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1.
medrxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.06.28.23291986

ABSTRACT

Long COVID, also known as Post-acute COVID-19 Syndrome (PACS), is a chronic condition affecting individuals who have recovered from acute COVID-19. It is currently estimated that around 65 million people worldwide suffer from Long COVID. It is characterized by a range of symptoms, including fatigue, exertion intolerance, neurocognitive and sensory impairment, sleep disturbance, myalgia/arthralgia, and dysautonomia. Among them fatigue has emerged as a burdensome and pervasive issue, significantly impacting the quality of life and daily functioning of Long COVID patients. Alterations in the composition of the intestinal microbiota has been reported in COVID-19 patients. Dysbiosis persists even after several months of recovery from acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. Based on this evidence, we carried out a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial aimed at evaluating the efficacy of VSL#3, a consortium of probiotic bacterial strains, in reducing fatigue and improving various aspects of patients' well-being in patients with Long COVID syndrome.

2.
preprints.org; 2023.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-PREPRINTS.ORG | ID: ppzbmed-10.20944.preprints202301.0359.v1

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have proven to be a valuable tool against COVID-19, mostly among subjects with risk factors for progression to severe illness. Tixagevimab/cilgavimab (TIX/CIL), a combination of two Fc-modified human monoclonal antibodies, has been recently approved to be employed as early treatment. Methods: Two groups of immunocompromised patients exposed to different early treatments (i.e., TIX/CIL vs. other mAbs [casirivimab/imdevimab, bamlanivimab/etesevimab, sotrovimab]) were compared in terms of clinical outcomes (hospitalization and mortality within 14 days from administration) and time to the negativity of nasal swabs. We used either Pearson’s chi-square or Fisher’s exact test for categorical variables, whereas the Wilcoxon rank–sum test was employed for continuous ones. Kaplan–Meier curves were produced to compare the time to nasopharyngeal swab negativity. Results: Early treatment with TIX/CIL was administered to 19 immunocompromised patients, while 89 patients received other mAbs. Most of them were solid organ transplant recipients or suffering from hematologic or solid malignancies. Overall, no significant difference was observed between the two groups in terms of clinical outcomes. In the TIX/CIL group, one patient (1/19, 5.3%), who was admitted to the emergency room within the first 14 days from treatment and was hospitalised due to COVID-19 progression, died. Regarding the time to nasal swab negativity, no significant difference (p=0.088) emerged. Conclusions: Early treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection with TIX/CIL shows favourable outcomes in a small group of immunocompromised patients, reporting no significant difference when compared to similar patients treated with other mAbs.

3.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.10.08.22280836

ABSTRACT

Background. SARS-CoV-2 ongoing pandemic and heterologous immunization approaches implemented worldwide for booster doses call for diversified vaccines portfolio. We report safety and immunogenicity of GRAd-COV2, a novel gorilla adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine, in a phase 2 trial aimed at identifying the appropriate dose and schedule. Method. 917 eligible adults aged 18 years or older, including participants with co-morbidities, were randomised to receive, 21 days apart, a single vaccine administration at 2x1011 viral particles (vp) followed by placebo, or repeated vaccine administration at 1x1011 vp, or two doses of placebo. Primary endpoints were the incidence of local and systemic solicited AEs for 7 days post each dose and the post-treatment (35 days after the first dose), geometric mean titers (GMTs) and geometric mean fold rise (GMFRs) of ELISA antibody responses to Spike protein. Additional humoral and cellular immune response parameters were monitored for up to six months. Results. The safety profile of GRAd-COV2 was characterized by short-term, mild-to-moderate pain and tenderness at injection site, fatigue, headache, malaise, and myalgia. Neither related SAEs nor deaths were reported. Humoral (binding and neutralizing) Ab responses peaked at day 35 after a single administration, were boosted by a second vaccination, were sustained until day 57 to then decline at day 180. Potent, VOC cross-reactive T cell responses peaked already after first dose with high frequencies of long-lived CD8 T cells. Conclusion. GRAd-COV2 was safe, and induced robust immune responses after a single immunization; the second administration increased humoral but not cellular immune responses.

4.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.03.15.484542

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern comprises three sublineages designated BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3, with BA.2 steadily replacing the globally dominant BA.1. We show that the large number of BA.1 and BA.2 spike mutations severely dampen plasma neutralizing activity elicited by infection or seven clinical vaccines, with cross-neutralization of BA.2 being consistently more potent than that of BA.1, independent of the vaccine platform and number of doses. Although mRNA vaccines induced the greatest magnitude of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 plasma neutralizing activity, administration of a booster based on the Wuhan-Hu-1 spike sequence markedly increased neutralizing antibody titers and breadth against BA.1 and BA.2 across all vaccines evaluated. Our data suggest that although BA.1 and BA.2 evade polyclonal neutralizing antibody responses, current vaccine boosting regimens may provide sufficient protection against Omicron-induced disease.

