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1.
J Thromb Haemost ; 2023 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298200

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 severity and its late complications continue to be poorly understood. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) form in acute COVID-19, likely contributing to morbidity and mortality. OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated immunothrombosis markers in a comprehensive cohort of acute and recovered COVID-19 patients, including the association of NETs with long COVID. METHODS: One-hundred-seventy-seven patients were recruited from clinical cohorts at 2 Israeli centers: acute COVID-19 (mild/moderate, severe/critical), convalescent COVID-19 (recovered and long COVID), along with 54 non-COVID controls. Plasma was examined for markers of platelet activation, coagulation, and NETs. Ex vivo NETosis induction capability was evaluated after neutrophil incubation with patient plasma. RESULTS: Soluble P-selectin, factor VIII, von Willebrand factor, and platelet factor 4 were significantly elevated in patients with COVID-19 versus controls. Myeloperoxidase (MPO)-DNA complex levels were increased only in severe COVID-19 and did not differentiate between COVID-19 severities or correlate with thrombotic markers. NETosis induction levels strongly correlated with illness severity/duration, platelet activation markers, and coagulation factors, and were significantly reduced upon dexamethasone treatment and recovery. Patients with long COVID maintained higher NETosis induction, but not NET fragments, compared to recovered convalescent patients. CONCLUSIONS: Increased NETosis induction can be detected in patients with long COVID. NETosis induction appears to be a more sensitive NET measurement than MPO-DNA levels in COVID-19, differentiating between disease severity and patients with long COVID. Ongoing NETosis induction capability in long COVID may provide insights into pathogenesis and serve as a surrogate marker for persistent pathology. This study emphasizes the need to explore neutrophil-targeted therapies in acute and chronic COVID-19.

2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 11(2)2023 Jan 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2217111

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The fourth SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dose was found to protect against infection and more importantly against severe disease and death. It was also shown that the risk of symptomatic or severe disease was related to the antibody levels after vaccination or infection, with lower protection against the BA.4 BA.5 Omicron variants. The aim of our study was to assess the impact of the fourth dose on infection and perception of illness seriousness among healthcare workers (HCWs) at a tertiary health care campus in Haifa, Israel, and to investigate the possible protective effect of antibody levels against infection. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study among fully vaccinated HCWs and retired employees at Rambam Healthcare Campus (RHCC), a tertiary hospital in northern Israel. Participants underwent serial serological tests at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12 and 18 months following the second BNT162b2 vaccine dose. Only a part of the participants chose to receive the fourth vaccine. A multivariable logistic regression was conducted to test the adjusted association between vaccination, and the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2. Kaplan-Meier SARS-CoV-2 free "survival" analysis was conducted to compare the waning effect of the first and second, third and fourth vaccines. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve was plotted for different values of the sixth serology to identify workers at risk for disease. RESULTS: Disease occurrence was more frequent among females, people age 40-50 years old and those with background chronic lung disease. The fourth vaccine was found to have better protection against infection, compared to the third vaccine; however, it also had a faster waning immunity compared to the third vaccine dose. Antibody titer of 955 AU/mL was found as a cutoff protecting from infection. CONCLUSIONS: We found that the fourth vaccine dose had a protective effect, but shorter than the third vaccine dose. Cutoff point of 955 AU/mL was recognized for protection from illness. The decision to vaccinate the population with a booster dose should consider other factors, including the spread of disease at the point, chronic comorbidities and age, especially during shortage of vaccine supply.

