May, 2020

The HIV-1 antibody response: a footprint of the viral reservoir in children vertically infected with HIV


Authors: Palma P, McManus M, Cotugno N, Rocca S, Rossi P, Luzuriaga K

Published in: Lancet HIV. 2020;7(5):e359-e365

Abstract Several assays have been developed to measure and characterise the replication-competent HIV-1 reservoir, which constitutes the barrier to cure. To date, the application of these assays to studies in children and in limited-resource settings has been minimal, primarily because of their expense, the large required blood volumes, and labour-intensive technologies. For children vertically infected with HIV-1 who initiated suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens in infancy, HIV-1-specific antibody concentrations are associated with viral persistence and could be used to estimate the size of the residual latent reservoir on ART. This strategy could be particularly useful for screening children on suppressive ART for enrolment into therapeutic vaccine trials and other protocols aimed at achieving HIV-1 remission.


May, 2020

Interview on the International Day of Action for Women’s Health with Dr. Karoline Aebi-Popp


Today marks the International Day of Action for Women’s Health. On this occasion, European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) interviewed our friend and collaborator Dr. Karoline Aebi-Popp. She is the chair of the EACS programme promoting the welfare of HIV-positive women in Europe called WAWE (Women Against Viruses in Europe).

“HIV testing is the key to prevent vertical transmission of HIV to the baby. HIV testing should be a standard of care but with the option to opt-out. Sometimes a second HIV test during the third trimester based on a risk assessment, even in areas of low HIV prevalence, should be considered. All women in labor whose HIV status is unknown should undergo rapid HIV testing, as available interventions can still decrease the risk of perinatal transmission even around the time of delivery. If no measures are taken HIV is transmitted in about one-third of mothers to their babies, which compares to women taking antiretroviral therapy throughout their pregnancy, where their babies are very likely to be healthy. This has been a great success in terms of prevention of vertical transmission”.

Click here to read the full interview.


May, 2020

Clinical outcomes of a Zika virus mother–child pair cohort in Spain


Authors: Soriano-Arandes A, Frick MA, García López-Hortelano M, et al.

Published in: Pathogens 2020;9(5):E352

Background: Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has been associated with congenital microcephaly and other neurodevelopmental abnormalities. There is little published research on the effect of maternal ZIKV infection in a non-endemic European region. We aimed to describe the outcomes of pregnant travelers diagnosed as ZIKV-infected in Spain, and their exposed children.

Methods: This prospective observational cohort study of nine referral hospitals enrolled pregnant women (PW) who travelled to endemic areas during their pregnancy or the two previous months, or those whose sexual partners visited endemic areas in the previous 6 months. Infants of ZIKV-infected mothers were followed for about two years.

Results: ZIKV infection was diagnosed in 163 PW; 112 (70%) were asymptomatic and 24 (14.7%) were confirmed cases. Among 143 infants, 14 (9.8%) had adverse outcomes during follow-up; three had a congenital Zika syndrome (CZS), and 11 other potential Zika-related outcomes. The overall incidence of CZS was 2.1% (95%CI: 0.4–6.0%), but among infants born to ZIKV-confirmed mothers, this increased to 15.8% (95%CI: 3.4–39.6%).

Conclusions: A nearly 10% overall risk of neurologic and hearing adverse outcomes was found in ZIKV-exposed children born to a ZIKV-infected traveler PW. Longer-term follow-up of these children is needed to assess whether there are any later-onset manifestations.



May, 2020

Penta at ECCMID 2020


The ECCMID 2020 Abstract Book has just been released. Penta contributed with 6 abstracts.


  • P. Costenaro, A. Cantarutti, E. Barbieri, A. Scamarcia, A. Oletto, P. Sacerdoti, R. Lundin, L. Cantarutti, C. Giaquinto, D. Dona’. Antibiotic treatment for paediatric outpatients with community-acquired pneumonia: findings from 10 years of prescribing habits in Italy.


  • E. Barbieri, D. Bottigliengo, P. Costenaro, A. Marzollo, M. Petris, M. Pierobon, G. Biddeci, C. Giaquinto, A. Biffi, D. Donà. Application of WISCA (Weighted Incidence Syndromic Combination Antibiogram) to guide empiric therapy in oncological paediatric patients with febrile neutropenia.



  • L. Hill, E. Jacqz-Aigrain, V. Elie, W. Zhao, M. Clements, M. Turner, I. Lutsar, P. Heath, E. Roilides, S. Walker, M. Sharland. Interim pharmacokinetic analysis of a multi-centre randomised open label phase IIb study in neonates to validate the meta-analysis population pharmacokinetic model used to simulate an optimised dosing regimen in neonates and infants aged < 90 days: the NeoVanc trial.


  • L. Hill, M. Clements, M. Turner, I. Lutsar, E. Jacqz-Aigrain, P. Heath, E. Roilides, S. Walker, M. Sharland. An optimised dosing regimen vs. a standard dosing regimen of vancomycin for the treatment of late onset sepsis due to Gram-positive microorganisms in infants less than 90 days: the NeoVanc trial.



  • V. Matheeussen, K. Loens, K. Jacobs, P. Horby, H. Goossens, M. Kohns Vasconcelos, M. Sharland, M. De Jong, M. P. G. Koopmans, P. Fraaij, M. Ieven. Respiratory pathogens detected in children with community-acquired sepsis-like syndrome in 6 European countries.


  • M. Kohns Vasconcelos. Aetiology and outcome of children hospitalised for acute respiratory tract infections in Europe: findings from a multi-country combined case-control and cohort study.


Congratulations to all the authors!



May, 2020

Lung ultrasound cannot be used to screen for Covid-19 in children

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We report on an 8-year-old child who presented to our Pediatric Emergency Department after five days of high fever, headache and intermittent abdominal pain, without rhinorrhea, cough, vomiting or diarrhea. He lived in an area with a higher prevalence of COVID-19. RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal secretions was positive. His pulse rate was 112 beats per minute, blood pressure 124/70 mmHg, and oxygen saturations were 97% in room air. Physical examination was unremarkable. Complete blood count and chemistries were normal, and C-reactive protein was 2.2 mg/dL. Given the persistent fever, point of care ultrasound was done with a linear probe to screen for pneumonia. All areas of the chest, upper back and axillae were interrogated from apices to the diaphragm. He had A-lines throughout without pleural irregularities or effusion and was discharged home to continue symptomatic care. Of 110 symptomatic children screened a

Read the full case report here.



May, 2020

A conversation on perinatal and neonatal COVID19: experiences from Europe and China

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A webinar by ESPNIC


Prof. Daniele De Luca, MD, PhD, Chief, Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Critical Care, Paris Saclay University Hospitals and ESPNIC President-Elect

Prof. Yuan Shi

Go to webinar.

Recover survey


May, 2020

RECOVER Hospital Care Study survey


RECOVER set up a survey addressed to all European healthcare professionals working in hospitals settings. This survey is anonymous and is part of RECOVER Hospital Care Study, aimed at analyzing the perceptions on infection control procedures for COVID-19and the wellbeing of healthcare workers providing routine clinical care in the framework of a pandemic. Results will be used to inform European policy makers and advisors to set up interventions for protecting and supporting healthcare workers and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

To participate in the online survey click here.


May, 2020

Public health and clinical perspectives

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An update webinar on COVID-19 by One Health Center of Excellence, University of Florida.

Professor Ilaria Capua and Professor Sonja Rasmussen give an update on the pandemic, focusing on the global response and on most recent clinical data.

Watch the webinar here.


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