5.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.03.11.22271912

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presents an urgent threat to global health. Prediction models that accurately estimate mortality risk in hospitalized patients could assist medical staff in treatment and allocating limited resources. Aims: To externally validate two promising previously published risk scores that predict in-hospital mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Methods: Two cohorts were available; a cohort of 1028 patients admitted to one of nine hospitals in Lombardy, Italy (the Lombardy cohort) and a cohort of 432 patients admitted to a hospital in Leiden, the Netherlands (the Leiden cohort). The primary endpoint was in-hospital mortality. All patients were adult and tested COVID-19 PCR-positive. Model discrimination and calibration were assessed. Results: The C-statistic of the 4C mortality score was good in the Lombardy cohort (0.85, 95CI: 0.82-0.89) and in the Leiden cohort (0.87, 95CI: 0.80-0.94). Model calibration was acceptable in the Lombardy cohort but poor in the Leiden cohort due to the model systematically overpredicting the mortality risk for all patients. The C-statistic of the CURB-65 score was good in the Lombardy cohort (0.80, 95CI: 0.75-0.85) and in the Leiden cohort (0.82, 95CI: 0.76-0.88). The mortality rate in the CURB-65 development cohort was much lower than the mortality rate in the Lombardy cohort. A similar but less pronounced trend was found for patients in the Leiden cohort. Conclusion: Although performances did not differ greatly, the 4C mortality score showed the best performance. However, because of quickly changing circumstances, model recalibration may be necessary before using the 4C mortality score.

6.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.03.04.22271706

ABSTRACT

This network meta-analysis (NMA) assessed the efficacy of remdesivir in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 requiring supplemental oxygen. Randomized controlled trials of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, where patients were receiving supplemental oxygen at baseline and at least one arm received treatment with remdesivir, were identified. Outcomes included mortality, recovery, and no longer requiring supplemental oxygen. NMAs were performed for low-flow oxygen (LFO2); high-flow oxygen (HFO2), including NIV; or oxygen at any flow (AnyO2) at early (day 14/15) and late (day 28/29) time points. Six studies were included (N=5,245 patients) in the NMA. Remdesivir lowered early and late mortality among AnyO2 patients (risk ratio (RR) 0.52, 95% credible interval (CrI) 0.34-0.79; RR 0.81, 95%CrI 0.69-0.95) and LFO2 patients (RR 0.21, 95%CI 0.09-0.46; RR 0.24, 95%CI 0.11-0.48); no improvement was observed among HFO2 patients. Improved early and late recovery was observed among LFO2 patients (RR 1.22, 95%CrI 1.09-1.38; RR 1.17, 95%CrI 1.09-1.28). Remdesivir also lowered the requirement for oxygen support among all patient subgroups. Among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 requiring supplemental oxygen at baseline, use of remdesivir compared to best supportive care is likely to improve the risk of mortality, recovery and need for oxygen support in AnyO2 and LFO2 patients.

7.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.02.04.22270433

ABSTRACT

Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presents an urgent threat to global health. Identification of predictors of poor outcomes will assist medical staff in treatment and allocating limited healthcare resources. Aims The primary aim was to study the value of D-dimer as a predictive marker for in-hospital mortality. Methods This was a cohort study. The study population consisted of hospitalized patients (age >18 years), who were diagnosed with COVID-19 based on real-time PCR at 9 hospitals during the first COVID-19 wave in Lombardy, Italy (Feb-May 2020). The primary endpoint was in-hospital mortality. Information was obtained from patient records. Statistical analyses were performed using a Fine-Gray competing risk survival model. Model discrimination was assessed using Harrells C-index and model calibration was assessed using a calibration plot. Results Out of 1049 patients, 501 patients had evaluable data. Of these 501 patients, 96 died. The cumulative incidence of in-hospital mortality within 30 days was 20% (95CI: 16%-23%), and the majority of deaths occurred within the first 10 days. A prediction model containing D-dimer as the only predictor had a C-index of 0.66 (95%CI: 0.61-0.71). Overall calibration of the model was very poor. The addition of D-dimer to a model containing age, sex and co-morbidities as predictors did not lead to any meaningful improvement in either the C-index or the calibration plot. Conclusion The predictive value of D-dimer alone was moderate, and the addition of D-dimer to a simple model containing basic clinical characteristics did not lead to any improvement in model performance.

8.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.19.473391

ABSTRACT

Numerous safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have been developed that utilize various delivery technologies and engineering strategies. The influence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein conformation on antibody responses induced by vaccination or infection in humans remains unknown. To address this question, we compared plasma antibodies elicited by six globally-distributed vaccines or infection and observed markedly higher binding titers for vaccines encoding a prefusion-stabilized S relative to other groups. Prefusion S binding titers positively correlated with plasma neutralizing activity, indicating that physical stabilization of the prefusion conformation enhances protection against SARS-CoV-2. We show that almost all plasma neutralizing activity is directed to prefusion S, in particular the S1 subunit, and that variant cross-neutralization is mediated solely by RBD-specific antibodies. Our data provide a quantitative framework for guiding future S engineering efforts to develop vaccines with higher resilience to the emergence of variants and longer durability than current technologies.