3.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 442, 2023 01 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2186073

ABSTRACT

Non-invasive oxygen saturation (SpO2) is a central vital sign used to shape the management of COVID-19 patients. Yet, there have been no report quantitatively describing SpO2 dynamics and patterns in COVID-19 patients using continuous SpO2 recordings. We performed a retrospective observational analysis of the clinical information and 27 K hours of continuous SpO2 high-resolution (1 Hz) recordings of 367 critical and non-critical COVID-19 patients hospitalised at the Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel. An absolute SpO2 threshold of 93% most efficiently discriminated between critical and non-critical patients, regardless of oxygen support. Oximetry-derived digital biomarker (OBMs) computed per 1 h monitoring window showed significant differences between groups, notably the cumulative time below 93% SpO2 (CT93). Patients with CT93 above 60% during the first hour of monitoring, were more likely to require oxygen support. Mechanical ventilation exhibited a strong effect on SpO2 dynamics by significantly reducing the frequency and depth of desaturations. OBMs related to periodicity and hypoxic burden were markedly affected, up to several hours before the initiation of the mechanical ventilation. In summary, OBMs, traditionally used in the field of sleep medicine research, are informative for continuous assessment of disease severity and response to respiratory support of hospitalised COVID-19 patients. In conclusion, OBMs may improve risk stratification and therapy management of critical care patients with respiratory impairment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/therapy , Retrospective Studies , Oximetry , Oxygen , Respiratory Rate
4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(10)2022 Oct 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082012

ABSTRACT

This study assessed humoral response to the third BNT162b2 dose among healthcare workers (HCW). This prospective cohort study of HCW tested for anti-spike antibodies (LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG assay) at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after receiving the second BNT162b2 vaccine dose (tests 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively). A third (booster) vaccination dose was introduced before test 4. Linear regression model was used to determine the humoral response following vaccine doses. For each serology test, changes in log-transformed antibody concentrations over time, adjusted for age, sex, underlying diseases, steroid treatment, and smoking were described using the general linear mix model. Serology tests were performed at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after the second vaccine dose in 1113, 1058, 986, and 939 participants, respectively. The third dose was received by 964 participants before the 9-month tests, 797 of whom participated in the 9- and 12-month serology tests. A significant inverse correlation was noted between time from third dose and antibody concentrations (Spearman correlation -0.395; p < 0.001). Age (p < 0.0001; CI 95% -0.005--0.004), heart disease (p < 0.0001; CI 95% -0.177--0.052), immunodeficiency (p < 0.0001; CI 95% 0.251--0.106), and smoking (p < 0.0001; CI 95% -0.122--0.040) were significantly associated with decreased antibody concentrations. Female sex (p = 0.03; CI 95% 0.013-0.066) was associated with increased antibody concentrations. The third booster dose had a better effect on immunogenicity, with higher antibody concentrations among tested HCW. Heart disease, smoking, and other known risk factors were associated with decreased antibody concentrations.

5.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(8): 1134-1139, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803786

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the association between the COVID-19 pandemic and antibiotic prescription ratios and the determinants of antibiotic prescription in the community. METHODS: The study was based on a retrospective population cohort of adults in a community setting. Antibiotic prescription ratios from March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021 (COVID-19 period) were compared to similar months in previous years. Differences in visit type, infectious disease-related visit, and antibiotic prescription ratios during these visits were compared. A logistic regression model was used to identify independent determinants of antibiotic prescription during the study period. RESULTS: The cohort included almost 3 million individuals with more than 33 million community medical encounters per year. In the COVID-19 period, the antibiotic prescription ratio decreased 45% (from 34.2 prescriptions/100 patients to 19.1/100) compared to the previous year. Visits due to an infectious disease etiology decreased by 10% and prescriptions per visit decreased by 39% (from 1 034 425 prescriptions/3 764 235 infectious disease visits to 587 379/3 426 451 respectively). This decrease was observed in both sexes and all age groups. Telemedicine visits were characterized by a 10% lower prescription ratio compared to in-person visits. Thus, a threefold increase in telemedicine visits resulted in a further decrease in prescription ratios. The COVID-19 period was independently associated with a decrease in antibiotic prescription, with an OR of 0.852 (95% CI 0.848-0.857). DISCUSSION: We describe a significant decrease in antibiotic prescription ratios during the COVID-19 periods that was likely related to a decrease in the incidence of certain infectious diseases, the transfer to telemedicine, and a change in prescription practices among community-based physicians.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Adult , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Communicable Diseases/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Prescriptions , Retrospective Studies
6.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(3): 450.e1-450.e4, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626335

