2, with non-severe COVID-19 disease, and no risk factors for progression to severity. Vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, minors (i.e.; under 18 years old), and seniors (i.e.; over 60 years old) will be excluded. Inclusion criteria: 1. Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the emergency room of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra (CUN) with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR. 2. Residents of the Pamplona basin (“Cuenca de Pamplona”). 3. The patient must be between the ages of 18 and 60 years of age. 4. Negative pregnancy test for women of child bearing age*. 5. The patient or his/her representative, has given informed consent to participate in the study. 6. The patient should, in the PI's opinion, be able to comply with all the requirements of the clinical trial (including home follow up during isolation). Exclusion criteria: 1. Known history of ivermectin allergy. 2. Hypersensitivity to any component of ivermectin. 3. Diagnosed by the attending physician. Identified in a chest X-ray. 4. Fever or cough present for more than 48 hours. 5. Positive IgG against SARS-CoV-2 by rapid diagnostic test. 6. Age under 18 or over 60 years. 7. Immunosuppression. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Diabetes. Hypertension. Obesity. Acute or chronic renal failure. History of coronary disease. History of cerebrovascular disease. Current neoplasm. 8. Recent travel history to countries that are endemic for Loa loa (Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Equatorial, Guinea, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Sudan). 9. Current use of CYP 3A4 or P-gp inhibitor drugs such as quinidine, amiodarone, diltiazem, spironolactone, verapamil, clarithromycin, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, indinavir, ritonavir or cobicistat. Use of critical CYP3A4 substrate drugs such as warfarin. *Women of child bearing age may participate if they use a safe contraceptive method for the entire period of the study and at least one month afterwards. A woman is considered to not have childbearing capacity if she is post-menopausal (minimum of 2 years without menstruation) or has undergone surgical sterilization (at least one month before the study). The trial is currently planned at a single center, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, in Navarra (Spain), and the immunology samples will be analyzed at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), in Barcelona (Spain). Participants will be recruited by the investigators at the emergency room and/or COVID-19 area of the CUN. They will remain in the trial for a period of 28 days at their homes since they will be patients with mild disease. In the interest of public health and to contain transmission of infection, follow-up visits will be conducted in the participant's home by a clinical trial team comprising nursing and medical members. Home visits will assess clinical and laboratory parameters of the patients. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Ivermectin will be administered to the treatment group at a 400μg/Kg dose (included in the EU approved label of Stromectol and Scabioral). The control group will receive placebo. There is no current data on the efficacy of ivermectin against the virus in vivo, therefore the use of placebo in the control group is ethically justified. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary Proportion of patients with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR from a nasopharyngeal swab at day 7 post-treatment. : 1. Mean viral load as determined by PCR cycle threshold (Ct) at baseline and on days 4, 7, 14, and 21. 2. Proportion of patients with fever and cough at days 4, 7, 14, and 21 as well as proportion of patients progressing to severe disease or death during the trial. 3. Proportion of patients with seroconversion at day 21. 4. Proportion of drug-related adverse events during the trial. 5. Median levels of IgG, IgM, IgA measured by Luminex, frequencies of innate and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells assessed by flow cytometry, median levels of inflammatory and activation markers measured by Luminex and transcriptomics. 6. Median kinetics of IgG, IgM, IgA levels during the trial, until day 28. RANDOMISATION: Eligible patients will be allocated in a 1:1 ratio using a randomization list generated by the trial statistician using blocks of four to ensure balance between the groups. A study identification code with the format “SAINT-##” (##: from 01 to 24) will be generated using a sequence of random numbers so that the randomization number does not match the subject identifier. The sequence and code used will be kept in an encrypted file accessible only to the trial statistician. A physical copy will be kept in a locked cabinet at the CUN, accessible only to the person administering the drug who will not enrol or attend to patient care. A separate set of 24 envelopes for emergency unblinding will be kept in the study file. BLINDING (MASKING): The clinical trial team and the patients will be blinded. The placebo will not be visibly identical, but it will be administered by staff not involved in the clinical care or participant follow up. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): The sample size is 24 patients: 12 participants will be randomised to the treatment group and 12 participants to the control group. TRIAL STATUS: Current protocol version: 1.0 dated 16 of April 2020. Recruitment is envisioned to begin by May 14th and end by June 14th. TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT number: 2020-001474-29, registered April 1(st). submitted, pending number 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.

Trials2020       LitCov and CORD-19
20A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019  

In December 2019, a cluster of patients with pneumonia of unknown cause was linked to a seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China. A previously unknown betacoronavirus was discovered through the use of unbiased sequencing in samples from patients with pneumonia. Human airway epithelial cells were used to isolate a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, which formed a clade within the subgenus sarbecovirus, Orthocoronavirinae subfamily. Different from both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV is the seventh member of the family of coronaviruses that infect humans. Enhanced surveillance and further investigation are ongoing. (Funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China.)

N Engl J Med2020       LitCov and CORD-19
21Rapid, point-of-care antigen and molecular-based tests for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection  

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) and the resulting COVID‐19 pandemic present important diagnostic challenges. Several diagnostic strategies are available to identify or rule out current infection, identify people in need of care escalation, or to test for past infection and immune response. Point‐of‐care antigen and molecular tests to detect current SARS‐CoV‐2 infection have the potential to allow earlier detection and isolation of confirmed cases compared to laboratory‐based diagnostic methods, with the aim of reducing household and community transmission. OBJECTIVES: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of point‐of‐care antigen and molecular‐based tests to determine if a person presenting in the community or in primary or secondary care has current SARS‐CoV‐2 infection. SEARCH METHODS: On 25 May 2020 we undertook electronic searches in the Cochrane COVID‐19 Study Register and the COVID‐19 Living Evidence Database from the University of Bern, which is updated daily with published articles from PubMed and Embase and with preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv. In addition, we checked repositories of COVID‐19 publications. We did not apply any language restrictions. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included studies of people with suspected current SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, known to have, or not to have SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, or where tests were used to screen for infection. We included test accuracy studies of any design that evaluated antigen or molecular tests suitable for a point‐of‐care setting (minimal equipment, sample preparation, and biosafety requirements, with results available within two hours of sample collection). We included all reference standards to define the presence or absence of SARS‐CoV‐2 (including reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT‐PCR) tests and established clinical diagnostic criteria). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently screened studies and resolved any disagreements by discussion with a third review author. One review author independently extracted study characteristics, which were checked by a second review author. Two review authors independently extracted 2x2 contingency table data and assessed risk of bias and applicability of the studies using the QUADAS‐2 tool. We present sensitivity and specificity, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), for each test using paired forest plots. We pooled data using the bivariate hierarchical model separately for antigen and molecular‐based tests, with simplifications when few studies were available. We tabulated available data by test manufacturer. MAIN RESULTS: We included 22 publications reporting on a total of 18 study cohorts with 3198 unique samples, of which 1775 had confirmed SARS‐CoV‐2 infection. Ten studies took place in North America, two in South America, four in Europe, one in China and one was conducted internationally. We identified data for eight commercial tests (four antigen and four molecular) and one in‐house antigen test. Five of the studies included were only available as preprints. We did not find any studies at low risk of bias for all quality domains and had concerns about applicability of results across all studies. We judged patient selection to be at high risk of bias in 50% of the studies because of deliberate over‐sampling of samples with confirmed COVID‐19 infection and unclear in seven out of 18 studies because of poor reporting. Sixteen (89%) studies used only a single, negative RT‐PCR to confirm the absence of COVID‐19 infection, risking missing infection. There was a lack of information on blinding of index test (n = 11), and around participant exclusions from analyses (n = 10). We did not observe differences in methodological quality between antigen and molecular test evaluations. Antigen tests Sensitivity varied considerably across studies (from 0% to 94%): the average sensitivity was 56.2% (95% CI 29.5 to 79.8%) and average specificity was 99.5% (95% CI 98.1% to 99.9%; based on 8 evaluations in 5 studies on 943 samples). Data for individual antigen tests were limited with no more than two studies for any test. Rapid molecular assays Sensitivity showed less variation compared to antigen tests (from 68% to 100%), average sensitivity was 95.2% (95% CI 86.7% to 98.3%) and specificity 98.9% (95% CI 97.3% to 99.5%) based on 13 evaluations in 11 studies of on 2255 samples. Predicted values based on a hypothetical cohort of 1000 people with suspected COVID‐19 infection (with a prevalence of 10%) result in 105 positive test results including 10 false positives (positive predictive value 90%), and 895 negative results including 5 false negatives (negative predictive value 99%). Individual tests We calculated pooled results of individual tests for ID NOW (Abbott Laboratories) (5 evaluations) and Xpert Xpress (Cepheid Inc) (6 evaluations). Summary sensitivity for the Xpert Xpress assay (99.4%, 95% CI 98.0% to 99.8%) was 22.6 (95% CI 18.8 to 26.3) percentage points higher than that of ID NOW (76.8%, (95% CI 72.9% to 80.3%), whilst the specificity of Xpert Xpress (96.8%, 95% CI 90.6% to 99.0%) was marginally lower than ID NOW (99.6%, 95% CI 98.4% to 99.9%; a difference of −2.8% (95% CI −6.4 to 0.8)) AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: This review identifies early‐stage evaluations of point‐of‐care tests for detecting SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, largely based on remnant laboratory samples. The findings currently have limited applicability, as we are uncertain whether tests will perform in the same way in clinical practice, and according to symptoms of COVID‐19, duration of symptoms, or in asymptomatic people. Rapid tests have the potential to be used to inform triage of RT‐PCR use, allowing earlier detection of those testing positive, but the evidence currently is not strong enough to determine how useful they are in clinical practice. Prospective and comparative evaluations of rapid tests for COVID‐19 infection in clinically relevant settings are urgently needed. Studies should recruit consecutive series of eligible participants, including both those presenting for testing due to symptoms and asymptomatic people who may have come into contact with confirmed cases. Studies should clearly describe symptomatic status and document time from symptom onset or time since exposure. Point‐of‐care tests must be conducted on samples according to manufacturer instructions for use and be conducted at the point of care. Any future research study report should conform to the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) guideline.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev2020       LitCov and CORD-19
22Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China  