9.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.12.472269

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant harbors 37 amino acid substitutions in the spike (S) protein, 15 of which are in the receptor-binding domain (RBD), thereby raising concerns about the effectiveness of available vaccines and antibody therapeutics. Here, we show that the Omicron RBD binds to human ACE2 with enhanced affinity relative to the Wuhan-Hu-1 RBD and acquires binding to mouse ACE2. Severe reductions of plasma neutralizing activity were observed against Omicron compared to the ancestral pseudovirus for vaccinated and convalescent individuals. Most (26 out of 29) receptor-binding motif (RBM)-directed monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) lost in vitro neutralizing activity against Omicron, with only three mAbs, including the ACE2-mimicking S2K146 mAb, retaining unaltered potency. Furthermore, a fraction of broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus mAbs recognizing antigenic sites outside the RBM, including sotrovimab, S2X259 and S2H97, neutralized Omicron. The magnitude of Omicron-mediated immune evasion and the acquisition of binding to mouse ACE2 mark a major SARS-CoV-2 mutational shift. Broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus mAbs recognizing epitopes conserved among SARS-CoV-2 variants and other sarbecoviruses may prove key to controlling the ongoing pandemic and future zoonotic spillovers.

10.
ssrn; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-SSRN | ID: ppzbmed-10.2139.ssrn.3918861

ABSTRACT

Background: Vaccines against COVID-19 are a powerful tool to control the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. A thorough description of their immunogenicity among people living with HIV (PLWHIV) is necessary. We aimed to assess the immunogenicity of the mRNA-1273 vaccine among PLWHIV.Methods: In this prospective cohort, adult PLWHIV outpatients were enrolled during the Italian vaccination campaign. Enrolment was allowed irrespective of ongoing combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), plasma HIV viral load and CD4+ T cell count. A two-dose regimen of mRNA-1273, with administrations performed 28 days apart, was employed. The primary outcomes were anti-spike (anti-S) antibody titres and neutralising antibody activity, assessed 28 days after completing the vaccination schedule, compared with individuals not affected by HIV (referred as healthy-donors, HDs). Findings: CD4+ T cell count groups and anti-nucleocapside (anti-N) positive serology were the only variables associated with anti-spike (anti-S) antibody titres (expressed as U/mL) and neutralising antibody activity. Anti-S antibodies were higher in COVID-19-experienced PLWHIV (median 12500 U/mL IQR [5704-12500]) than in COVID-19-naïve PLWHIV (median 2437 U/mL IQR [1485-4526]) but did not differ from those observed in COVID-19-experienced HDs (median 1077 U/mL IQR [702-7551]). Neutralising antibody activity in sera was higher in COVID-19-experienced PLWHIV (median 10888 IQR [2478-14416]) compared to COVID-19-naïve PLWHIV (median 1192 IQR [742-2421]) but was comparable to those observed in COVID-19-experienced HDs (median 20959 U/mL IQR [10060-31857]). When stratified according to CD4+ T cell count (<350 cells/μL, 350-500 cells/μL, >500 cells/μL), anti-S antibody titres (median 2173 U/mL [IQR 897-4109], 5763 IU/mL [IQR 4801-12500], 2449 U/mL [IQR 1524-5704]) were not lower to those observed among HDs (median 1425 U/mL [IQR 599-6131]). In addition, neutralising antibody activity, stratified according to the CD4+ T cell count (median 1314 [IQR 606-2477], 3329 IU/mL [IQR 1905-10508], 1227 U/mL [IQR 761-3032]), was similar to those displayed by HDs (median 2112 U/mL [IQR 719-8889]).Interpretation: Inoculation with mRNA-1273 vaccine given 4 weeks apart produced adequate immune responses in PLWHIV, who are well controlled on ART, irrespective of CD4+ T cell count and equivalent to individuals without HIV infection, supporting vaccination in PLWHIV.Funding: This study was partially supported by Italian Ministry of Health Ricerca Corrente 2021 and Grant Ricerca Finalizzata GR 2018-12365699, by Intesa San Paolo COVID-19 emergency 2020 funds, and by Fondazione Cariplo (INNATE-CoV).Declaration of Interest: All other authors declare no competing interests.Ethical Approval: The study protocol (286_2021) was approved by the INMI “Lazzaro Spallanzani” Ethics Committee (Roma, Italy),

11.
researchsquare; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-778554.v1

ABSTRACT

Background: The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has hardly affected the entire world. Vaccines against COVID-19 appear as a tool able to curb out the mortality and to reduce the circulation of the virus. Little is known so far about the clinical characteristics of individuals who developed SARS-CoV-2 infection after having received the vaccination, as well as the temporal relationship between vaccine administration and symptoms onset.Methods: Retrospective cohort study among the healthcare workers (HCWs) of the Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milano, vaccinated with the BNT162b2 vaccine who developed SARS-CoV-2 infection (documented through positive RT-PCR on NPSs). Results: Overall, we have identified 15 HCWs with SARS-CoV-2 infection after vaccination, 7 (46.7%) of them were male and the mean age was 38.4 years (SD 14). In 4 of them the presence of SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapside (anti-N) antibodies was assessed before vaccination and resulted positive in 1 case. In all HCWs the presence of SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike (anti-S1) antibodies was assessed, in average 42.2 days after the completion of vaccination, with a mean value of 2,055 U/mL (SD 1,927.3). SARS-CoV-2 infection was ascertained in average 56.2 days after vaccination. The mean cycle threshold (Ct) of SARS-CoV-2 PCR was 26.4, the lineage was characterized in 9 HCWs. None of the HCWs reported a primary or secondary immunodeficiency. Regarding symptoms, they were reported only by 7 (46.7%) HCWs and appeared on average 55 days after the second dose of vaccination. Of those who reported symptoms, one (14.3%) had fever, 7 (100%) rhinitis/conjunctivitis, 4 (57.1%) taste and smell alterations, none had respiratory symptoms, 4 headache/arthralgia (57.1%) and 1 gastrointestinal symptoms (14.3%). All symptoms disappeared in a few days and no other unclassified symptoms were reported.Conclusions: Infections occurring after vaccination with BNT162b2 vaccine are mostly asymptomatic and are not associated with the serum titre of anti-S1 antibodies. We did not find a predominance of a specific viral variants, with several lineages represented. 