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the antibody response to the BNT162B2 vaccine among healthcare workers (HCWs) to identify factors associated with decreased immunogenicity. METHODS: This prospective cohort study included consenting HCWs who completed a questionnaire regarding background illnesses, medications, and post-vaccination allergic reactions or rash. All HCWs were tested for anti-spike antibodies (LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG assay) 1 and 3 months after the second vaccine dose. A multivariate mixed linear model was adjusted to participants' data and fit to predict antibody levels after the second BNT162B2 vaccine dose, based on antibody levels at 1 month and the slope between 3 months and 1 month. Multivariate analyses identified factors associated with lower antibody levels. RESULTS: In total 1506 HCWs were tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies. Older age was associated with lower mean antibody levels (-1.22 AU/mL, p < 0.001, 95%CI -1.43 to -1.01). In addition, male sex (-22.16 AU/mL, p < 0.001, 95%CI -27.93 to -16.39), underlying condition (-10.86 AU/mL, p 0.007, 95%CI -18.81 to -2.91) and immunosuppressive treatment (-28.57 AU/mL, p 0.002, 95%CI -46.85 to -10.29) were associated with significantly lower mean antibody levels. Allergic reactions after vaccine administration or peri-vaccination glucocorticosteroid treatment were not correlated with antibody levels. CONCLUSIONS: Most HCWs had measurable antibodies at 3 months. Risk factors for lower antibody levels were older age, male sex, underlying condition, and immunosuppressive treatment. These factors may be considered when planning booster doses during vaccine shortages.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Male , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
7.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(1): e1010242, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622379

ABSTRACT

In-depth analysis of SARS-CoV-2 quasispecies is pivotal for a thorough understating of its evolution during infection. The recent deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, which elicit protective anti-spike neutralizing antibodies, has stressed the importance of uncovering and characterizing SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutated spike proteins. Sequencing databases have allowed to follow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants that are circulating in the human population, and several experimental platforms were developed to study these variants. However, less is known about the SARS-CoV-2 variants that are developed in the respiratory system of the infected individual. To gain further insight on SARS-CoV-2 mutagenesis during natural infection, we preformed single-genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from nose-throat swabs of infected individuals. Interestingly, intra-host SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutated S genes or N genes were detected in all individuals who were analyzed. These intra-host variants were present in low frequencies in the swab samples and were rarely documented in current sequencing databases. Further examination of representative spike variants identified by our analysis showed that these variants have impaired infectivity capacity and that the mutated variants showed varied sensitivity to neutralization by convalescent plasma and to plasma from vaccinated individuals. Notably, analysis of the plasma neutralization activity against these variants showed that the L1197I mutation at the S2 subunit of the spike can affect the plasma neutralization activity. Together, these results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 intra-host variants should be further analyzed for a more thorough characterization of potential circulating variants.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Databases, Nucleic Acid , Genome, Viral , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
Cancer Discov ; 11(10): 2430-2435, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472319

ABSTRACT

We had previously reported short-term efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety of the BNT162b2 vaccine among cancer patients with solid tumors. We aimed to evaluate these outcomes at six months postvaccination. The study cohort comprised patients who were on treatment during vaccination and throughout six months postvaccination. Serologic tests were performed after second vaccination and six months afterward. An age-matched cohort of health care workers served as controls. Documentation of COVID-19 infection, blood tests, and imaging studies during the study period was reviewed. Participants included 154 patients and 135 controls. Six months postvaccination, 122 (79%) patients were seropositive compared with 114 (84%) controls (P = 0.32). Serology titer dramatically decreased in a similar manner in both cohorts. No COVID-19 cases were documented in controls, and one case occurred in patient cohort. All previously reported adverse effects resolved. Taken together, the pattern of immunogenicity, efficacy, and safety of BNT162b2 in patients with cancer with solid tumors at six months postvaccination resembles that of the general population. SIGNIFICANCE: Evidence regarding efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines in patients with cancer indicate a favorable short-term profile. Immunomodulation due to anticancer treatments may affect immunity and immunogenicity of patients with cancer to the BNT162b2 vaccine over time. Our study sheds light on these long-term outcomes and portrays a trend that resembles the general population.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 2355.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Neoplasms , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Neutropenia/chemically induced , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced , Time-to-Treatment , Vaccination
9.
Cancer Rep (Hoboken) ; 5(5): e1506, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359781

