Prepandemic personal concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other pollutants: Specific and combined effects on the incidence of COVID-19 disease and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Pumarega J, Gasull M, Koponen J, Campi L, Rantakokko P, Henríquez-Hernández LA, Aguilar R, Donat-Vargas C, Zumbado M, Villar-García J, Rius C, Santiago-Díaz P, Vidal M, Jimenez A, Iglesias M, Dobaño C, Moncunill G, Porta M

Environ Res 237 (Pt 2) 116965 [2023-08-29; online 2023-08-29]

To investigate the specific and combined effects of personal concentrations of some per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), other persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and chemical elements -measured in individuals' blood several years before the pandemic- on the development of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease in the general population. We conducted a prospective cohort study in 240 individuals from the general population of Barcelona. PFAS, other POPs, and chemical elements were measured in plasma, serum, and whole blood samples, respectively, collected in 2016-2017. PFAS were analyzed by liquid chromatography-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected by rRT-PCR in nasopharyngeal swabs and/or antibody serology in blood samples collected in 2020-2021. No individual PFAS nor their mixtures were significantly associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity or COVID-19 disease. Previously identified mixtures of POPs and elements (Porta et al., 2023) remained significantly associated with seropositivity and COVID-19 when adjusted for PFAS (all OR > 4 or p < 0.05). Nine chemicals comprised mixtures associated with COVID-19: thallium, ruthenium, lead, benzo[b]fluoranthene, DDD, other DDT-related compounds, manganese, tantalum, and aluminium. And nine chemicals comprised the mixtures more consistently associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity: thallium, ruthenium, lead, benzo[b]fluoranthene, DDD, gold, and (protectively) selenium, indium, and iron. The PFAS studied were not associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity or COVID-19. The results confirm the associations between personal blood concentrations of some POPs and chemical elements and the risk of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 infection in what remains the only prospective and population-based cohort study on the topic. Mixtures of POPs and chemical elements may contribute to explain the heterogeneity in the risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 in the general population.

Category: Health

Category: Other

Category: Public Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37652221

DOI 10.1016/j.envres.2023.116965

Crossref 10.1016/j.envres.2023.116965

pii: S0013-9351(23)01769-3

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