12.
Frauke Degenhardt; David Ellinghaus; Simonas Juzenas; Jon Lerga-Jaso; Mareike Wendorff; Douglas Maya-Miles; Florian Uellendahl-Werth; Hesham ElAbd; Malte C. Ruehlemann; Jatin Arora; Onur oezer; Ole Bernt Lenning; Ronny Myhre; May Sissel Vadla; Eike Matthias Wacker; Lars Wienbrandt; Aaron Blandino Ortiz; Adolfo de Salazar; Adolfo Garrido Chercoles; Adriana Palom; Agustin Ruiz; Alberto Mantovani; Alberto Zanella; Aleksander Rygh Holten; Alena Mayer; Alessandra Bandera; Alessandro Cherubini; Alessandro Protti; Alessio Aghemo; Alessio Gerussi; Alexander Popov; Alfredo Ramirez; Alice Braun; Almut Nebel; Ana Barreira; Ana Lleo; Ana Teles; Anders Benjamin Kildal; Andrea Biondi; Andrea Ganna; Andrea Gori; Andreas Glueck; Andreas Lind; Anke Hinney; Anna Carreras Nolla; Anna Ludovica Fracanzani; Annalisa Cavallero; Anne Ma Dyrhol-Riise; Antonella Ruello; Antonio Julia; Antonio Muscatello; Antonio Pesenti; Antonio Voza; Ariadna Rando-Segura; Aurora Solier; Beatriz Cortes; Beatriz Mateos; Beatriz Nafria-Jimenez; Benedikt Schaefer; Bjoern Jensen; Carla Bellinghausen; Carlo Maj; Carlos Ferrando; Carmen de la Horrra; Carmen Quereda; Carsten Skurk; Charlotte Thibeault; Chiara Scollo; Christian Herr; Christoph D. Spinner; Christoph Lange; Cinzia Hu; Clara Lehmann; Claudio Cappadona; Clinton Azuure; - COVICAT study group; - Covid-19 Aachen Study (COVAS); Cristiana Bianco; Cristina Sancho; Dag Arne Lihaug Hoff; Daniela Galimberti; Daniele Prati; David Haschka; David Jimenez; David Pestana; David Toapanta; Elena Azzolini; Elio Scarpini; Elisa T. Helbig; Eloisa Urrechaga; Elvezia Maria Paraboschi; Emanuele Pontali; Enric Reverter; Enrique J. Calderon; Enrique Navas; Erik Solligard; Ernesto Contro; Eunate Arana; Federico Garcia; Felix Garcia Sanchez; Ferruccio Ceriotti; Filippo Martinelli-Boneschi; Flora Peyvandi; Florian Kurth; Francesco Blasi; Francesco Malvestiti; Francisco J. Medrano; Francisco Mesonero; Francisco Rodriguez-Frias; Frank Hanses; Fredrik Mueller; Giacomo Bellani; Giacomo Grasselli; Gianni Pezzoli; Giorgio Costantino; Giovanni Albano; Giuseppe Bellelli; Giuseppe Citerio; Giuseppe Foti; Giuseppe Lamorte; Holger Neb; Ilaria My; Ingo Kurth; Isabel Hernandez; Isabell Pink; Itziar de Rojas; Ivan Galvan-Femenia; Jan C. Holter; Jan Egil Egil Afset; Jan Heyckendorf; Jan Damas; Jan Kristian Rybniker; Janine Altmueller; Javier Ampuero; Jesus M. Banales; Joan Ramon Badia; Joaquin Dopazo; Jochen Schneider; Jonas Bergan; Jordi Barretina; Joern Walter; Jose Hernandez Quero; Josune Goikoetxea; Juan Delgado; Juan M. Guerrero; Julia Fazaal; Julia Kraft; Julia Schroeder; Kari Risnes; Karina Banasik; Karl Erik