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ORCHESTRA study examines incidence and risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections among health workers

ORCHESTRA study examines incidence and risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections among health workers

“SARS-CoV-2 Breakthrough Infections: Incidence and Risk Factors in a Large European Multicentric Cohort of Health Workers” is a study conducted within Work Package 5 (WP5), which is led by Prof. Paolo Bofetta, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna. The answers were given by his team Mahsa Abedini, Giulia Collatuzzo, Giorgia Ditano, Ludovica Leomanni, Marika D’Agostini, Shuffield Seyram Asafo and Adelajda Matuka.
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ORCHESTRA cohort study shows temporal trends of COVID-19 antibodies in vaccinated healthcare workers over 13 months of repeated serological sampling

ORCHESTRA cohort study shows temporal trends of COVID-19 antibodies in vaccinated healthcare workers over 13 months of repeated serological sampling

“Temporal trends of COVID-19 antibodies in vaccinated healthcare workers undergoing repeated serological sampling: An individual-level analysis within 13 months in the ORCHESTRA cohort” is a study conducted within Work Package 5 (WP5), which is led by Prof. Paolo Bofetta, Department of...
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In-person Retreat in Paris: Reflections from Work Package 8 “Statistic Modelling and Analysis”

In-person Retreat in Paris: Reflections from Work Package 8 “Statistic Modelling and Analysis”

We are excited to share that our team for Work Package 8 - "Statistic Modelling and Analysis" recently had an amazing in-person scientific retreat in Paris. This was an opportunity for us to connect and collaborate face-to-face after months of remote work.
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What Factors Affect Immune Response to COVID-19 Vaccination in European Healthcare Workers? – Findings from the ORCHESTRA Project after 9 Months

What Factors Affect Immune Response to COVID-19 Vaccination in European Healthcare Workers? – Findings from the ORCHESTRA Project after 9 Months

“Determinants of Anti-S Immune Response at 9 Months after COVID-19 Vaccination in a Multicentric European Cohort of Healthcare Workers—ORCHESTRA Project” is a study conducted by ORCHESTRA partner University of Bologna and was performed within Work Package 5 “The Healthcare Workers Cohort”.
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ORCHESTRA study suggests to take a closer look when choosing a test

ORCHESTRA study suggests to take a closer look when choosing a test

ORCHESTRA study „Impact of Omicron Variant Infection on Assessment of Spike-Specific Immune Responses Using the EUROIMMUN Quan-T-Cell SARS-CoV-2 Assay and Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2-S“ shows that different tests perform differently with different variants. The publication was performed by Work Package 3 under the lead of ORCHESTRA partner Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU). Christina Reinkemeyer, LMU project manager and co-author of the study gives answers.
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PRESS RELEASE: Treatment with Monoclonal Antibodies can cause SARS-CoV-2 mutations – researchers develop score identifying patients at risk

PRESS RELEASE: Treatment with Monoclonal Antibodies can cause SARS-CoV-2 mutations – researchers develop score identifying patients at risk

Antwerp, 09.02.2023, "Host immunological responses facilitate development of SARS-CoV-2 mutations in patients receiving monoclonal antibody treatments" is a study showing several significant immunological findings: patients treated with various monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) develop escape spike mutations in SARS-CoV-2 where an anti-inflammatory and pro-healing host milieu facilitates development of such mutations...
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Treatment with Monoclonal Antibodies can cause SARS-CoV-2 mutations – researchers develop score identifying patients at risk

Treatment with Monoclonal Antibodies can cause SARS-CoV-2 mutations – researchers develop score identifying patients at risk

Host immunological responses facilitate development of SARS-CoV-2 mutations in patients receiving monoclonal antibody treatments" is a study showing several remarkable findings: Patients receiving monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments for COVID-19 can develop mutations in the virus, and an anti-inflammatory and pro-healing environment in the body can also cause mutations. Furthermore, the scientists developed a score…
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(Long) COVID, vaccination efficacy and immune response:  Answers presented at ORCHESTRA Partner Meeting in Verona

(Long) COVID, vaccination efficacy and immune response: Answers presented at ORCHESTRA Partner Meeting in Verona

The Partners Meeting in Verona, Palazzo Verità-Poet,a on 21 and 22 November 2022 was a wonderful opportunity to discuss first results of the project and to meet for the first time in person. More than 150 researchers and experts from all over Europe and beyond, as well as representatives from the European Commission (EC), the European Centre for the Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) attended the Partner Meeting.
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SARS-CoV-2 and Its Variants in Thrice-Infected Health Workers: A Case Series from an Italian University Hospital

SARS-CoV-2 and Its Variants in Thrice-Infected Health Workers: A Case Series from an Italian University Hospital

Healthacare workers usually represent the working group of society – yet they are highly exposed. ORCHESTRA is researching on how they can be better protected. At the same time research on healthcare workers provides scientists with important information on immunity and immune status. “SARS-CoV-2 and Its Variants in Thrice-Infected Health Workers: A Case Series from an Italian University Hospital” is a study that ...
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How significant is the antibody level of anti-S IgG for detecting previous breakthrough infections?