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis and consequent changes in medical practice have engendered feelings of distress in diverse populations, potentially adversely affecting the psychological well-being of cancer patients. AIM: The purpose of this observational longitudinal study was to evaluate psychosocial perspectives among patients with cancer on intravenous treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS AND RESULTS: The study recruited 164 cancer patients undergoing intravenous anti-neoplastic therapy in a tertiary cancer center. Psychosocial indices were assessed at two points in time, corresponding with the beginning of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Israel (March 2020) and the time of easing of restrictions implemented to curtail spread of infection (May 2020). At Time 1 (T1), elevated COVID-19 distress levels (score 1 and 2 on 5-point scale) were observed in 44% of patients, and associated with pre-existing hypertension and lung disease in multivariate analyses but no demographic or cancer related factors. At Time 2 (T2), 10% had elevated anxiety and 24% depression as indicated by Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-A/D). COVID-19 distress at T1 was related to higher levels of HADS-A at T2 (Spearman 0.33 p < .01), but not HADS-D. Patients with breast cancer expressed greater COVID-19 distress compared with other cancer types (p < .01), while both HADS-A and HADS-D were highest for patients with GI cancer. Patient report of loneliness and decreased support from relatives were factors associated with HADS-A (p = .03 and p < .01, respectively), while HADS-D was not similarly related to the factors evaluated. CONCLUSION: Patients with cancer undergoing intravenous treatment may be vulnerable to acute adverse psychological ramifications of COVID-19, specifically exhibiting high levels of anxiety. These appear unrelated to patient age or disease stage. Those with underlying comorbidities, breast cancer or reduced social support may be at higher risk.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Breast Neoplasms/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/etiology , Depression/psychology , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
JAMA Oncol ; 7(10): 1507-1513, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300331

ABSTRACT

Importance: The efficacy and safety profile of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have been acquired from phase 3 studies; however, patients with cancer were not represented in these trials. Owing to the recommendation to prioritize high-risk populations for vaccination, further data are warranted. Objective: To evaluate the use and safety of the BNT162b2 vaccine in patients undergoing treatment for cancer. Design, Setting, and Participants: In January 2021, mass SARS-CoV-2 vaccination of high-risk populations, including patients with cancer, was initiated in Israel. This cohort study prospectively enrolled and followed up patients with cancer and healthy participants between January 15 and March 14, 2021. The study was conducted at the Division of Oncology of Rambam Health Care Campus, the major tertiary (referral) medical center of northern Israel. Participants included 232 patients with cancer who were receiving active treatment after the first and second doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine and 261 healthy, age-matched health care workers who served as controls. Exposures: Serum samples were collected after each vaccine dose and in cases of seronegativity. Questionnaires regarding sociodemographic characteristics and adverse reactions were administered at serum collection. A regulatory agencies-approved assay was used to assess IgG at all time points. Patients' electronic medical records were reviewed for documentation of COVID-19 infection and results of blood cell counts, liver enzyme levels, and imaging studies. Main Outcomes and Measures: Seroconversion rate after the first and second doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine and documented COVID-19 infection. Results: Of the 232 patients undergoing treatment for cancer, 132 were men (57%); mean (SD) age was 66 (12.09) years. After the first dose of BNT162b2 vaccine, 29% (n = 25) patients were seropositive compared with 84% (n = 220) of the controls (P < .001). After the second dose, the seropositive rate reached 86% (n = 187) in the patients. Testing rate ratios per 1000 person-days after the first dose were 12.5 (95% CI, 3.4-45.7) for the patients and 48.5 (95% CI, 37.2-63.2) for the controls. Patients undergoing chemotherapy showed reduced immunogenicity (odds ratio, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.17-0.98). In seronegative patients, the rate of documented absolute leukopenia reached 39%. No COVID-19 cases were documented throughout the study period; however, 2 cases in the patient cohort were noted immediately after the first dose. Reported adverse events were similar to data in former trials comprising mostly healthy individuals. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, the SARS-CoV-2 BNT162b2 vaccine appeared to be safe and achieve satisfactory serologic status in patients with cancer. There was a pronounced lag in antibody production compared with the rate in noncancer controls; however, seroconversion occurred in most patients after the second dose. Future real-world data are warranted to determine the long-term efficacy of the vaccine with regard to type of anticancer treatment.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Israel , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/blood , Neoplasms/immunology , Prospective Studies , Seroconversion , Tertiary Care Centers , Treatment Outcome
11.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 656405, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247875