Mueller; Karoline I. Gaede; Koldo Garcia-Etxebarria; Kristian Tonby; Lars Heggelund; Laura Izquierdo-Sanchez; Laura Rachele Bettini; Lauro Sumoy; Leif Erik Sander; Lena J. Lippert; Leonardo Terranova; Lindokuhle Nkambule; Lisa Knopp; Lise Tuset Gustad; Lucia Garbarino; Luigi Santoro; Luis Tellez; Luisa Roade; Mahnoosh Ostadreza; Maider Intxausti; Manolis Kogevinas; Mar Riveiro-Barciela; Marc M. Berger; Mari E.K. Niemi; Maria A. Gutierrez-Stampa; Maria Grazia Valsecchi; Maria Hernandez-Tejero; Maria J.G.T. Vehreschild; Maria Manunta; Mariella D'Angio; Marina Cazzaniga; Marit M. Grimsrud; Markus Cornberg; Markus M. Noethen; Marta Marquie; Massimo Castoldi; Mattia Cordioli; Maurizio Cecconi; Mauro D'Amato; Max Augustin; Melissa Tomasi; Merce Boada; Michael Dreher; Michael J. Seilmaier; Michael Joannidis; Michael Wittig; Michela Mazzocco; Miguel Rodriguez-Gandia; Natale Imaz Ayo; Natalia Blay; Natalia Chueca; Nicola Montano; Nicole Ludwig; Nikolaus Marx; Nilda Martinez; - Norwegian SARS-CoV-2 Study group; Oliver A. Cornely; Oliver Witzke; Orazio Palmieri; - Pa COVID-19 Study Group; Paola Faverio; Paolo Bonfanti; Paolo Tentorio; Pedro Castro; Pedro M. Rodrigues; Pedro Pablo Espana; Per Hoffmann; Philip Rosenstiel; Philipp Schommers; Phillip Suwalski; Raul de Pablo; Ricard Ferrer; Robert Bals; Roberta Gualtierotti; Rocio Gallego-Duran; Rosa Nieto; Rossana Carpani; Ruben Morilla; Salvatore Badalamenti; Sammra Haider; Sandra Ciesek; Sandra May; Sara Bombace; Sara Marsal; Sara Pigazzini; Sebastian Klein; Selina Rolker; Serena Pelusi; Sibylle Wilfling; Silvano Bosari; Soren Brunak; Soumya Raychaudhuri; Stefan Schreiber; Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach; Stefano Aliberti; Stephan Ripke; Susanne Dudman; - The Humanitas COVID-19 Task Forse; - The Humanitas Gavazzeni COVID-19 Task Force; Thomas Bahmer; Thomas Eggermann; Thomas Illig; Thorsten Brenner; Torsten Feldt; Trine Folseraas; Trinidad Gonzalez Cejudo; Ulf Landmesser; Ulrike Protzer; Ute Hehr; Valeria Rimoldi; Vegard Skogen; Verena Keitel; Verena Kopfnagel; Vicente Friaza; Victor Andrade; Victor Moreno; Wolfgang Poller; Xavier Farre; Xiaomin Wang; Yascha Khodamoradi; Zehra Karadeniz; Anna Latiano; Siegfried Goerg; Petra Bacher; Philipp Koehler; Florian Tran; Heinz Zoller; Eva C. Schulte; Bettina Heidecker; Kerstin U. Ludwig; Javier Fernandez; Manuel Romero-Gomez; Agustin Albillos; Pietro Invernizzi; Maria Buti; Stefano Duga; Luis Bujanda; Johannes R. Hov; Tobias L. Lenz; Rosanna Asselta; Rafael de Cid; Luca Valenti; Tom H. Karlsen; Mario Caceres; Andre Franke.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.07.21.21260624