JAMA2020       LitCov and CORD-19
23Emerging Variants of SARS-CoV-2 And Novel Therapeutics Against Coronavirus  


N/A2021       LitCov
24Pre-exposure prophylaxis with hydroxychloroquine for high-risk healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: A structured summary of a study protocol for a multicentre, double-blind randomized controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with hydroxychloroquine against placebo in healthcare workers with high risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in reducing their risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease during an epidemic period. As secondary objectives, we would like to: i) assess the efficacy of the use of PrEP with hydroxychloroquine against placebo in healthcare workers with high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in reducing their risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (defined by seroconversion) during an epidemic period, ii) evaluate the safety of PrEP with hydroxychloroquine in adults, iii) describe the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, iv) identify clinical, analytical and microbiological predictors of COVID-19 among healthcare workers at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, v) set up a repository of serum samples obtained from healthcare workers at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for future research on blood markers to predict SARS-CoV-2 infection. TRIAL DESIGN: Multicentre double-blind parallel design (ratio 1:1) randomized controlled clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Approximately 440 healthcare workers of four Spanish hospitals (Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau of Barcelona, Hospital Plató of Barcelona, Hospital General de Granollers, Barcelona) will be recruited. Participants are considered to be at high-risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to their frequent contact with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19. For eligibility, healthcare workers with 18 years old or older working at least 3 days a week in a hospital with both negative SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and serological COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) are invited to participate. Participants with any of the following conditions are excluded: pregnancy, breastfeeding, ongoing antiviral, antiretroviral or corticosteroids treatment, chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine uptake the last month or any contraindication to hydroxychloroquine treatment. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Intervention group (PrEP): participants will receive the standard of care and will take 400mg of hydroxychloroquine (2 tablets of 200 mg per Dolquine® tablet) daily the first four consecutive days, followed by 400 mg weekly for a period of 6 months. Control group: participants will receive placebo tablets with identical physical appearance to hydroxychloroquine 200 mg (Dolquine®) tablets following the same treatment schedule of the intervention group. Both groups will be encouraged to use the personal protection equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 prevention according to current hospital guidelines. MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary endpoint will be the number of confirmed cases of a COVID-19 (defined by a positive PCR for SARS-CoV-2 or symptoms compatible with COVID-19 with seroconversion) in the PrEP group compared to the placebo group at any time during the 6 months of the follow-up in healthcare workers with negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR and serology at day 0. As secondary endpoints, we will obtain: i) the SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in the PrEP group compared to placebo during the 6 months of follow-up in healthcare workers with negative serology at day 0; ii) the occurrence of any adverse event related with hydroxychloroquine treatment; iii) the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 among healthcare workers in the non-PrEP group, among the total of healthcare workers included in the non-PrEP group during the study period; iv) the risk ratio for the different clinical, analytical and microbiological conditions to develop COVID-19; v) a repository of serum samples obtained from healthcare workers confirmed COVID-19 cases for future research on blood markers to predict SARS-CoV-2 infection. RANDOMISATION: Participants meeting all eligibility requirements will be allocated to one of the two study arms (PrEP with hydroxychloroquine or non-PrEP control group) in a 1:1 ratio using simple randomisation with computer generated random numbers. BLINDING (MASKING): Participants, doctors and nurses caring for participants, and investigators assessing the outcomes will be blinded to group assignment. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): Each intervention group will have 220 participants, giving a total of 440 participants. TRIAL STATUS: The current protocol version is 1.5, 2(nd) of June 2020. Two hundred and seventy-fiveparticipants were recruited and completed first month follow-up until date. The estimated sample size could not be reached yet due to the declining national epidemic curve. Thus, 275 is the total number of participants included until date. The study has been suspended (26(th) of June) until new epidemic curve occurs. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was registered on April 2(nd) 2020 at with the number NCT04331834. 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.

Trials2020       LitCov and CORD-19
25Antibody tests for identification of current and past infection with SARS-CoV-2  

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) virus and resulting COVID‐19 pandemic present important diagnostic challenges. Several diagnostic strategies are available to identify current infection, rule out infection, identify people in need of care escalation, or to test for past infection and immune response. Serology tests to detect the presence of antibodies to SARS‐CoV‐2 aim to identify previous SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, and may help to confirm the presence of current infection. OBJECTIVES: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of antibody tests to determine if a person presenting in the community or in primary or secondary care has SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, or has previously had SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, and the accuracy of antibody tests for use in seroprevalence surveys. SEARCH METHODS: We undertook electronic searches in the Cochrane COVID‐19 Study Register and the COVID‐19 Living Evidence Database from the University of Bern, which is updated daily with published articles from PubMed and Embase and with preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv. In addition, we checked repositories of COVID‐19 publications. We did not apply any language restrictions. We conducted searches for this review iteration up to 27 April 2020. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included test accuracy studies of any design that evaluated antibody tests (including enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assays, chemiluminescence immunoassays, and lateral flow assays) in people suspected of current or previous SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, or where tests were used to screen for infection. We also included studies of people either known to have, or not to have SARS‐CoV‐2 infection. We included all reference standards to define the presence or absence of SARS‐CoV‐2 (including reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests (RT‐PCR) and clinical diagnostic criteria). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We assessed possible bias and applicability of the studies using the QUADAS‐2 tool. We extracted 2x2 contingency table data and present sensitivity and specificity for each antibody (or combination of antibodies) using paired forest plots. We pooled data using random‐effects logistic regression where appropriate, stratifying by time since post‐symptom onset. We tabulated available data by test manufacturer. We have presented uncertainty in estimates of sensitivity and specificity using 95% confidence intervals (CIs). MAIN RESULTS: We included 57 publications reporting on a total of 54 study cohorts with 15,976 samples, of which 8526 were from cases of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection. Studies were conducted in Asia (n = 38), Europe (n = 15), and the USA and China (n = 1). We identified data from 25 commercial tests and numerous in‐house assays, a small fraction of the 279 antibody assays listed by the Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics. More than half (n = 28) of the studies included were only available as preprints. We had concerns about risk of bias and applicability. Common issues were use of multi‐group designs (n = 29), inclusion of only COVID‐19 cases (n = 19), lack of blinding of the index test (n = 49) and reference standard (n = 29), differential verification (n = 22), and the lack of clarity about participant numbers, characteristics and study exclusions (n = 47). Most studies (n = 44) only included people hospitalised due to suspected or confirmed COVID‐19 infection. There were no studies exclusively in asymptomatic participants. Two‐thirds of the studies (n = 33) defined COVID‐19 cases based on RT‐PCR results alone, ignoring the potential for false‐negative RT‐PCR results. We observed evidence of selective publication of study findings through omission of the identity of tests (n = 5). We observed substantial heterogeneity in sensitivities of IgA, IgM and IgG antibodies, or combinations thereof, for results aggregated across different time periods post‐symptom onset (range 0% to 100% for all target antibodies). We thus based the main results of the review on the 38 studies that stratified results by time since symptom onset. The numbers of individuals contributing data within each study each week are small and are usually not based on tracking the same groups of patients over time. Pooled results for IgG, IgM, IgA, total antibodies and IgG/IgM all showed low sensitivity during the first week since onset of symptoms (all less than 30.1%), rising in the second week and reaching their highest values in the third week. The combination of IgG/IgM had a sensitivity of 30.1% (95% CI 21.4 to 40.7) for 1 to 7 days, 72.2% (95% CI 63.5 to 79.5) for 8 to 14 days, 91.4% (95% CI 87.0 to 94.4) for 15 to 21 days. Estimates of accuracy beyond three weeks are based on smaller sample sizes and fewer studies. For 21 to 35 days, pooled sensitivities for IgG/IgM were 96.0% (95% CI 90.6 to 98.3). There are insufficient studies to estimate sensitivity of tests beyond 35 days post‐symptom onset. Summary specificities (provided in 35 studies) exceeded 98% for all target antibodies with confidence intervals no more than 2 percentage points wide. False‐positive results were more common where COVID‐19 had been suspected and ruled out, but numbers were small and the difference was within the range expected by chance. Assuming a prevalence of 50%, a value considered possible in healthcare workers who have suffered respiratory symptoms, we would anticipate that 43 (28 to 65) would be missed and 7 (3 to 14) would be falsely positive in 1000 people undergoing IgG/IgM testing at days 15 to 21 post‐symptom onset. At a prevalence of 20%, a likely value in surveys in high‐risk settings, 17 (11 to 26) would be missed per 1000 people tested and 10 (5 to 22) would be falsely positive. At a lower prevalence of 5%, a likely value in national surveys, 4 (3 to 7) would be missed per 1000 tested, and 12 (6 to 27) would be falsely positive. Analyses showed small differences in sensitivity between assay type, but methodological concerns and sparse data prevent comparisons between test brands. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The sensitivity of antibody tests is too low in the first week since symptom onset to have a primary role for the diagnosis of COVID‐19, but they may still have a role complementing other testing in individuals presenting later, when RT‐PCR tests are negative, or are not done. Antibody tests are likely to have a useful role for detecting previous SARS‐CoV‐2 infection if used 15 or more days after the onset of symptoms. However, the duration of antibody rises is currently unknown, and we found very little data beyond 35 days post‐symptom onset. We are therefore uncertain about the utility of these tests for seroprevalence surveys for public health management purposes. Concerns about high risk of bias and applicability make it likely that the accuracy of tests when used in clinical care will be lower than reported in the included studies. Sensitivity has mainly been evaluated in hospitalised patients, so it is unclear whether the tests are able to detect lower antibody levels likely seen with milder and asymptomatic COVID‐19 disease. The design, execution and reporting of studies of the accuracy of COVID‐19 tests requires considerable improvement. Studies must report data on sensitivity disaggregated by time since onset of symptoms. COVID‐19‐positive cases who are RT‐PCR‐negative should be included as well as those confirmed RT‐PCR, in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) and China National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China (CDC) case definitions. We were only able to obtain data from a small proportion of available tests, and action is needed to ensure that all results of test evaluations are available in the public domain to prevent selective reporting. This is a fast‐moving field and we plan ongoing updates of this living systematic review.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev2020       LitCov and CORD-19
26Prevalence of and Risk Factors Associated With Mental Health Symptoms Among the General Population in China During the COVID-19 Pandemic  