How significant is the antibody level of anti-S IgG for detecting previous breakthrough infections?

Finding the threshold value in antibody assay after SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection in fully vaccinated healthcare workers Knowing the trend of the antibody level in the human blood to SARS-CoV-2 is particularly significant in understanding the immune response against the virus. The ORCHESTRA study “Usefulness and Limitations of Anti-S IgG Assay in Detecting Previous SARS-CoV-2 Breakthrough Infection in Fully Vaccinated Healthcare Workers” investigated if the anti-S IgG assay can be used as indicator for previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.  Gianluca Spiteri and Maria Grazia Lourdes Monaco, occupational physicians of Occupational Medicine Unit at the University Hospital of Verona, are first authors of the study and explain what the team - associated with ORCHESTRA Work Package 5 (WP5 – the Healthcare Workers Cohort) – researched.
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Association of Patients’ Epidemiological Characteristics and Comorbidities with Severity and Related Mortality Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Results of an Umbrella Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Association of Patients’ Epidemiological Characteristics and Comorbidities with Severity and Related Mortality Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Results of an Umbrella Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

This publication has been performed by Work Package 2. This publication was produced by Work Package 2. The responses were given by Maria Giulia Caponcello, Clinical Research Associate, Servicio Andaluz de Salud, SAS.
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“Development of OcDeC within ORCHESTRA” shortlisted for Interoperability Award 2022

“Development of OcDeC within ORCHESTRA” shortlisted for Interoperability Award 2022

The “ORCHESTRA Core Data elements for COVID-19" (OcDeC), which is a core data set of standardised variables for use and future use with the goal to simplify the merging of data and to increase metadata quality, is the result of the joint efforts undertaken by the ORCHESTRA team lead by BIH_Charité Home - Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (bihealth.org).The "Development of OcDeC within ORCHESTRA" has now been shortlisted for the Interoperability Award 2022: Interoperability Award 2022 - X-eHealth. The Interoperability Award is part of the European Union project X-eHealth (X-eHealth - Exchanging Electronic Health Records) that aims to bring forward e-Health in Europe for an international benefit. After the evaluation by an international jury, and out of a total of 19 applications from 10 countries (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Switzerland), 13 projects were chosen to be candidates fort the award. All 13 projects have achieved significant work in the field of health digitalisation.
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ORCHESTRA now has a podcast

ORCHESTRA now has a podcast

The ORCHESTRA podcast is intended to contribute to highlighting different aspects in research. Each podcast will have different guests from different professional backgrounds, each sharing experience, learnings and knowledge from their specific perspective. Episode 1 gives an overview of ORCHESTRA - with a quick run through the different work packages - and its mission . Prof. Evelina Tacconelli, head of ORCHESTRA, talks about benefits, challenges and how her team from the University of Verona convinced her to apply for the E.U. Horizon2020 research project on COVID-19 - which has become ORCHESTRA: a multidisciplinary European and international research infrastructure sharing tasks, expertise and efforts for the benefit of COVID-19 patients.
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Exhaustion in Healthcare Workers after the First Three Waves of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Exhaustion in Healthcare Workers after the First Three Waves of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The study examined the most determining causes for exhaustion of frontline and second line healthcare workers (HCW) during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Responsible ORCHESTRA partner is the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Bucharest which contributes to Work Package 5, the Healthcare Workers Cohort. Prof. Marina Otelea, is one of the authors and explains results and impact.
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Two Research Scholarships

Two Research Scholarships

We are hiring!

If you are a research enthusiast, you are welcome to contribute your talents and expertise in ORCHESTRA. We are looking for Medical Doctor or Clinical Researcher and Clinical Research Associate.

1. Medical Doctor or Clinical Researcher
You will be responsible for: • Development of research protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs) as planned for the ORCHESTRA project in its role as coordinator • Ensuring adherence of protocols with national and European ethics standards; - monitoring of the progress of the project, providing strategic supervision of the research activities and ensuring that the milestones, the deliverables and the results of the project are respected in accordance with the established timeline and the contractual requirements. • Cordinating scientific publications deriving from the project in accordance with the Grant Agreement contract and Consortium Agreement • Contributing to the statistical analysis of surveillance data
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Clinical outcome in solid organ transplant recipients affected by COVID

Clinical outcome in solid organ transplant recipients affected by COVID

The study was carried out through the collaboration of three ORCHESTRA partners, the University of Bologna (UNIBO), the University of Verona (UNIVR) and the Service Andaluz de Salud (SAS), and is one of the systematic reviews developed for Work Package 2, Task 2.2, led by SAS. It was published in Clinical Microbiology and Infection.
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ORCHESTRA Science Challenge

ORCHESTRA Science Challenge

Dear Scientists and Researchers,

You are invited to participate in the ORCHESTRA Science Challenge. We offer you a customised, anonymised dataset of high-quality patient data from our international cohorts to find answers to your COVID-19-related research question. An ORCHESTRA committee assesses the scientific suitability of the research project and ensures that accepted participation is handled in compliance with the publication policy. The research topics are: Fragile population Therapy algorithms Vaccination efficacy Please formulate your own research question, which should be: Concise Relevant Beneficial Evaluation criteria will include: Quality of the research question Study conduct Thoroughness and scientific standards Impact Novelty The enrolment period starts after the summer holidays. We wish to give you enough time to fit the Science Challenge into your schedule. The Challenge itself starts on 01 September, due date for submitting your work will be 15 October. Accredited study groups of scientists are eligible. The jury consists of ORCHESTRA members.