ABSTRACT

Due to the highly variable clinical phenotype of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), deepening the host genetic contribution to severe COVID-19 may further improve our understanding about underlying disease mechanisms. Here, we describe an extended GWAS meta-analysis of 3,260 COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure and 12,483 population controls from Italy, Spain, Norway and Germany, as well as hypothesis-driven targeted analysis of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region and chromosome Y haplotypes. We include detailed stratified analyses based on age, sex and disease severity. In addition to already established risk loci, our data identify and replicate two genome-wide significant loci at 17q21.31 and 19q13.33 associated with severe COVID-19 with respiratory failure. These associations implicate a highly pleiotropic ~0.9-Mb 17q21.31 inversion polymorphism, which affects lung function and immune and blood cell counts, and the NAPSA gene, involved in lung surfactant protein production, in COVID-19 pathogenesis.

13.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.04.13.21255411

ABSTRACT

BackgroundAnakinra may represent an important therapy to improve the prognosis of COVID-19 patients. This meta-analysis using individual patient data was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of anakinra treatment in patients with COVID-19. MethodsBased on a pre-specified protocol (PROSPERO: CRD42020221491), a systematic literature search was performed in MEDLINE (PubMed), Cochrane, medRxiv.org, bioRxiv.org and clinicaltrials.gov databases for trials in COVID-19 comparing administration of anakinra with standard-of-care and/or placebo. Individual patient data from eligible trials were requested. The primary endpoint was the mortality rate and the secondary endpoint was safety. FindingsLiterature search yielded 209 articles, of which 178 articles fulfilled screening criteria and were full-text assessed. Aggregate data on 1185 patients from 9 studies were analyzed and individual patient data on 895 patients from 6 studies were collected. Most studies used historical controls. Mortality was significantly lower in anakinra-treated patients (38/342 [11{middle dot}1%]) as compared with 137/553 (24{middle dot}8%) observed in patients receiving standard-of-care and/or placebo on top of standard-of-care (137/553 [24{middle dot}8%]); adjusted odds ratio (OR), 0{middle dot}32; 95% CI, 0{middle dot}20 to 0{middle dot}51; p <0{middle dot}001. The mortality benefit was similar across subgroups regardless of diabetes mellitus, ferritin concentrations, or baseline P/F ratio. The effect was more profound in patients exhibiting CRP levels >100 mg/L (OR 0{middle dot}28,95%CI 0{middle dot}27-1{middle dot}47). Safety issues, such as increase of secondary infections, did not emerge. InterpretationAnakinra may be a safe anti-inflammatory treatment option in patients hospitalized with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 pneumonia to reduce mortality, especially in the presence of hyperinflammation signs such as CRP>100mg /L. FundingSobi. Research in contextO_ST_ABSEvidence before this studyC_ST_ABSSince the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous drugs have been tried in an effort to prevent major detrimental consequences, such as respiratory and multiorgan failure and death. Early during the pandemic, it was realized that drugs aiming to regulate the immune host reaction may play an important role in the treatment of COVID-19. Evidence from a small number of patients with moderate or severe COVID-19 treated with anakinra, and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, has suggested therapeutic efficacy. We systematically searched all available literature and aimed to present cumulative evidence of anakinra treatment in COVID-19 and the related effect on mortality. Added value of this studyThis is the first patient-level analysis on the effect of anakinra treatment in COVID-19 patients, which, on the one hand, suggests a significant benefit in the reduction of mortality and on the other hand, reassures safety of the treatment. Most importantly, the current study identifies a subgroup of patients with CRP>100mg/L, that may benefit most from treatment with anakinra. Confirmation of these effects in larger randomized clinical trials (RCTs) is urgently needed. Implications of all the available evidenceAnakinra may be an effective and safe immunomodulatory treatment in moderate-to-severe cases of pneumonia due to COVID-19 to prevent unfavorable outcomes. Anakinra may be helpful to avoid adverse events, such as breakthrough infections observed often with dexamethasone use, and may be considered an alternative in specific subgroups of patients e.g. diabetics. Larger trials, summarized in the Table, are ongoing and their results are urgently needed to investigate anakinras best place in the treatment of COVID-19. O_TBL View this table: org.highwire.dtl.DTLVardef@37134borg.highwire.dtl.DTLVardef@1d3ca11org.highwire.dtl.DTLVardef@1774b08org.highwire.dtl.DTLVardef@df281borg.highwire.dtl.DTLVardef@c2188d_HPS_FORMAT_FIGEXP M_TBL C_TBL

14.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.04.13.21255117

ABSTRACT

Leveraging the unique biological resource based upon the initial COVID-19 patients in Policlinico di Milano (Italy), our study provides the first metabolic profile associated with a fatal outcome. The identification of potential predictive biomarkers offers a vital opportunity to employ metabolomics in a clinical setting as diagnostic tool of disease prognosis upon hospital admission.

15.
researchsquare; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-75145.v1

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 virus infection is responsible for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which is characterised by a hyperinflammatory response that plays a major role in determining the respiratory and immune-mediated complications of this condition. While isolating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from whole blood of COVID-19 patients by density gradient centrifugation, we noticed some changes in the floating properties and in the sedimentation of the cells on density medium. Investigating this further, we found that in early phase COVID-19 patients, characterised by reduced circulating lymphocytes and monocytes, the PBMC fraction contained surprisingly high levels of neutrophils. Furthermore, the neutrophil population exhibited alterations in the cell size and in the internal complexity, consistent with the presence of low density neutrophils (LDNs) and immature forms which may explain the shift seen in the floating abilities and that may be predictive of the severity of the disease. The percentage of this subset of neutrophils found in the PBMC band was rather spread (35.4±27.2%, with a median 28.8% and IQR 11.6-56.1, Welch’s t-test early phase COVID-19 versus blood donor healthy controls P<0.0001). Results confirm the presence of an increased number of LDNs in patients with early stage COVID-19, which correlates with disease severity and may be recovered by centrifugation on a density gradient together with PBMCs. 

16.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.08.27.20183624

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 is a pandemic viral disease affecting also obstetric patients and uncertainties exist about the prognostic role of inflammatory biomarkers and hemocytometry values in patients with this infection. To clarify that, we assessed the values of several inflammatory biomarkers and hemocytometry variables in a cohort of obstetric patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 and we correlated the values at admission with the need of oxygen supplementation during the hospitalization. Overall, among 27 (61%) pregnant women and 17 (39%) post-partum women, 6 (14%) patients received oxygen supplementation and 2 (4%) required admission to intensive care unit but none died. During hospitalization neutrophils (p=0.002), neutrophils to lymphocytes ratio (p=0.037) and C reactive protein (p<0.001) decreased significantly, whereas lymphocytes (p<0.001) and platelets (p<0.001) increased. Leukocytes and lymphocytes values at admission were correlated with oxygen need, with respectively a 1% and 5% higher risk of oxygen supplementation for each 1,000 cells decrease. Overall, in obstetric patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019, C reactive protein is the inflammatory biomarker that better mirrors the course of the disease whereas D-dimer or ferritin are not reliable predictors of poor outcome. Care to the need of oxygen supplementation should be reserved to patients with reduced leukocytes or lymphocytes values at admission.