IMPORTANCE: People exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and a series of imperative containment measures could be psychologically stressed, yet the burden of and factors associated with mental health symptoms remain unclear. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of and risk factors associated with mental health symptoms in the general population in China during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This large-sample, cross-sectional, population-based, online survey study was conducted from February 28, 2020, to March 11, 2020. It involved all 34 province-level regions in China and included participants aged 18 years and older. Data analysis was performed from March to May 2020. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The prevalence of symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and acute stress among the general population in China during the COVID-19 pandemic was evaluated using the Patient Health Questionnaire–9, Generalized Anxiety Disorder–7, Insomnia Severity Index, and Acute Stress Disorder Scale. Logistic regression analyses were used to explore demographic and COVID-19–related risk factors. RESULTS: Of 71 227 individuals who clicked on the survey link, 56 932 submitted the questionnaires, for a participation rate of 79.9%. After excluding the invalid questionnaires, 56 679 participants (mean [SD] age, 35.97 [8.22] years; 27 149 men [47.9%]) were included in the study; 39 468 respondents (69.6%) were aged 18 to 39 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rates of mental health symptoms among the survey respondents were 27.9% (95% CI, 27.5%-28.2%) for depression, 31.6% (95% CI, 31.2%-32.0%) for anxiety, 29.2% (95% CI, 28.8%-29.6%) for insomnia, and 24.4% (95% CI, 24.0%-24.7%) for acute stress. Participants with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and their family members or friends had a high risk for symptoms of depression (adjusted odds ratios [ORs], 3.27 [95% CI, 1.84-5.80] for patients; 1.53 [95% CI, 1.26-1.85] for family or friends), anxiety (adjusted ORs, 2.48 [95% CI, 1.43-4.31] for patients; 1.53 [95% CI, 1.27-1.84] for family or friends), insomnia (adjusted ORs, 3.06 [95% CI, 1.73-5.43] for patients; 1.62 [95% CI, 1.35-1.96] for family or friends), and acute stress (adjusted ORs, 3.50 [95% CI, 2.02-6.07] for patients; 1.77 [95% CI, 1.46-2.15] for family or friends). Moreover, people with occupational exposure risks and residents in Hubei province had increased odds of symptoms of depression (adjusted ORs, 1.96 [95% CI, 1.77-2.17] for occupational exposure; 1.42 [95% CI, 1.19-1.68] for Hubei residence), anxiety (adjusted ORs, 1.93 [95% CI, 1.75-2.13] for occupational exposure; 1.54 [95% CI, 1.30-1.82] for Hubei residence), insomnia (adjusted ORs, 1.60 [95% CI, 1.45-1.77] for occupational exposure; 1.20 [95% CI, 1.01-1.42] for Hubei residence), and acute stress (adjusted ORs, 1.98 [95% CI, 1.79-2.20] for occupational exposure; 1.49 [95% CI, 1.25-1.79] for Hubei residence). Both centralized quarantine (adjusted ORs, 1.33 [95% CI, 1.10-1.61] for depression; 1.46 [95% CI, 1.22-1.75] for anxiety; 1.63 [95% CI, 1.36-1.95] for insomnia; 1.46 [95% CI, 1.21-1.77] for acute stress) and home quarantine (adjusted ORs, 1.30 [95% CI, 1.25-1.36] for depression; 1.28 [95% CI, 1.23-1.34] for anxiety; 1.24 [95% CI, 1.19-1.30] for insomnia; 1.29 [95% CI, 1.24-1.35] for acute stress) were associated with the 4 negative mental health outcomes. Being at work was associated with lower risks of depression (adjusted OR, 0.85 [95% CI, 0.79-0.91]), anxiety (adjusted OR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.86-0.99]), and insomnia (adjusted OR, 0.87 [95% CI, 0.81-0.94]). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The results of this survey indicate that mental health symptoms may have been common during the COVID-19 outbreak among the general population in China, especially among infected individuals, people with suspected infection, and people who might have contact with patients with COVID-19. Some measures, such as quarantine and delays in returning to work, were also associated with mental health among the public. These findings identify populations at risk for mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic and may help in implementing mental health intervention policies in other countries and regions.

JAMA Netw Open2020       LitCov and CORD-19
27A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin  

Since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 18 years ago, a large number of SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats(1–4). Previous studies have shown that some bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans(5–7). Here we report the identification and characterization of a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans in Wuhan, China. The epidemic, which started on 12 December 2019, had caused 2,794 laboratory-confirmed infections including 80 deaths by 26 January 2020. Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at an early stage of the outbreak. The sequences are almost identical and share 79.6% sequence identity to SARS-CoV. Furthermore, we show that 2019-nCoV is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus. Pairwise protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins domains show that this virus belongs to the species of SARSr-CoV. In addition, 2019-nCoV virus isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a critically ill patient could be neutralized by sera from several patients. Notably, we confirmed that 2019-nCoV uses the same cell entry receptor—angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2)—as SARS-CoV.

Nature2020       LitCov and CORD-19
28Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study  

BACKGROUND: In December, 2019, a pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) emerged in Wuhan, China. We aimed to further clarify the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 2019-nCoV pneumonia. METHODS: In this retrospective, single-centre study, we included all confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital from Jan 1 to Jan 20, 2020. Cases were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR and were analysed for epidemiological, demographic, clinical, and radiological features and laboratory data. Outcomes were followed up until Jan 25, 2020. FINDINGS: Of the 99 patients with 2019-nCoV pneumonia, 49 (49%) had a history of exposure to the Huanan seafood market. The average age of the patients was 55·5 years (SD 13·1), including 67 men and 32 women. 2019-nCoV was detected in all patients by real-time RT-PCR. 50 (51%) patients had chronic diseases. Patients had clinical manifestations of fever (82 [83%] patients), cough (81 [82%] patients), shortness of breath (31 [31%] patients), muscle ache (11 [11%] patients), confusion (nine [9%] patients), headache (eight [8%] patients), sore throat (five [5%] patients), rhinorrhoea (four [4%] patients), chest pain (two [2%] patients), diarrhoea (two [2%] patients), and nausea and vomiting (one [1%] patient). According to imaging examination, 74 (75%) patients showed bilateral pneumonia, 14 (14%) patients showed multiple mottling and ground-glass opacity, and one (1%) patient had pneumothorax. 17 (17%) patients developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and, among them, 11 (11%) patients worsened in a short period of time and died of multiple organ failure. INTERPRETATION: The 2019-nCoV infection was of clustering onset, is more likely to affect older males with comorbidities, and can result in severe and even fatal respiratory diseases such as acute respiratory distress syndrome. In general, characteristics of patients who died were in line with the MuLBSTA score, an early warning model for predicting mortality in viral pneumonia. Further investigation is needed to explore the applicability of the MuLBSTA score in predicting the risk of mortality in 2019-nCoV infection. FUNDING: National Key R&D Program of China.

Lancet2020       LitCov and CORD-19
29SARS-CoV-2 Cell Entry Depends on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and Is Blocked by a Clinically Proven Protease Inhibitor  

The recent emergence of the novel, pathogenic SARS-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in China and its rapid national and international spread pose a global health emergency. Cell entry of coronaviruses depends on binding of the viral spike (S) proteins to cellular receptors and on S protein priming by host cell proteases. Unravelling which cellular factors are used by SARS-CoV-2 for entry might provide insights into viral transmission and reveal therapeutic targets. Here, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 uses the SARS-CoV receptor ACE2 for entry and the serine protease TMPRSS2 for S protein priming. A TMPRSS2 inhibitor approved for clinical use blocked entry and might constitute a treatment option. Finally, we show that the sera from convalescent SARS patients cross-neutralized SARS-2-S-driven entry. Our results reveal important commonalities between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infection and identify a potential target for antiviral intervention.

Cell2020       LitCov and CORD-19
30Pathogenesis-directed therapy of 2019 novel coronavirus disease  


J Med Virol2021       LitCov and CORD-19
31Clinical course and outcomes of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a single-centered, retrospective, observational study  

BACKGROUND: An ongoing outbreak of pneumonia associated with the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) started in December, 2019, in Wuhan, China. Information about critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection is scarce. We aimed to describe the clinical course and outcomes of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. METHODS: In this single-centered, retrospective, observational study, we enrolled 52 critically ill adult patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Wuhan Jin Yin-tan hospital (Wuhan, China) between late December, 2019, and Jan 26, 2020. Demographic data, symptoms, laboratory values, comorbidities, treatments, and clinical outcomes were all collected. Data were compared between survivors and non-survivors. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality, as of Feb 9, 2020. Secondary outcomes included incidence of SARS-CoV-2-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and the proportion of patients requiring mechanical ventilation. FINDINGS: Of 710 patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, 52 critically ill adult patients were included. The mean age of the 52 patients was 59·7 (SD 13·3) years, 35 (67%) were men, 21 (40%) had chronic illness, 51 (98%) had fever. 32 (61·5%) patients had died at 28 days, and the median duration from admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) to death was 7 (IQR 3–11) days for non-survivors. Compared with survivors, non-survivors were older (64·6 years [11·2] vs 51·9 years [12·9]), more likely to develop ARDS (26 [81%] patients vs 9 [45%] patients), and more likely to receive mechanical ventilation (30 [94%] patients vs 7 [35%] patients), either invasively or non-invasively. Most patients had organ function damage, including 35 (67%) with ARDS, 15 (29%) with acute kidney injury, 12 (23%) with cardiac injury, 15 (29%) with liver dysfunction, and one (2%) with pneumothorax. 37 (71%) patients required mechanical ventilation. Hospital-acquired infection occurred in seven (13·5%) patients. INTERPRETATION: The mortality of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia is considerable. The survival time of the non-survivors is likely to be within 1–2 weeks after ICU admission. Older patients (>65 years) with comorbidities and ARDS are at increased risk of death. The severity of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia poses great strain on critical care resources in hospitals, especially if they are not adequately staffed or resourced. FUNDING: None.

