Rutgers University Launches the Nation’s Largest Study of Health Care Workers Exposed to COVID-19

More than 800 employees from Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and University Hospital are participating in a pioneering study

Newswise — NEW BRUNSWICK – Rutgers University announced today that it has launched the nation’s largest prospective study of health care workers exposed to COVID-19. The study includes a series of clinical trials that will explore new drug treatments, antibody testing, and long-term health tracking in the hope of providing insight into how to treat the disease and prevent its spread.

Close to 550 health care providers and close to 300 non-health care workers from Rutgers, University Hospital in Newark, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick have volunteered for the study, some with direct patient exposure and others with no direct patient contact. The study is being coordinated by Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS), the university’s academic health center. Initial results suggest a gender disparity in risk: women have been infected at a rate of 13 times their male counterparts. Some of this may be attributed to the existing disparity in the nursing workforce, which currently includes more women than men.

“Health care workers throughout the world are on the frontlines of battling COVID-19,” said RBHS Chancellor Brian Strom. “Our hope is that this study and other scientific developments can give state, national, and global leaders the evidence-based tools to ultimately end this pandemic.”

Rutgers employs more than 7,000 doctors, nurses, and health professionals throughout the state of New Jersey. Those who participate in the study will be tested for COVID-19. Testing will be carried out at Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biologics, which last week received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to begin the nation’s first saliva-based test for COVID-19.

The study will prospectively determine infection rates in the Rutgers workforce who regularly treat patients and for those without direct patient exposure by following the participants for six months. The point of the study is to determine the proportion of the workforce who will get infected. Such information is critically important in determining who gets infected and their susceptibility characteristics for infection. Separately, the trial will also determine whether some health care workers will develop immunity and, thus, could be first responders in the pandemic.

“Because the pandemic is affecting our hospitals as we are providing care at the front-line, we may be able to discover what puts people at greatest risk for acquiring the infection and possibly determine why most get mild illness but some become severely ill,” said Martin J. Blaser, director of Rutgers University’s Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine and professor of medicine and microbiology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

“Collectively, our studies will provide a wealth of data designed to better arm the health care workforce to minimize self-risk while improving care to Americans in this pandemic crisis,” said Reynold Panettieri Jr., director of the Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science and the program director for the New Jersey Alliance for Clinical and Translational Science, a statewide consortium of Rutgers, Princeton University and New Jersey Institute of Technology researchers.

The university has launched two clinical trials as part of the study. The first is for patients who test positive for COVID-19 and are symptomatic. They have been enrolled in a clinical trial at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The trial will determine if azithromycin combined with hydroxychloroquine is better than hydroxychloroquine alone for treatment of patients with COVID-19. Azithromycin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of infections. Hydroxychloroquine is approved by the FDA for the treatment of malaria and autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

There is no standard antiviral therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of people with COVID-19. At present, clinical management includes infection prevention, control measures and supportive care.

“While some practitioners across the state have been offering this type of treatment for some individualized cases, it is imperative that a controlled clinical trial with a large patient population take place in order to ensure the integrity of the results being gathered. As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has the infrastructure and expertise to carry out this clinical trial,” said Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Steven Libutti, MD, FACS, who is also senior vice president, oncology services, RWJBarnabas Health, and vice chancellor, cancer programs, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. The second clinical trial, led by Jeffrey Carson, a provost at RBHS, will focus on those who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic. This will be a carefully controlled clinical trial to determine whether the viral infection can be decreased faster with hydroxychloroquine or with the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. This study will also determine whether prophylaxis with these drugs prevent symptom development.

The trials, which will be offered at Rutgers Cancer Institute, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, and University Hospital in Newark, and are not limited to cancer patients. These studies are supported by the National Cancer Institute, National Center for Advancing Translational Science, corporate partners such Marken/UPS and dfYoung, as well as individual philanthropic support.

For information on how to take part in the Rutgers Cancer Institute clinical trial, individuals should call Rutgers Cancer Institute’s Office of Human Research Services at 732-235-7356 or email [email protected]



Filters close

Showing results

110 of 6118
Released: 4-Aug-2021 11:15 AM EDT
Rehabilitation Nurses Play Critical Role in Treating Patients with Long-Term Covid-19 Symptoms
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses

A new and free webinar from the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) features advice from rehabilitation nurses to the greater nursing community about care priorities and interventions for long haul COVID-19 patients.

Newswise:Video Embedded spreading-doses-of-hope-as-covid-19-cases-rise
VIDEO
Released: 4-Aug-2021 10:35 AM EDT
Spreading ‘Doses of Hope’ as COVID-19 Cases Rise
Cedars-Sinai

In an emotional new series of videos, Black medical professionals plead for viewers to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Newswise:Video Embedded american-college-of-surgeons-urges-surgeons-to-talk-it-up-with-patients-about-covid-19-vaccination
VIDEO
Released: 4-Aug-2021 10:00 AM EDT
American College of Surgeons Urges Surgeons to “Talk It Up” with Patients About COVID-19 Vaccination
American College of Surgeons (ACS)

ACS is launching a “Talk It Up” campaign to help surgeons address patient concerns and help them understand the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

28-Jul-2021 11:15 AM EDT
LEDs Light the Way to Coronavirus Disinfection
American Institute of Physics (AIP)

LEDs are commonly used for sterilization, and in the continued effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic, LEDs can also help inactivate SARS-CoV-2. A team in Pakistan designed far-ultraviolet LEDs at a targeted wavelength of 222 nanometers, chosen both for its ability to inactivate the virus and for being safe on human skin. They based their design on the material aluminum gallium nitride, part of a set of materials called III-nitrides which are efficient, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly.

Newswise: Text-Message ‘Nudges’ Can Encourage Holdouts to Get COVID Vaccination, Study Finds
Released: 4-Aug-2021 8:50 AM EDT
Text-Message ‘Nudges’ Can Encourage Holdouts to Get COVID Vaccination, Study Finds
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

New UCLA-led research indicates that simple text messages emphasizing the easy availability of COVID-19 vaccines successfully boosted the number of people who got the shot.

Newswise: The Future of Masking Post-Vaccination
Released: 4-Aug-2021 8:45 AM EDT
The Future of Masking Post-Vaccination
Rush University Medical Center

The COVID-19 vaccine is your best defense against the virus, but when and where should you continue to wear a mask? Rush infectious disease expert Michael Lin, MD, answers questions about wearing a mask post-vaccination.

Newswise: COVID-19 Infection Rate Low Among Rural Health Care Workers
Released: 4-Aug-2021 8:40 AM EDT
COVID-19 Infection Rate Low Among Rural Health Care Workers
South Dakota State University

Antibody testing of health care workers in three rural counties in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota showed 15% had antibodies to the novel coronavirus.

Newswise: New Study Details Enzyme That Allows Coronavirus to Resist Antiviral Medications
Released: 3-Aug-2021 12:20 PM EDT
New Study Details Enzyme That Allows Coronavirus to Resist Antiviral Medications
Iowa State University

A new Iowa State University study details the structure of a critical enzyme present in SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This enzyme removes nucleoside antiviral medications from the virus’s RNA, rendering many treatments ineffective. Scientists could use data uncovered in the new study to find ways to inhibit the enzyme, possibly leading to more effective treatments.

Released: 2-Aug-2021 6:05 PM EDT
Rethinking Remdesivir
University of California San Diego Health

UC San Diego researchers modify remdesivir, creating oral version that can be taken earlier in COVID-19 diagnoses. In cell and animal studies, revised drug proved effective and safe.


Showing results

110 of 6118

close
3.71535