17.
David Ellinghaus; Frauke Degenhardt; Luis Bujanda; Maria Buti; Agustin Albillos; Pietro Invernizzi; Javier Fernandez; Daniele Prati; Guido Baselli; Rosanna Asselta; Marit Maehle Grimsrud; Chiara Milani; Fatima Aziz; Jan Kassens; Sandra May; Mareike Wendorff; Lars Wienbrandt; Florian Uellendahl-Werth; Tenghao Zheng; Xiaoli Yi; Raul de Pablo; Adolfo Garrido Chercoles; Adriana Palom; Alba-Estela Garcia-Fernandez; Francisco Rodriguez-Frias; Alberto Zanella; Alessandra Bandera; Alessandro Protti; Alessio Aghemo; Ana Lleo de Nalda; Andrea Biondi; Andrea Caballero-Garralda; Andrea Gori; Anja Tanck; Anna Latiano; Anna Ludovica Fracanzani; Anna Peschuck; Antonio Julia; Antonio Pesenti; Antonio Voza; David Jimenez; Beatriz Mateos; Beatriz Nafria Jimenez; Carmen Quereda; Claudio Angelini; Cristina Cea; Aurora Solier; David Pestana; Elena Sandoval; Elvezia Maria Paraboschi; Enrique Navas; Ferruccio Ceriotti; Filippo Martinelli-Boneschi; Flora Peyvandi; Francesco Blasi; Luis Tellez; Albert Blanco-Grau; Giacomo Grasselli; Giorgio Costantino; Giulia Cardamone; Giuseppe Foti; Serena Aneli; Hayato Kurihara; Hesham ElAbd; Ilaria My; Javier Martin; Jeanette Erdmann; Jose Ferrusquia-Acosta; Koldo Garcia-Etxebarria; Laura Izquierdo-Sanchez; Laura Rachele Bettini; Leonardo Terranova; Leticia Moreira; Luigi Santoro; Luigia Scudeller; Francisco Mesonero; Luisa Roade; Marco Schaefer; Maria Carrabba; Maria del Mar Riveiro Barciela; Maria Eloina Figuera Basso; Maria Grazia Valsecchi; Maria Hernandez-Tejero; Marialbert Acosta-Herrera; Mariella D'Angio; Marina Baldini; Marina Cazzaniga; Martin Schulzky; Maurizio Cecconi; Michael Wittig; Michele Ciccarelli; Miguel Rodriguez-Gandia; Monica Bocciolone; Monica Miozzo; Nicole Braun; Nilda Martinez; Orazio Palmieri; Paola Faverio; Paoletta Preatoni; Paolo Bonfanti; Paolo Omodei; Paolo Tentorio; Pedro Castro; Pedro M. Rodrigues; Aaron Blandino Ortiz; Ricardo Ferrer Roca; Roberta Gualtierotti; Rosa Nieto; Salvatore Badalamenti; Sara Marsal; Giuseppe Matullo; Serena Pelusi; Valter Monzani; Tanja Wesse; Tomas Pumarola; Valeria Rimoldi; Silvano Bosari; Wolfgang Albrecht; Wolfgang Peter; Manuel Romero Gomez; Mauro D'Amato; Stefano Duga; Jesus M. Banales; Johannes Roksund Hov; Trine Folseraas; Luca Valenti; Andre Franke; Tom Hemming Karlsen.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.31.20114991

ABSTRACT

Background. Respiratory failure is a key feature of severe Covid-19 and a critical driver of mortality, but for reasons poorly defined affects less than 10% of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. Methods. We included 1,980 patients with Covid-19 respiratory failure at seven centers in the Italian and Spanish epicenters of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Europe (Milan, Monza, Madrid, San Sebastian and Barcelona) for a genome-wide association analysis. After quality control and exclusion of population outliers, 835 patients and 1,255 population-derived controls from Italy, and 775 patients and 950 controls from Spain were included in the final analysis. In total we analyzed 8,582,968 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and conducted a meta-analysis of both case-control panels. Results. We detected cross-replicating associations with rs11385942 at chromosome 3p21.31 and rs657152 at 9q34, which were genome-wide significant (P<5x10-8) in the meta-analysis of both study panels, odds ratio [OR], 1.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.48 to 2.11; P=1.14x10-10 and OR 1.32 (95% CI, 1.20 to 1.47; P=4.95x10-8), respectively. Among six genes at 3p21.31, SLC6A20 encodes a known interaction partner with angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The association signal at 9q34 was located at the ABO blood group locus and a blood-group-specific analysis showed higher risk for A-positive individuals (OR=1.45, 95% CI, 1.20 to 1.75, P=1.48x10-4) and a protective effect for blood group O (OR=0.65, 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.79, P=1.06x10-5). Conclusions. We herein report the first robust genetic susceptibility loci for the development of respiratory failure in Covid-19. Identified variants may help guide targeted exploration of severe Covid-19 pathophysiology.