Lancet Respir Med2020       LitCov and CORD-19
32Characteristics of and Important Lessons From the COVID-19 Outbreak in China: Summary of a Report of 72 314 Cases From the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention  


JAMA2020       LitCov and CORD-19
33Baseline Characteristics and Outcomes of 1591 Patients Infected With SARS-CoV-2 Admitted to ICUs of the Lombardy Region, Italy  


JAMA2020       LitCov and CORD-19
34Human and novel coronavirus infections in children: a review  


Paediatr Int Child Health2021       LitCov and CORD-19
35COVID-19 vaccines: comparison of biological, pharmacological characteristics and adverse effects of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines  


Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci2021       LitCov and CORD-19
36A Practical Approach to the Management of Cancer Patients During the Novel COVID-19 Pandemic: An International Collaborative Group  

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) has rapidly spread globally since being identified as a public health emergency of major international concern and has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). In December 2019, an outbreak of atypical pneumonia, known as COVID‐19, was identified in Wuhan, China. The newly identified zoonotic coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2), is characterized by rapid human‐to‐human transmission. Many cancer patients frequently visit the hospital for treatment and disease surveillance. They may be immunocompromised due to the underlying malignancy or anticancer therapy and are at higher risk of developing infections. Several factors increase the risk of infection, and cancer patients commonly have multiple risk factors. Cancer patients appear to have an estimated twofold increased risk of contracting SARS‐CoV‐2 than the general population. With the WHO declaring the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, there is an urgent need to address the impact of such a pandemic on cancer patients. This include changes to resource allocation, clinical care, and the consent process during a pandemic. Currently and due to limited data, there are no international guidelines to address the management of cancer patients in any infectious pandemic. In this review, the potential challenges associated with managing cancer patients during the COVID‐19 infection pandemic will be addressed, with suggestions of some practical approaches. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The main management strategies for treating cancer patients during the COVID‐19 epidemic include clear communication and education about hand hygiene, infection control measures, high‐risk exposure, and the signs and symptoms of COVID‐19. Consideration of risk and benefit for active intervention in the cancer population must be individualized. Postponing elective surgery or adjuvant chemotherapy for cancer patients with low risk of progression should be considered on a case‐by‐case basis. Minimizing outpatient visits can help to mitigate exposure and possible further transmission. Telemedicine may be used to support patients to minimize number of visits and risk of exposure. More research is needed to better understand SARS‐CoV‐2 virology and epidemiology.

Oncologist2020       LitCov and CORD-19
37The psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the general population of Saudi Arabia  

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging infection causing a widely spread pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The current COVID-2019 pandemic is prompting fear of falling sick, dying, helplessness and stigma, urgent and timely understanding of mental health status is needed to help the community. Our investigation designed to survey the general population in Saudi Arabia to assess the degree of psychological impact during the pandemic. METHODS: During the early stage of the outbreak, we conducted an online-based survey using a snowballing sample technique. The surveys collected data about several aspects of participant sociodemographic, knowledge, concerns, psychological impact, and mental health status. We assessed the psychological impact and mental health status using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), and the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21). RESULTS: Our survey recruited 1160 respondents of the general public of Saudi Arabia. Of them, 23.6% reported moderate or severe psychological impact of the outbreak, 28.3%,24%, and 22.3% reported moderate to severe depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms, respectively. Females reported IES-R (B: 5.46, 95% CI: 3.61 to 7.31) and DASS subscales B coefficient ranged from 1.65 to 2.63, along with high-school students, working in the medical field, and poor self-reported health status was significantly associated with a high level of IES-R and DASS scales (p < .05). Experiencing breathing difficulty and dizziness showed a stronger association with higher IES-R and DASS subscales than other somatic symptoms (e.g., headache and fever);(p < .001). Respondents who practiced specific preventative measures (e.g., hand washing, social distancing) demonstrated a protective effect against stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Social distancing appeared to be protective on stress and anxiety subscales (B: -1.49, 95% CI: −2.79 to −0.19),(B: -1.53, 95% CI: −2.50 to −0.57),respectively; and hand hygiene on depression subscale (B: -2.43, 95% CI: −4.44 to −0.42). CONCLUSION: Throughout the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in Saudi Arabia, the results showed that nearly one-fourth of the sampled general population experienced moderate to severe psychological impact. Following specific precautionary measures appeared to have a protective effect on the individual's mental health. Our findings can be used to construct psychological interventions directed toward vulnerable populations and to implement public mental health strategies in the early stages of the outbreak.

Compr Psychiatry2020       LitCov and CORD-19
38Safety and efficacy assessment of allogeneic human dental pulp stem cells to treat patients with severe COVID-19: structured summary of a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial (Phase I / II)  

OBJECTIVES: To assess the safety and therapeutic effects of allogeneic human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) in treating severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19. TRIAL DESIGN: This is a single centre, two arm ratio 1:1, triple blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel group, clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: 1. Adults aged 18-65 years; 2. Voluntarily participate in this clinical trial and sign the “informed consent form” or have consent from a legal representative. 3. Diagnosed with severe pneumonia of COVID-19: nucleic acid test SARS-CoV-2 positive; respiratory distress (respiratory rate > 30 times / min); hypoxia (resting oxygen saturation < 93% or arterial partial pressure of oxygen / oxygen concentration < 300 mmHg). 4. COVID-19 featured lung lesions in chest X-ray image. 1. Patients have received other experimental treatment for COVID-19 within the last 30 days; 2. Patients have severe liver condition (e.g., Child Pugh score >=C or AST> 5 times of the upper limit); 3. Patients with severe renal insufficiency (estimated glomerular filtration rate <=30mL / min/1.73 m(2)) or patients receiving continuous renal replacement therapy, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis; 4. Patients who are co-infected with HIV, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, influenza virus, adenovirus or other respiratory infection viruses; 5. Female patients who have no sexual protection in the last 30 days prior to the screening assessment; 6. Pregnant or lactating women or women using estrogen contraception; 7. Patients who are planning to become pregnant during the study period or within 6 months after the end of the study period; 8. Other conditions that the researchers consider not suitable for participating in this clinical trial. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: There will be two study groups: experimental and control. Both will receive all necessary routine treatment for COVID-19. The experimental group will receive an intravenous injection of dental pulp stem cells suspension (3.0x10(7) human DPSCs in 30ml saline solution) on day 1, 4 and 7; The control group will receive an equal amount of saline (placebo) on the same days. Clinical and laboratory observations will be performed for analysis during a period of 28 days for each case since the commencement of the study. MAIN OUTCOMES: 1. Primary outcome The primary outcome is Time To Clinical Improvement (TTCI). By definition, TTCI is the time (days) it takes to downgrade two levels from the following six ordered grades [(grade 1) discharge to (grade 6) death] in the clinical state of admission to the start of study treatments (hDPSCs or placebo). Six grades of ordered variables: 2. Secondary outcomes 2.1 vital signs: heart rate, blood pressure (systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure). During the screening period, hospitalization every day (additional time points of D1, D4, D7 30min before injection, 2h ± 30min, 24h ± 30min after the injection) and follow-up period D90 ± 3 days. 2.2 Laboratory examinations: during the screening period, 30 minutes before D1, D4, D7 infusion, 2h ± 30min, 24h ± 30min after the end of infusion, D10, D14, D28 during hospitalization or discharge day and follow-up period D90 ± 3 days. 2.3 Blood routine: white blood cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils Acidic granulocyte count, basophil count, red blood cell, hemoglobin, hematocrit, average volume of red blood cells, average red blood cell Hb content, average red blood cell Hb concentration, RDW standard deviation, RDW coefficient of variation, platelet count, platelet specific platelet average Volume, platelet distribution width,% of large platelets; 2.4 Liver and kidney function tests: alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyl transferase, prealbumin, total protein, albumin, globulin, white / globule ratio , Total bilirubin, direct bilirubin, cholinesterase, urea, creatinine, total carbon dioxide, uric acid glucose, potassium, sodium, chlorine, calcium, corrected calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and phosphorus product, anion gap, penetration Pressure, total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, Low density lipoprotein cholesterol, lipoprotein a, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, estimated glomerular filtration rate. 2.5 Inflammation indicators: hypersensitive C-reactive protein, serum amyloid (SAA); 2.6 Infectious disease testing: Hepatitis B (HBsAg, HBsAb, HBeAg, HBeAb, HBcAb), Hepatitis C (Anti-HCV), AIDS (HIVcombin), syphilis (Anti-TP), cytomegalovirus CMV-IgM, cytomegalovirus CMV-IgG; only during the screening period and follow-up period D90 ± 3. 2.7 Immunological testing: Collect peripheral blood to detect the phenotype of T lymphocyte, B lymphocyte, natural killer cell, Macrophage and neutrophil by using flow cytometry. Collect peripheral blood to detect the gene profile of mononuclear cells by using single-cell analyses. Collect peripheral blood serum to detect various immunoglobulin changes: IgA, IgG, IgM, total IgE; Collect peripheral blood serum to explore the changes of cytokines, Th1 cytokines (IL-1 β, IL-2, TNF-a, ITN-γ), Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-6, IL -10). 2.8 Pregnancy test: blood β-HCG, female subjects before menopause are examined during the screening period and follow-up period D90 ± 3. 2.9 Urine routine: color, clarity, urine sugar, bilirubin, ketone bodies, specific gravity, pH, urobilinogen, nitrite, protein, occult blood, leukocyte enzymes, red blood cells, white blood cells, epithelial cells, non-squamous epithelial cells , Transparent cast, pathological cast, crystal, fungus; 2.10 Stool Routine: color, traits, white blood cells, red blood cells, fat globules, eggs of parasites, fungi, occult blood (chemical method), occult blood (immune method), transferrin (2h ± 30min after the injection and not detected after discharge). RANDOMIZATION: Block randomization method will be applied by computer to allocate the participants into experimental and control groups. The random ratio is 1:1. BLINDING (MASKING): Participants, outcomes assessors and investigators (including personnel in laboratory and imaging department who issue the sample report or image observations) will be blinded. Injections of cell suspension and saline will be coded in accordance with the patient’s randomisation group. The blind strategy is kept by an investigator who does not deliver the medical care or assess primary outcome results. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): Twenty participants will be randomized to the experimental and control groups (10 per group). TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version number, hDPSC-CoVID-2019-02-2020 Version 2.0, March 13, 2020. Patients screening commenced on 16(th) April and an estimated date of the recruitment of the final participants will be around end of July. . TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registration: World Health Organization Trial Registry: ChiCTR2000031319; March 27,2020. Identifier: NCT04336254; April 7, 2020 Other Study ID Numbers: hDPSC-CoVID-2019-02-2020 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.