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 is a newly recognized illness with a predominantly respiratory presentation. It is important to characterize the differences in disease presentation and trajectory between COVID-19 patients and other patients with common respiratory illnesses. These differences can enhance knowledge of pathogenesis and help in guiding treatment. Methods: Data from electronic medical records were obtained from individuals admitted with respiratory illnesses to Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel, between October 1st, 2014 and October 1st, 2020. Four groups of patients were defined: COVID-19 (693), influenza (1,612), severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) (2,292), and Others (4,054). The variable analyzed include demographics (7), vital signs (8), lab tests (38), and comorbidities (15) from a total of 8,651 hospitalized adult patients. Statistical analysis was performed on biomarkers measured at admission and for their disease trajectory in the first 48 h of hospitalization, and on comorobidity prevalence. Results: COVID-19 patients were overall younger in age and had higher body mass index, compared to influenza and SARI. Comorbidity burden was lower in the COVID-19 group compared to influenza and SARI. Severely- and moderately-ill COVID-19 patients older than 65 years of age suffered higher rate of in-hospital mortality compared to hospitalized influenza patients. At admission, white blood cells and neutrophils were lower among COVID-19 patients compared to influenza and SARI patients, while pulse rate and lymphoctye percentage were higher. Trajectories of variables during the first 2 days of hospitalization revealed that white blood count, neutrophils percentage and glucose in blood increased among COVID-19 patients, while decreasing among other patients. Conclusions: The intrinsic virulence of COVID-19 appeared higher than influenza. In addition, several critical functions, such as immune response, coagulation, heart and respiratory function, and metabolism were uniquely affected by COVID-19.

12.
Cancers (Basel) ; 12(9)2020 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-730296

ABSTRACT

Background: The risk of cancer patients to develop COVID19 infection is unclear. We aimed to prospectively study cancer patients and oncology healthcare workers for COVID19 serology. In IgG+ cases, immune profile was determined to portray the pattern of immune response to SARS-CoV2. Methods: Cancer patients on active treatment and healthcare workers were enrolled. During the study period (3/2020-6/2020), demographic data and blood were collected at three time points. Expression of IgG, IgM, and IgA were assessed. In SARS-CoV-2 IgG+ cases and matched negative cases, we performed mass cytometry time of flight (CyTOF) analysis on the basis of the expression of surface markers. Results: The study included 164 cancer patients on active intravenous treatment and 107 healthcare workers at the cancer center. No symptomatic cases were reported during the study period. Serology analysis revealed four IgG+ patients (2.4%) and two IgG+ healthcare workers (1.9%)-all were asymptomatic. CyTOF analysis demonstrated substantial reduction in myeloid cells in healthcare workers who were SARS-CoV-2 IgG+ compared to those who were SARS-CoV-2 IgG-, whereas in cancer patients, the reduction was relatively milder (≈50% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 IgG+ cancer patients compared with ≈90% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 IgG+ workers). Conclusion: Our results indicate a similar rate of asymptomatic COVID19 infection in cancer patients and healthcare workers in a longitudinal study throughout the pandemic time. Due to differential immune cell profiles of cancer patients who are treated with immunomodulatory agents, the host response to the SARS-COV2 may play a role in COVID19 course and representation. The immunological perspective of cancer treatments on the risk for COVID19 infection should be further explored.

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