With kind regards on behalf of the entire ORCHESTRA team, Work Package 10
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ORCHESTRA’s 2nd General Assembly

ORCHESTRA’s 2nd General Assembly

Partners were presenting one year of dedicated work to build up research infrastructure and conduct research on COVID-19. Large-scale European and international cohort research in the spirit of collaboration. 10 presentations from ORCHESTRA partners, more than 110 people attending. Great appreciation goes to the teams for their constant work and also to the Advisory Panel, Ethics Board and European Commission for the support and advice. ORCHESTRA’s leader, Prof. Evelina Tacconelli, welcomed the attendees and gave a project update. From the side of the European Commission, Stefanie Sowinski reported on “Cohorts united against COVID-19”, an initiative of coordination and collaboration of EU-funded projects establishing COVID-19 cohorts in Europe and beyond. Gabriella Scipione from CINECA presented the highlights of Work Package 7, responsible for data management – a major task in the project. Laurence Meyer from INSERM spoke for WP3 – Population-based cohorts working on Infection risk factors focusing on assessment of genotypic and microbiome analyses and intra-household transmissions. Evelina Tacconelli from the University of Verona, leader of ORCHESTRA and Work Package 2, presented the work on long-term consequences. WP4 - Fragile population cohorts explores protection and treatment interventions for fragile populations, Maddalena Giannella, University of Bologna, presented for the team. Paolo Boffetta, University of Bologna, explained why health worker cohorts - WP5 - are particularly interesting for evaluation: High exposure risk, good exposure data, early vaccination experience and medical surveillance. WP6 - Biobanking, genomics and virus-host interactions assesses the microbiological epigenetic aspects of COVID-19. Surbhi Malhotra-Kumar from the University of Antwerp spoke for WP6. Jan Hasenauer, Helmholtz Munich, presented the work of WP8 - Statistical/Cost Analysis and Modelling, which includes standardising the analysis workflow, creating statistical analysis plans, assessing data quality (e.g. checking for outliers and inconsistencies) and semi-automated reporting. WP9 - Global COVID-19 guidance assesses the ORCHESTRA research and draws medical and scientific recommendations from it. Daniele Pantano, University Medical Center Groningen, reported for WP9. Wp 10, responsible for dissemination, was presented by Janne Vehreschild, University Hospital of Cologne. ORCHESTRA is a collaborative project and the speakers presented on behalf of the entire team. You can find all partners here.
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The persistence of symptoms after infection with SARS.

The persistence of symptoms after infection with SARS.

The persistence of symptoms after infection with SARS-CoV-2 can last for many months and has been defined as a clinical entity called Long COVID. Long COVID affects patients with numerous symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, breathing difficulties, difficulty concentrating ("brain fog"), chest pain and many more, which impair daily life. "Determinants of symptom persistence and impact on physical and mental well-being in long COVID: A prospective cohort study" is a study investigating the health status of patients after COVID-19 infection. The University of Verona (Italy) enrolled over 400 patients who were hospitalised or treated at home for COVID-19 and whose symptoms, particularly muscle pain, fatigue and breathing difficulties, persisted for up to 9 months after the acute illness. Physical and psychological well-being was influenced by the duration and number of symptoms, and factors such as ICU hospitalisation and age had an impact favouring Long COVID. Our findings encourage follow-up of patients at risk of Long COVID. The ORCHESTRA project makes an important contribution to the management of patients recovering from SARS-CoV-2 infection by providing outpatient appointments for blood tests, radiological examinations and specialist visits.
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We are hiring: Postdoc position in COVID-19 clinical epidemiology research

We are hiring: Postdoc position in COVID-19 clinical epidemiology research

A better understanding of the COVID-19 disease course in non-hospitalised patients is needed to guide standard of care to properly manage patients at home, administer early treatment and predict progression to severe or chronic disease on time. The work will be mainly done within the ZonMw funded project COVID-HOME in close collaboration with other COVID-19 research projects e.g. the EU H2020 ORCHESTRA project. The COVID-HOME study is a prospective cohort study of non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients followed at home. Consenting people were visited weekly at home to obtain clinical data and samples to determine laboratory parameters, serology, viral genotyping, viral culture, and cytokine dynamics. Household members of infected individuals were also invited to join the study. The follow-up of the cohort at 3, 6, 12 & 18 month time-points is currently ongoing.
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