Trials2020       LitCov and CORD-19
39Factors Associated With Mental Health Disorders Among University Students in France Confined During the COVID-19 Pandemic  

IMPORTANCE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and quarantine measures have raised concerns regarding their psychological effects on populations. Among the general population, university students appear to be particularly susceptible to experiencing mental health problems. OBJECTIVES: To measure the prevalence of self-reported mental health symptoms, to identify associated factors, and to assess care seeking among university students who experienced the COVID-19 quarantine in France. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This survey study collected data from April 17 to May 4, 2020, from 69 054 students living in France during the COVID-19 quarantine. All French universities were asked to send an email to their students asking them to complete an online questionnaire. The targeted population was approximately 1 600 000 students. EXPOSURE: Living in France during the COVID-19 quarantine. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The rates of self-reported suicidal thoughts, severe distress, stress, anxiety, and depression were assessed using the 22-item Impact of Events Scale–Revised, the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale, the 20-item State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (State subscale), and the 13-item Beck Depression Inventory, respectively. Covariates were sociodemographic characteristics, precariousness indicators (ie, loss of income or poor quality housing), health-related data, information on the social environment, and media consumption. Data pertaining to care seeking were also collected. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify risk factors. RESULTS: A total of 69 054 students completed the survey (response rate, 4.3%). The median (interquartile range) age was 20 (18-22) years. The sample was mainly composed of women (50 251 [72.8%]) and first-year students (32 424 [47.0%]). The prevalence of suicidal thoughts, severe distress, high level of perceived stress, severe depression, and high level of anxiety were 11.4% (7891 students), 22.4% (15 463 students), 24.7% (17 093 students), 16.1% (11 133 students), and 27.5% (18 970 students), respectively, with 29 564 students (42.8%) reporting at least 1 outcome, among whom 3675 (12.4%) reported seeing a health professional. Among risk factors identified, reporting at least 1 mental health outcome was associated with female gender (odds ratio [OR], 2.10; 95% CI, 2.02-2.19; P < .001) or nonbinary gender (OR, 3.57; 95% CI, 2.99-4.27; P < .001), precariousness (loss of income: OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.22-1.33; P < .001; low-quality housing: OR, 2.30; 95% CI, 2.06-2.57; P < .001), history of psychiatric follow-up (OR, 3.28; 95% CI, 3.09-3.48; P < .001), symptoms compatible with COVID-19 (OR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.49-1.61; P < .001), social isolation (weak sense of integration: OR, 3.63; 95% CI, 3.35-3.92; P < .001; low quality of social relations: OR, 2.62; 95% CI, 2.49-2.75; P < .001), and low quality of the information received (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.49-1.64; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The results of this survey study suggest a high prevalence of mental health issues among students who experienced quarantine, underlining the need to reinforce prevention, surveillance, and access to care.

JAMA Netw Open2020       LitCov and CORD-19
40Hydroxychloroquine efficacy and safety in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease severity during pregnancy (COVID-Preg): a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised placebo controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: The primary objectives of the study are: 1. To assess the effect of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in reducing SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding by PCR in infected pregnant women with mild symptoms. 2. To assess the efficacy of HCQ to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women in contact with an infected or suspected case. 3. To evaluate the effect of HCQ in preventing the development of the COVID-19 disease in asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women. The secondary objectives are: 1. To determine the effect of HCQ on the clinical course and duration of the COVID-19 disease in SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women. 2. To determine the impact of HCQ on the risk of hospitalization and mortality of SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women. 3. To assess the safety and tolerability of HCQ in pregnant women. 4. To describe the clinical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. 5. To describe the effects of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection on pregnancy and perinatal outcomes by treatment group. 6. To determine the risk of vertical transmission (intra-utero and intra-partum) of SARS-CoV-2. TRIAL DESIGN: Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled two-arm multicentre clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of HCQ to prevent and/or minimize SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. Participants will be randomized to receive a 14-day oral treatment course of HCQ or placebo, ratio 1:1. PARTICIPANTS: Study population: pregnant women undergoing routine prenatal follow up or attending emergency units at the participating hospitals who report either symptoms/signs suggestive of COVID-19 disease or close contact with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case. Inclusion criteria Women will be invited to participate in the trial and sign an informed consent if they meet the following inclusion criteria. • Presenting with fever (≥37.5°C) and/or one mild symptom suggestive of COVID-19 disease (cough, dyspnoea, chills, odynophagia, diarrhoea, muscle pain, anosmia, dysgeusia, headache) OR being contact* of a SARS-CoV-2 confirmed or suspected case in the past 14 days • More than 12 weeks of gestation (dated by ultrasonography) • Agreement to deliver in the study hospitals Exclusion criteria • Known hypersensitivity to HCQ or other 4-amonoquinoline compounds • History of retinopathy of any aetiology • Concomitant use of digoxin, cyclosporine, cimetidine • Known liver disease • Clinical history of cardiac pathology including known long QT syndrome • Unable to cooperate with the requirements of the study • Participating in other intervention studies • Delivery onset (characterized by painful uterine contractions and variable changes of the cervix, including some degree of effacement and slower progression of dilatation up to 5 cm for first and subsequent labours) The study participants will be stratified by clinical presentation and SARS-CoV-2 PCR results. Assignment of participants to study groups will be as follows: • SARS-CoV-2-PCR confirmed, infected pregnant women: a. symptomatic (n=100) b. asymptomatic (n=100) • SARS-CoV-2 PCR negative pregnant women in contact* with a SARS-CoV-2-infected confirmed or suspected case (n=514). *The ECDC definition of close contact will be followed. The trial will be conducted in five hospitals in Spain: Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, in Barcelona, and HM Puerta del Sur and Hospital Universitario de Torrejón, in Madrid. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Participants will be randomized to HCQ (400 mg/day for three days, followed by 200 mg/day for 11 days) or placebo (2 tablets for three days, followed by one tablet for 11 days). MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary outcome is the number of PCR-confirmed infected pregnant women assessed from collected nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs at day 21 after treatment start (one week after treatment is completed). RANDOMISATION: Allocation of participants to study arms will be done centrally by the trial’s Sponsor (the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal) by block randomization. This method will ensure balanced allocation to both arms. The electronic CRF will automatically assign a study number to each participant, depending on her study group and recruitment site. Each number will be related to a treatment number, which assigns them to one of the study arms. BLINDING (MASKING): Participants, caregivers, investigators and those assessing the outcomes will be blinded to group assignment. Study tablets (HCQ and placebo) will be identically packaged in small opaque bottles. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): This study requires 200 SARS-CoV-2 infected and 514 contact pregnant women, randomised 1:1 with 100 and 227 respectively in each study arm. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version 1.0, from May 8(th), 2020. Recruitment is ongoing (first patient recruited the 19(th) May 2020 and recruitment end anticipated by December 2020). TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT number: 2020-001587-29, registered 2 April 2020. identifier: NCT04410562, retrospectively registered 1 June 2020. 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.

Trials2020       LitCov and CORD-19
41Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated With Self-reported Psychological Distress Among Children and Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic in China  

IMPORTANCE: Schools have been suspended nationwide in 188 countries, and classes have shifted to home-based distance learning models to control the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Additional information is needed to determine mental health status among school-aged children and adolescents during this public health crisis and the risk factors associated with psychological distress during the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: To assess self-reported psychological distress among school-aged children and adolescents associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cross-sectional study using data from a survey on the mental health of school-aged children and adolescents in Guangdong province, China, conducted by using a stratified cluster random sampling method between March 8 to 30, 2020. To estimate outcomes associated with location of districts, only data from students with internet protocol addresses and current addresses in Guangdong were included. Data were analyzed from April 5 to July 20, 2020. EXPOSURE: Home-based distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURES: The main outcome was self-reported psychological distress, measured using the total score on the 12-item General Health Questionnaire of 3 or greater. Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyze risk factors associated with mental health status. Odds ratios (ORs) were used to analyze the associations of factors with psychological distress. RESULTS: Among 1 310 600 students who completed the survey, 1 199 320 students (mean [SD] age, 12.04 [3.01] years; 619 144 [51.6%] boys) were included in the final analysis. A total of 126 355 students (10.5%) self-reported psychological distress. Compared with students in primary school, high school students had increased risk of psychological distress (OR, 1.19 [95% CI, 1.15-1.23]). Compared with students who wore a face mask frequently, students who never wore a face mask had increased risk of psychological distress (OR, 2.59 [95% CI, 2.41-2.79]). Additionally, students who spent less than 0.5 hours exercising had increased odds of self-reported psychological distress compared with students who spent more than 1 hour exercising (OR, 1.64 [95% CI, 1.61-1.67]). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These findings suggest that the prevalence of self-reported psychological distress among students during the COVID-19 pandemic was relatively high. Frequency of wearing a face mask and time spent exercising were factors associated with mental health. Therefore, it may be necessary for governments, schools, and families to pay attention to the mental health of school-aged children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic and take corresponding countermeasures to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ mental health.