18.
researchsquare; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-28697.v1

ABSTRACT

Objective. To describe the radiographic key patterns on CXR in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, assessing the prevalence of radiographic signs of interstitial pneumonia. To evaluate pattern variation between a baseline and a follow-up CXR.Materials and methods. 1117 patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection were retrospectively enrolled from four centers in Lombardy region. All patients underwent a CXR at presentation. Follow-up CXR was performed when clinically indicated.Two radiologists in each center reviewed CXR images and classified them as suggestive or not for interstitial pneumonia, recording the presence of ground-glass opacity (GGO), reticular pattern or consolidation and their distribution.Pearson’s chi-square test for categorical variables and McNemar test (chi-square for paired data) were performed.Results. Patients mean age 63.3 years, 767 were males (65.5%). The main result is the large proportion of positive CXR in COVID-19 patients.Baseline CXR was positive in 940 patients (80.3%), with significant differences in age and sex distribution between patients with positive and negative CXR. 382 patients underwent a follow-up CXR. The most frequent pattern on baseline CXR was the GGO (66.1%), on follow-up was consolidation (53.4%). The most common distributions were peripheral and middle-lower lung zone.Conclusions. We described key-patterns and their distribution on CXR in a large cohort of COVID-19 patients: GGO was the most frequent finding on baseline CXR, while we found an increase in the proportion of lung consolidation on follow-up CXR. CXR proved to be a reliable tool in our cohort obtaining positive results in 80.3% of the baseline cases.

19.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.07.20094276

ABSTRACT

BackgroundThe management of healthcare workers (HCWs) exposed to confirmed cases of COVID-19 is still a matter of debate. It is unclear whether these subjects should be tested in the absence of symptoms and if those can guide diagnosis. MethodsOccupational and clinical characteristics of all the consecutive HCWs who performed a nasopharyngeal swab for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in a University Hospital from February 24, 2020, to March 31, 2020, were collected. Frequencies of positive tests were compared according to selected variables. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were then applied. FindingsPositive tests were 138 among 1,573 HCWs (8.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 7.4-10.3), with a marked difference between symptomatic (20.2%, 95% CI: 16.7-24.1) and asymptomatic (3.7%, 95% CI: 2.7-5.1) subjects (p<0.001). Physicians were the group with the highest frequency of positive tests (10.6%, 95% CI: 8.3-13.4) whereas clerical workers and technicians displayed the lowest frequency (2.9%, 95% CI: 0.8-7.3). The likelihood of being positive increased with the number of reported symptoms and the strongest predictors of a positive test were taste and smell alterations (odds ratio [OR] = 29.7) and fever (OR = 7.21). The median time from first positive test to a negative test was 23 days (95% CI: 19-24). InterpretationIn this Italian group of HCWs exposed to confirmed cases of COVID-19 the presence of symptoms, especially taste and smell alterations and fever, was associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The median time to clear the virus from nasopharynx was 23 days. Fundingnone related to the content of this manuscript. Research in contextO_ST_ABSEvidence before this studyC_ST_ABSWe searched PubMed for articles published in English up to April 25, 2020, using the keywords "SARS-CoV-2", "COVID-19", "2019-nCoV", AND "healthcare workers","HCW", AND "testing", "nasopharyngeal swab". We found one article: Roll-out of SARS-CoV-2 testing for healthcare workers at a large NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom, March 2020 published in Euro Surveillance. Reviewing the pre-print website medRxiv with the same keywords we identified two additional studies: SARS-CoV-2 infection in Health Care Workers in a large public hospital in Madrid, Spain, during March 2020, and SARS-CoV-2 infection in 86 healthcare workers in two Dutch hospitals in March. Added value of this studyWe showed that, even if symptomatic healthcare workers had a much higher probability of positive test, almost one third of those infected were asymptomatic. Specific symptoms, namely taste and smell alterations and fever, were strongly associated with the infection. Finally, the median time to clear the virus from nasopharynx was 23 days. Implications of all the available evidenceScreening strategies for healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 patients should take in account the significant proportion of asymptomatic carriers and the predictive role of specific symptoms. Moreover, healthcare workers coming back to work after a positive test should be aware of the long-time of viral shedding from nasopharynx.

20.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.01.20087080

ABSTRACT

Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is a recently discovered pathogen responsible of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The immunological changes associated with this infection are largely unknown. Methods We evaluated the peripheral blood mononuclear cells profile of 63 patients with COVID-19 at diagnosis and the presence of association with inflammatory biomarkers and 28-days mortality. Results Lymphocytopenia was present in 51 of 63 (80.9%) patients. This reduction was mirrored also on CD8+ lymphocytes (128 cells/uL), natural killer cells (67 cells/uL) and natural killer T cells (31 cells/uL). Monocytes were preserved in total number but displayed a subpopulation composed mainly of cells with a reduced expression of both CD14 and HLA-DR. A direct correlation was found between serum values of IL-6 and the frequency of Th2 lymphocytes (R=0.17; p=0.04) but not with the monocytes count (R=0.01; p=0.60). Patients who died in the 28 days from admission (N=10, 15.9%), when compared to those who did not, displayed lower mean values of CD3+ (p=0.028) and CD4+ cells (p=0.042) and higher mean percentages of CD8+/CD38+/HLA-DR+ lymphocytes (p=0.026). Conclusions The early phases of COVID-19 are characterized by lymphocytopenia, predominance of Th2 lymphocytes and less immunocompetent monocytes, which include atypical mononuclear cells.

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