After the preliminary U.S. stay-at-home directives to counteract the unfold of COVID-19, gastrointestinal viruses like norovirus, rotavirus,, and adenovirus nearly vanished from Californian communities, sustaining a minimal presence for shut to 2 years. The analysis is printed within the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
Interestingly, these viruses surged again to pre-pandemic ranges in late 2022, stated Niaz Banaei, M.D., professor of Pathology and Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Stanford University, and Medical Director of Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Stanford Health Care. “Adenovirus F40/41, the adenovirus strains most frequently associated with gastroenteritis, actually jumped to levels two-fold higher than pre-pandemic levels.”
Banaei suspects that the surge in viral infections was enabled by the waning of collective group immunity from lack of publicity through the pandemic. “Something comparable has been described for the surge in respiratory syncytial virus infections in 2022,” he stated.
To determine modifications within the prevalence of gastrointestinal pathogens, the investigators in contrast detection charges for community-acquired gastrointestinal pathogens earlier than, throughout, and after California’s COVID-related shelter-in-place. To that finish, they used a polymerase chain response (PCR) panel check referred to as the BioFire FilmArray GI panel, which assessments for 22 of the commonest pathogens that trigger diarrhea and analyzed about 18,000 assessments that had been taken from January 2018 to December 2022.
The motivation for the analysis was the change within the price of positives for sure pathogens through the COVID-19 pandemic, stated Banaei. “It immediately became clear that the pandemic lockdown and shelter-in-place had created a natural experiment to investigate the transmission dynamics of pathogens causing gastroenteritis.”
The analysis affords a novel window into the biology of gastrointestinal pathogens, elevating some new analysis questions, stated Banaei. “Why did some disappear while others persisted unaffected during lockdown? Why are some now surging to levels we haven’t seen before?” Improved understanding of those phenomena may result in methods to interrupt pathogens’ unfold, significantly in low- to middle-income international locations the place gastroenteritis stays a serious reason for sickness and dying, particularly amongst youngsters. “It may also help us prepare for future unforeseen pandemics.”
Reference: “Postpandemic Effects of COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Orders on the Gastrointestinal Pathogen Landscape” by Philip L. Bulterys, Nicole Y. Leung, Atif Saleem, Indre Budvytiene, Benjamin A. Pinsky and Niaz Banaei, 19 July 2023, Journal of Clinical Microbiology.