JAMA Netw Open2021       LitCov and CORD-19
42Repurposing of chlorpromazine in COVID-19 treatment: the reCoVery study  

Abstract OBJECTIVES: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic comprises a total of more than 2 350 000 cases and 160 000 deaths. The interest in anti-coronavirus drug development has been limited so far and effective methods to prevent or treat coronavirus infections in humans are still lacking. Urgent action is needed to fight this fatal coronavirus infection by reducing the number of infected people along with the infection contagiousness and severity. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak several weeks ago, we observe in GHU PARIS Psychiatrie & Neurosciences (Sainte-Anne hospital, Paris, France) a lower prevalence of symptomatic and severe forms of COVID-19 infections in psychiatric patients (∼4 %) compared to health care professionals (∼14 %). Similar observations have been noted in other psychiatric units in France and abroad. Our hypothesis is that psychiatric patients could be protected from the severe form of COVID-19 by their psychotropic treatments. Chlorpromazine (CPZ) is a phenothiazine derivative widely used in clinical routine in the treatment of acute and chronic psychoses. This first antipsychotic medication has been discovered in 1952 by Jean Delay and Pierre Deniker at Sainte-Anne hospital. In addition to its antipsychotic effects, several in vitro studies have also demonstrated a CPZ antiviral activity via the inhibition of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Recently, independent studies revealed that CPZ is an anti-MERS-CoV and an anti-SARS-CoV-1 drug. In comparison to other antiviral drugs, the main advantages of CPZ lie in its biodistribution: (i) preclinical and clinical studies have reported a high CPZ concentration in the lungs (20--200 times higher than in plasma), which is critical because of the respiratory tropism of SARS-CoV-2; (ii) CPZ is highly concentrated in saliva (20-60 times higher than in plasma) and could therefore reduce the contagiousness of COVID-19; (iii) CPZ can cross the blood-brain barrier and could therefore prevent the neurological forms of COVID-19. METHODS: In this context, we will test the hypothesis that CPZ could decrease the unfavorable evolution of COVID-19 infection in oxygen-requiring patients without the need for intensive care, but also reduce the contagiousness of SARS-CoV-2. At this end, we designed a pilot, phase III, multicenter, single blind, randomized controlled therapeutic trial. Efficacy of CPZ will be assessed according to clinical, biological and radiological criteria. The main objective is to demonstrate a shorter Time To Response (TTR) to treatment in the CPZ + standard-of-care (CPZ + SOC) group, compared to the SOC group. Response to treatment is defined by a reduction of at least one level of severity on the WHO-Ordinal Scale for Clinical Improvement (WHO-OSCI). The secondary objectives are to demonstrate in the CPZ + SOC group, compared to the SOC group: A) superior clinical improvement; B) a greater decrease in the biological markers of viral attack by SARS-CoV-2 (PCR, viral load); C) a greater decrease in inflammatory markers (e.g. CRP and lymphopenia); D) a greater decrease in parenchymal involvement (chest CT) on the seventh day post-randomization; E) to define the optimal dosage of CPZ and its tolerance; F) to evaluate the biological parameters of response to treatment, in particular the involvement of inflammatory cytokines. Patient recruitment along with the main and secondary objectives are in line with WHO 2020 COVID-19 guidelines. CONCLUSION: This repositioning of CPZ as anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity offers an alternative and rapid strategy to alleviate the virus propagation and the infection severity and lethality. This CPZ repositioning strategy also avoids numerous developmental and experimental steps, can save precious time to rapidly establish an anti-COVID-19 therapy with well-known, limited and easy to manage side effects. Indeed, CPZ is an FDA-approved drug with an excellent tolerance profile, prescribed for around 70 years, in psychiatry but also in clinical routine in nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, in advanced cancer and also to treat headaches in various neurological conditions. The broad spectrum of CPZ treatment - including antipsychotic, anxiolytic, antiemetic, antiviral, immunomodulatory effects along with inhibition of clathrin-mediated endocytosis and modulation of blood-brain barrier - is in line with the historical French commercial name for CPZ, i.e. LARGACTIL, chosen as a reference to its 'LARGe ACTion' properties. The discovery of those CPZ properties, as for many other molecules in psychiatry, is both the result of serendipity and careful clinical observations. Using this approach, the field of mental illness could provide innovative therapeutic approaches to fight SARS-CoV-2.

Encephale2020       LitCov and CORD-19
43Mental Health Burden in Different Professions During the Final Stage of the COVID-19 Lockdown in China: Cross-sectional Survey Study  

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 resulted in considerable mental health burden in the Chinese general population and among health care workers at the beginning and peak of the pandemic. However, little is known about potentially vulnerable groups during the final stage of the lockdown. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this survey study was to assess the mental health burden of different professions in China in order to find vulnerable groups, possible influencing factors, and successful ways of coping during the last 4 weeks of the lockdown in Hubei Province. METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey asked participants about current residence, daily working hours, exposure to COVID-19 at work, and media preferences. We used a shortened version of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) to assess mental health. Further assessments included perceived stress (Simplified Chinese version of the 14-item Perceived Stress Scale), coping strategies for all participants, and specific stressors for health care workers. We followed the reporting guidelines of the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) statement for observational studies. RESULTS: The sample (N=687) consisted of 158 doctors, 221 nurses, 24 other medical staff, 43 students, 60 teachers/government staff, 135 economy staff, 26 workers/farmers, and 20 professions designated under the “other” category. We found increased depression (n=123, 17.9%), anxiety (n=208, 30.3%), and stress (n=94, 13.7%) in our sample. Professions that were vulnerable to depression were other medical staff and students. Doctors, nurses, and students were vulnerable to anxiety; and other medical staff, students, and economy staff were vulnerable to stress. Coping strategies were reduced to three factors: active, mental, and emotional. Being female and emotional coping were independently associated with depression, anxiety, or stress. Applying active coping strategies showed lower odds for anxiety while mental coping strategies showed lower odds for depression, anxiety, and stress. Age, being inside a lockdown area, exposure to COVID-19 at work, and having a high workload (8-12 hours per day) were not associated with depression, anxiety, or stress. WeChat was the preferred way of staying informed across all groups. CONCLUSIONS: By the end of the lockdown, a considerable part of the Chinese population showed increased levels of depression and anxiety. Students and other medical staff were the most affected, while economy staff were highly stressed. Doctors and nurses need support regarding potential anxiety disorders. Future work should focus on longitudinal results of the pandemic and develop targeted preventive measures.

J Med Internet Res2020       LitCov and CORD-19
44COVID-19 pandemic and pregnancy  

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is spreading globally at an accelerated rate, with a basic reproduction number (R0) of 2–2.5, indicating that 2–3 persons will be infected from an index patient. A serious public health emergency, it is particularly deadly in vulnerable populations and communities in which healthcare providers are insufficiently prepared to manage the infection. As of March 16, 2020, there are more than 180,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with more than 7000 related deaths. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been isolated from asymptomatic individuals, and affected patients continue to be infectious 2 weeks after cessation of symptoms. The substantial morbidity and socioeconomic impact have necessitated drastic measures across all continents, including nationwide lockdowns and border closures. Pregnant women and their fetuses represent a high-risk population during infectious disease outbreaks. To date, the outcomes of 55 pregnant women infected with COVID-19 and 46 neonates have been reported in the literature, with no definite evidence of vertical transmission. Physiological and mechanical changes in pregnancy increase susceptibility to infections in general, particularly when the cardiorespiratory system is affected, and encourage rapid progression to respiratory failure in the gravida. Furthermore, the pregnancy bias toward T-helper 2 (Th2) system dominance, which protects the fetus, leaves the mother vulnerable to viral infections, which are more effectively contained by the Th1 system. These unique challenges mandate an integrated approach to pregnancies affected by SARS-CoV-2. Here we present a review of COVID-19 in pregnancy, bringing together the various factors integral to the understanding of pathophysiology and susceptibility, diagnostic challenges with real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays, therapeutic controversies, intrauterine transmission, and maternal−fetal complications. We discuss the latest options in antiviral therapy and vaccine development, including the novel use of chloroquine in the management of COVID-19. Fetal surveillance, in view of the predisposition to growth restriction and special considerations during labor and delivery, is addressed. In addition, we focus on keeping frontline obstetric care providers safe while continuing to provide essential services. Our clinical service model is built around the principles of workplace segregation, responsible social distancing, containment of cross-infection to healthcare providers, judicious use of personal protective equipment, and telemedicine. Our aim is to share a framework that can be adopted by tertiary maternity units managing pregnant women in the flux of a pandemic while maintaining the safety of the patient and healthcare provider at its core.

Am J Obstet Gynecol2020       LitCov and CORD-19
45Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia  

BACKGROUND: The initial cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and January 2020. We analyzed data on the first 425 confirmed cases in Wuhan to determine the epidemiologic characteristics of NCIP. METHODS: We collected information on demographic characteristics, exposure history, and illness timelines of laboratory-confirmed cases of NCIP that had been reported by January 22, 2020. We described characteristics of the cases and estimated the key epidemiologic time-delay distributions. In the early period of exponential growth, we estimated the epidemic doubling time and the basic reproductive number. RESULTS: Among the first 425 patients with confirmed NCIP, the median age was 59 years and 56% were male. The majority of cases (55%) with onset before January 1, 2020, were linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, as compared with 8.6% of the subsequent cases. The mean incubation period was 5.2 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.1 to 7.0), with the 95th percentile of the distribution at 12.5 days. In its early stages, the epidemic doubled in size every 7.4 days. With a mean serial interval of 7.5 days (95% CI, 5.3 to 19), the basic reproductive number was estimated to be 2.2 (95% CI, 1.4 to 3.9). CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of this information, there is evidence that human-to-human transmission has occurred among close contacts since the middle of December 2019. Considerable efforts to reduce transmission will be required to control outbreaks if similar dynamics apply elsewhere. Measures to prevent or reduce transmission should be implemented in populations at risk. (Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and others.)

N Engl J Med2020       LitCov and CORD-19
46Antiviral Activity of Type I, II and III Interferons Counterbalances ACE2 Inducibility and Restricts SARS-CoV-2  

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a recently emerged respiratory coronavirus that has infected >23 million people worldwide with >800,000 deaths. Few COVID-19 therapeutics are available, and the basis for severe infections is poorly understood. Here, we investigated properties of type I (β), II (γ), and III (λ1) interferons (IFNs), potent immune cytokines that are normally produced during infection and that upregulate IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) effectors to limit virus replication. IFNs are already in clinical trials to treat COVID-19. However, recent studies highlight the potential for IFNs to enhance expression of host angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), suggesting that IFN therapy or natural coinfections could exacerbate COVID-19 by upregulating this critical virus entry receptor. Using a cell line model, we found that beta interferon (IFN-β) strongly upregulated expression of canonical antiviral ISGs, as well as ACE2 at the mRNA and cell surface protein levels. Strikingly, IFN-λ1 upregulated antiviral ISGs, but ACE2 mRNA was only marginally elevated and did not lead to detectably increased ACE2 protein at the cell surface. IFN-γ induced the weakest ISG response but clearly enhanced surface expression of ACE2. Importantly, all IFN types inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in a dose-dependent manner, and IFN-β and IFN-λ1 exhibited potent antiviral activity in primary human bronchial epithelial cells. Our data imply that type-specific mechanisms or kinetics shape IFN-enhanced ACE2 transcript and cell surface levels but that the antiviral action of IFNs against SARS-CoV-2 counterbalances any proviral effects of ACE2 induction. These insights should aid in evaluating the benefits of specific IFNs, particularly IFN-λ, as repurposed therapeutics.

mBio2020       LitCov and CORD-19
47A randomized multicenter clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of melatonin in the prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in high-risk contacts (MeCOVID Trial): A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: Primary objective: to evaluate the efficacy of melatonin as a prophylactic treatment on prevention of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure. To evaluate the efficacy of melatonin as a prophylactic treatment on prevention of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. To evaluate the efficacy of melatonin to prevent the development of severe COVID-19 in the participants enrolled in this study who develop SARS-CoV-2 infection along the trial. To evaluate the duration of COVID-19 symptoms in participants receiving melatonin before the infection. To evaluate seroconversion timing post-symptom onset. Exploratory objectives: To compare severity of COVID-19 between men and women. To evaluate the influence of sleep and diet on prevention from SARS-CoV-2 infection. To evaluate the effect of melatonin on the incidence and characteristics of lymphopenia and increase of inflammatory cytokines related to COVID-19. TRIAL DESIGN: This is a two-arm parallel randomised double-blind controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of melatonin versus placebo in the prophylaxis of coronavirus disease 2019 among healthcare workers. PARTICIPANTS: Male or female participants ≥ 18 and ≤ 80 years of age. Healthcare workers from the public and private Spanish hospital network at risk of SARS-CoV 2 infection. Not having a previous COVID19 diagnosis. Understanding the purpose of the trial and not having taken any pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) including HIV PrEP from March 1(st) 2020 until study enrolment. Having a negative SARS-CoV 2 reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR) result or a negative serologic rapid test (IgM/IgG) result before randomization. Premenopausal women must have a negative urinary pregnancy test in the 7 days before starting the trial treatment. Premenopausal women and males with premenopausal couples must commit to using a high efficiency anticonceptive method. HIV infection. Active hepatitis B infection. Renal failure (CrCl < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) or need for hemodialysis. Osteoporosis. Myasthenia gravis. Pre-existent maculopathy. Retinitis pigmentosa. Bradycardia (less than 50 bpm). Weight less than 40 Kg. Participant with any immunosuppressive condition or hematological disease. Treatment with drugs that may prolong QT in the last month before randomization for more than 7 days including: azithromycin, chlorpromazine, cisapride, clarithromycin, domperidone, droperidol, erythromycin, halofantrine, haloperidol, lumefantrine, mefloquine, methadone, pentamidine, procainamide, quinidine, quinine, sotalol, sparfloxacin, thioridazine, amiodarone. Hereditary intolerance to galactose, Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose or galactose malabsorption. Treatment with fluvoxamine. Treatment with benzodiazepines or benzodiazepine analogues such as zolpidem, zopiclone or zaleplon. Pregnancy. Breastfeeding. History of potentially immune derived diseases such as: lupus, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, vasculitis or rheumatoid arthritis. Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Known history of hypersensitivity to the study drug or any of its components. Patients that should not be included in the study at the judgment of the research team. Participants will be recruited from the following eight hospitals in Madrid, Spain: Hospital Universitario La Paz, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Hospital Infanta Sofía, Hospital 12 de Octubre, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Hospital Central de la defensa Gómez Ulla,Hospital de La Princesa and Hospital Infanta Leonor. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Experimental: Melatonin (Circadin®, Exeltis Healthcare, Spain): 2 mg of melatonin orally before bedtime for 12 weeks. Comparator: Identical looking placebo (Laboratorios Liconsa, Spain) orally before bedtime for 12 weeks. MAIN OUTCOMES: Number of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) symptomatic infections confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or serologic test or according to each centre diagnosis protocol. Primary outcome will be measured until the end of treatment for each participant (until the date of the last dose taken by each patient). RANDOMISATION: Patients who meet all inclusion and no exclusion criteria will be randomised, stratified by centres, sex and age (<50 and ≥ 50 years old). The randomisation sequence was created using SAS version 9.4 statistical software (procedure ‘PROC PLAN’) with a 1:1 allocation. No randomisation seed was specified. The randomisation seed was generated taking the hour of the computer where the program was executed. Randomization will be done centrally through the electronic system RedCAP® in order to conceal the sequence until interventions are assigned BLINDING (MASKING): Participants, caregivers, and those assessing the outcomes are blinded to group assignment. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): A total of 450 participants are planned to be enrolled in this clinical trial, 225 in the experimental arm and 225 in the placebo arm. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version 3.0, 17th of April 2020. Recruitment ongoing. First participant was recruited on the 21st of April 2020. The final participant is anticipated to be recruited on the 31st of May 2020. As of May 18th, 2020, a total of 312 participants have been enrolled (154 at Hospital La Paz, 85 at Hospital Infanta Sofía and 73 at Hospital 12 de Octubre). TRIAL REGISTRATION: EU Clinical Trials Register: 2020-001530-35; Date of trial registration: 13th of April 2020; 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.

Trials2020       LitCov and CORD-19
48Impact of self-imposed prevention measures and short-term government-imposed social distancing on mitigating and delaying a COVID-19 epidemic: A modelling study  

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread to nearly every country in the world since it first emerged in China in December 2019. Many countries have implemented social distancing as a measure to “flatten the curve” of the ongoing epidemics. Evaluation of the impact of government-imposed social distancing and of other measures to control further spread of COVID-19 is urgent, especially because of the large societal and economic impact of the former. The aim of this study was to compare the individual and combined effectiveness of self-imposed prevention measures and of short-term government-imposed social distancing in mitigating, delaying, or preventing a COVID-19 epidemic. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We developed a deterministic compartmental transmission model of SARS-CoV-2 in a population stratified by disease status (susceptible, exposed, infectious with mild or severe disease, diagnosed, and recovered) and disease awareness status (aware and unaware) due to the spread of COVID-19. Self-imposed measures were assumed to be taken by disease-aware individuals and included handwashing, mask-wearing, and social distancing. Government-imposed social distancing reduced the contact rate of individuals irrespective of their disease or awareness status. The model was parameterized using current best estimates of key epidemiological parameters from COVID-19 clinical studies. The model outcomes included the peak number of diagnoses, attack rate, and time until the peak number of diagnoses. For fast awareness spread in the population, self-imposed measures can significantly reduce the attack rate and diminish and postpone the peak number of diagnoses. We estimate that a large epidemic can be prevented if the efficacy of these measures exceeds 50%. For slow awareness spread, self-imposed measures reduce the peak number of diagnoses and attack rate but do not affect the timing of the peak. Early implementation of short-term government-imposed social distancing alone is estimated to delay (by at most 7 months for a 3-month intervention) but not to reduce the peak. The delay can be even longer and the height of the peak can be additionally reduced if this intervention is combined with self-imposed measures that are continued after government-imposed social distancing has been lifted. Our analyses are limited in that they do not account for stochasticity, demographics, heterogeneities in contact patterns or mixing, spatial effects, imperfect isolation of individuals with severe disease, and reinfection with COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that information dissemination about COVID-19, which causes individual adoption of handwashing, mask-wearing, and social distancing, can be an effective strategy to mitigate and delay the epidemic. Early initiated short-term government-imposed social distancing can buy time for healthcare systems to prepare for an increasing COVID-19 burden. We stress the importance of disease awareness in controlling the ongoing epidemic and recommend that, in addition to policies on social distancing, governments and public health institutions mobilize people to adopt self-imposed measures with proven efficacy in order to successfully tackle COVID-19.

PLoS Med2020       LitCov and CORD-19
49A Phase I/II Clinical Trial to evaluate the efficacy of baricitinib to prevent respiratory insufficiency progression in onco-hematological patients affected with COVID-19: A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: Baricitinib is supposed to have a double effect on SARS-CoV2 infection. Firstly, it reduces the inflammatory response through the inhibition of the Januse-Kinase signalling transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway. Moreover, it reduces the receptor mediated viral endocytosis by AP2-associated protein kinase 1 (AAK1) inhibition. We propose the use of baricinitib to prevent the progression of the respiratory insufficiency in SARS-CoV2 pneumonia in onco-haematological patients. In this phase Ib/II study, the primary objective in the safety cohort is to describe the incidence of severe adverse events associated with baricitinib administration. The primary objective of the randomized phase (baricitinib cohort versus standard of care cohort) is to evaluate the number of patients who did not require mechanical oxygen support since start of therapy until day +14 or discharge (whichever it comes first). The secondary objectives of the study (only randomized phase of the study) are represented by the comparison between the two arms of the study in terms of mortality and toxicity at day+30. Moreover, a description of the immunological related changes between the two arms of the study will be reported. TRIAL DESIGN: The trial is a phase I/II study with a safety run-in cohort (phase 1) followed by an open label phase II randomized controlled trial with an experimental arm compared to a standard of care arm. PARTICIPANTS: The study will be performed at the Institut Català d’Oncologia, a tertiary level oncological referral center in the Catalonia region (Spain). The eligibility criteria are: patients > 18 years affected by oncological diseases; ECOG performance status < 2 (Karnofsky score > 60%); a laboratory confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 by means of real -time PCR; radiological signs of low respiratory tract disease; absence of organ dysfunction (a total bilirubin within normal institutional limits, AST/ALT≤2.5 X institutional upper limit of normal, alkaline phosphatase ≤2.5 X institutional upper limit of normal, coagulation within normal institutional limits, creatinine clearance >30 mL/min/1.73 m(2) for patients with creatinine levels above institutional normal); absence of HIV infection; no active or latent HBV or HCV infection. The exclusion criteria are: patients with oncological diseases who are not candidates to receive any active oncological treatment; hemodynamic instability at time of study enrollment; impossibility to receive oral medication; medical history of recent or active pulmonary embolism or deep venous thrombosis or patients at high-risk of suffering them (surgical intervention, immobilization); multi organ failure, rapid worsening of respiratory function with requirement of fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO(2)) > 50% or high-flow nasal cannula before initiation of study treatment; uncontrolled intercurrent illness (ongoing or severe active infection, symptomatic congestive heart failure, unstable angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, or psychiatric illness/social situations that would limit compliance with study requirements); allergy to one or more of study treatments; pregnant or breastfeeding women; positive pregnancy test in a pre-dose examination. Patients should have the ability to understand, and the willingness to sign, a written informed consent document; the willingness to accept randomization to any assigned treatment arm; and must agree not to enroll in another study of an investigational agent prior to completion of Day +28 of study. An electronic Case Report Form in the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) platform will be used to collect the data of the trial. Removal from the study will apply in case of unacceptable adverse event(s), development of an intercurrent illness, condition or procedural complication, which could interfere with the patient’s continued participation and voluntary patient withdrawal from study treatment (all patients are free to withdraw from participation in this study at any time, for any reasons, specified or unspecified, and without prejudice). INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Treatment will be administered on an inpatient basis. We will compare the experimental treatment with baricitinib plus the institutional standard of care compared with the standard of care alone. During the phase I, we will define the dose-limiting toxicity of baricitinib and the dose to be used in the phase 2 part of the study. The starting baricitinib dose will be an oral tablet 4 mg-once daily which can be reduced to 2 mg depending on the observed toxicity. The minimum duration of therapy will be 5 days and it can be extended to 7 days. The standard of care will include the following therapies. Antibiotics will be individualized based on clinical suspicion, including the management of febrile neutropenia. Prophylaxis of thromboembolic disease will be administered to all participants. Remdesivir administration will be considered only in patients with severe pneumonia (SatO(2) <94%) with less than 7 days of onset of symptoms and with supplemental oxygen requirements but not using high-flow nasal cannula, non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). In the randomized phase, tocilizumab or interferon will not be allowed in the experimental arm. Tocilizumab can be used in patients in the standard of care arm at the discretion of the investigator. If it is prescribed it will be used according to the following criteria: patients who, according to his baseline clinical condition, would be an ICU tributary, interstitial pneumonia with severe respiratory failure, patients who are not on mechanical ventilation or ECMO and who are still progressing with corticoid treatment or if they are not candidates for corticosteroids. Mild ARDS (PAFI <300 mmHg) with radiological or blood gases deterioration that meets at least one of the following criteria: CRP >100mg/L D-Dimer >1,000μg/L LDH >400U/L Ferritin >700ng/ml Interleukin 6 ≥40ng/L. The use of tocilizumab is not recommended if there are AST/ALT values greater than 10 times the upper limit of normal, neutrophils <500 cells/mm3, sepsis due to other pathogens other than SARS-CoV-2, presence of comorbidity that can lead to a poor prognosis, complicated diverticulitis or intestinal perforation, ongoing skin infection. The dose will be that recommended by the Spanish Medicine Agency in patients ≥75Kg: 600mg dose whereas in patients <75kg: 400mg dose. Exceptionally, a second infusion can be assessed 12 hours after the first in those patients who experience a worsening of laboratory parameters after a first favourable response. The use of corticosteroids will be recommended in patients who have had symptoms for more than 7 days and who meet all the following criteria: need for oxygen support, non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation, acute respiratory failure or rapid deterioration of gas exchange, appearance or worsening of bilateral alveolar-interstitial infiltrates at the radiological level. In case of indication, it is recommended: dexamethasone 6mg/d p.o. or iv for 10 days or methylprednisolone 32mg/d orally or 30mg iv for 10 days or prednisone 40mg day p.o. for 10 days. MAIN OUTCOMES: Phase 1 part: to describe the toxicity profile of baricitinib in COVID19 oncological patients during the 5-7 day treatment period and until day +14 or discharge (whichever it comes first). Phase 2 part: to describe the number of patients in the experimental arm that will not require mechanical oxygen support compared to the standard of care arm until day +14 or discharge (whichever it comes first). RANDOMISATION: For the phase 2 of the study, the allocation ratio will be 1:1. Randomization process will be carried out electronically through the REDcap platform ( BLINDING (MASKING): This is an open label study. No blinding will be performed. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): The first part of the study (safety run-in cohort) will consist in the enrollment of 6 to 12 patients. In this population, we will test the toxicity of the experimental treatment. An incidence of severe adverse events grade 3-4 (graded by Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v.5.0) inferior than 33% will be considered sufficient to follow with the next part of the study. The second part of the study we will perform an interim analysis of efficacy at first 64 assessed patients and a definitive one will analyze 128 assessed patients. Interim and definitive tests will be performed considering in both cases an alpha error of 0.05. We consider for the control arm this rate is expected to be 0.60 and for the experimental arm of 0.80. Considering this data, a superiority test to prove a difference of 0.20 with an overall alpha error of 0.10 and a beta error of 0.2 will be performed. Considering a 5% of dropout rate, it is expected that a total of 136 patients, 68 for each study arm, will be required to complete study accrual. TRIAL STATUS: Version 5.0. 14(th) October 2020 Recruitment started on the 16(th) of December 2020. Expected end of recruitment is June 2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: AEMPs: 20-0356 EudraCT: 2020-001789-12, (Not publically available as Phase I trial) Clinical trials: BARCOVID19, (In progress) 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.” SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13063-021-05072-4.

Trials2021       LitCov and CORD-19
50Inappropriate risk perception for SARS-CoV-2 infection among Italian HCWs in the eve of COVID-19 pandemic  

Sir, Italy has been recently involved in the outbreak of severe interstitial pneumonia associated with the previously unknown Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (1,2). Even before the notification of the first autochthonous cases, the SARS-CoV-2 associated syndrome (COVID-19) had raised an intense attention in the public opinion (3), with a counterproductive over-abundance of mixed quality information. As even Italian healthcare workers (HCWs) were not spared by subsequent misunderstandings and knowledge gaps during the previous influenza pandemic of 2009 (4), we performed a web-based survey (Google® Modules), specifically aimed to characterize knowledge status and risk perceptions in a sample from participating to 6 Facebook discussion groups (181,684 total unique members at the time of the study). The questionnaire was made available between February 1st and 7th, 2020, i.e. around 2 weeks before the first COVID-19 was officially diagnosed in Italian residents. Overall, the sampled population included 2106 respondents (Table 1), and 39.3% were HCWs. Even though HCWs were more likely to exhibit a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 related issues (aOR 2.195, 95%CI 1.809 to 2.664), they were not exempt for misunderstandings, particularly on actual incidence and lethality of COVID-19. Interestingly, most of respondents were aware of the main clinical features of COVID-19, with HCWs more frequently acknowledging that the COVID-19 may run pauci- or even asymptomatic (86.3% vs. 79.1%), resembling an Influenza-Like Illness (i.e. fever, cough, headache, etc.), with a potential latency up to 14 days (85·9% vs· 80·3%), eventually spreading by droplets (98.5% vs. 92.7%) rather through running water (92.3% vs· 79.8%), or blood/body fluids (88.0% vs. 70.4%). Retrospectively, the assessment of preventive measures and risk perception appears somewhat worrisome. For instance, while HCWs were more likely to acknowledge as an appropriate preventive measure wearing a filtering mask (i.e. N95/FFP2/3 mask; aOR 2.296, 95%CI 1.507 to 3.946), around ¼ of HCWs failed to recognize the importance of such personal protective equipment, while 7.4% felt as appropriate the wearing of a surgical mask. Moreover, not only COVID-19 was appropriately acknowledged as a severe disease by only 62.0% of respondents, with no differences between HCWs and non-HCWs, but an even smaller share (i.e. 8.0%) reported any concern for being infected by SARS-CoV-2 in Italy. In fact, at the time of the survey SARS-CoV-2 was more properly associated with international travelers (26.7%). Our results are therefore of certain interests for several reasons. First at all, early epidemiological reports on the Italian cases of COVID-19 hint towards some failures in the initial management of incident cases (5-6). In fact, in our survey a large share of respondents substantially overlooked the risk to interact with SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects, that was otherwise perceived as a not-so-severe disease (i.e. nothing more than a seasonal flu, as often described in some social media) (7). Moreover, around a 1/3 of HCWs participating to the study presumptively did not use proper personal protective equipment for the airways interacting with possible COVID-19 cases, either underestimating the infection risk or being unable to recognize early symptoms. Actually, the base of evidence shared by participants at the time of the study substantially ignored that COVID-19 may be characterized by dermatologic and gastro-intestinal symptoms (8-9). As most of infections may be actually pauci- or asymptomatic, such early exposure in the healthcare settings may have contributed to the quick spreading of SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Northern Italy. Therefore, despite the intrinsic limits of a convenience sampling, web-based survey (10), our study stresses the importance to improve the overall quality of information on COVID-19 conveyed not only in HCWs, but also in the general population. Moreover, our data may contribute to clarify the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Italy.

Acta Biomed2020       LitCov and CORD-19

(1) COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). 2020. Version 2021-11-15. Retrieved from Accessed 2021-11-21. doi:10.5281/zenodo.3715506
(2) Chen Q, Allot A, & Lu Z. (2020) Keep up with the latest coronavirus research, Nature 579:193 and Chen Q, Allot A, Lu Z. LitCovid: an open database of COVID-19 literature. Nucleic Acids Research. 2020. (version 2021-11-21)
(3) Currently tweets of 4th to 10th September 2021 have been considered.

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