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1.
Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 2023 May 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243779

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: B cell depleting monoclonal antibodies are associated with increased COVID-19 severity and impaired immune response to vaccination. We aimed to assess the humoral and cell mediated (CMI) immune response after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in rituximab (RTX)-treated rheumatic patients. METHODS: Serum and whole blood samples were collected from rituximab (RTX)-treated rheumatic patients 3-6 months after last vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. Serum was tested by ELISA for quantitative detection of anti-spike SARS-CoV-2 IgG. Cell-mediated variant-specific SARS-CoV-2 immunity (CMI) was assessed by interferon-γ release assay Covi-FERON FIA. Patients were interviewed for breakthrough COVID-19 infection (BTI) 3 months post sampling. RESULTS: Sixty patients were studied after a median (IQR) of 179 (117-221.5) days from last vaccine to sampling. Forty (66.7%) patients had positive Covi-FERON and 23 (38.3%) had detectable anti-spike IgG. Covi-FERON positive patients had lower median RTX cumulative dose [6 (4-10.75) vs 11 (6.75-14.75) grams, (p= 0.019). Patients with positive anti-spike IgG had received fewer RTX cycles [2 (2-4) vs 6 (4-8), p= 0.002) and cumulative dose [4 (3-7) vs 10 (6.25-13) grams, p= 0.002] and had shorter time from last vaccination to sampling [140 (76-199) vs 192 (128-230) days, p= 0.047). Thirty-seven percent were positive only for Covi-FERON and 7% only for anti-spike IgG. Twenty (33.3%) BTI occurred post sampling, exclusively during Omicron variant predominance. The proportion of patients with CMI response against Delta variant was lower in patients who experienced BTI (25% vs 55%, p= 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Four out of ten RTX-treated vaccinated patients show lasting cell-mediated immune response despite undetectable anti-spike antibodies. Cumulative RTX dose affects both humoral and cell-mediated responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Cell-mediated immune responses call for attention as a vaccine efficacy marker against SARS-CoV-2.

2.
J Fungi (Basel) ; 9(4)2023 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2294445

ABSTRACT

Mucormycosis has emerged as a group of severe infections mainly in immunocompromised patients. We analysed the epidemiology of mucormycosis in Greece in a multicentre, nationwide prospective survey of patients of all ages, during 2005-2022. A total of 108 cases were recorded. The annual incidence declined after 2009 and appeared stable thereafter, at 0.54 cases/million population. The most common forms were rhinocerebral (51.8%), cutaneous (32.4%), and pulmonary (11.1%). Main underlying conditions were haematologic malignancy/neutropenia (29.9%), haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (4.7%), diabetes mellitus (DM) (15.9%), other immunodeficiencies (23.4%), while 22.4% of cases involved immunocompetent individuals with cutaneous/soft-tissue infections after motor vehicle accident, surgical/iatrogenic trauma, burns, and injuries associated with natural disasters. Additionally, DM or steroid-induced DM was reported as a comorbidity in 21.5% of cases with various main conditions. Rhizopus (mostly R. arrhizus) predominated (67.1%), followed by Lichtheimia (8.5%) and Mucor (6.1%). Antifungal treatment consisted mainly of liposomal amphotericin B (86.3%), median dose 7 mg/kg/day, range 3-10 mg/kg/day, with or without posaconazole. Crude mortality was 62.8% during 2005-2008 but decreased significantly after 2009, at 34.9% (p = 0.02), with four times fewer haematological cases, fewer iatrogenic infections, and fewer cases with advanced rhinocerebral form. The increased DM prevalence should alert clinicians for timely diagnosis of mucormycosis in this patient population.

3.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1125030, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253359

ABSTRACT

Background: The outcome of COVID-19 in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients is almost uniformely considered poor. The aim of present study was to retrospectively analyse the outcome and risk factors for mortality in a large series of patients who developed COVID-19 infection after an allogeneic HSCT. Methods: This multicenter retrospective study promoted by the European Hematology Association - Infections in Hematology Study Working Group, included 326 adult HSCT patients who had COVID-19 between January 2020 and March 2022. Results: The median time from HSCT to the diagnosis of COVID-19 was 268 days (IQR 86-713; range 0-185 days). COVID-19 severity was mild in 21% of the patients, severe in 39% and critical in 16% of the patients. In multivariable analysis factors associated with a higher risk of mortality were, age above 50 years, presence of 3 or more comorbidities, active hematologic disease at time of COVID-19 infection, development of COVID-19 within 12 months of HSCT, and severe/critical infections. Overall mortality rate was 21% (n=68): COVID-19 was the main or secondary cause of death in 16% of the patients (n=53). Conclusions: Mortality in HSCT recipients who develop COVID-19 is high and largely dependent on age, comorbidities, active hematologic disease, timing from transplant and severity of the infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematologic Diseases , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Adult , Humans , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/etiology , Hematologic Diseases/etiology , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Stem Cell Transplantation
4.
Frontiers in immunology ; 14, 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2253358

ABSTRACT

Background The outcome of COVID-19 in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients is almost uniformely considered poor. The aim of present study was to retrospectively analyse the outcome and risk factors for mortality in a large series of patients who developed COVID-19 infection after an allogeneic HSCT. Methods This multicenter retrospective study promoted by the European Hematology Association – Infections in Hematology Study Working Group, included 326 adult HSCT patients who had COVID-19 between January 2020 and March 2022. Results The median time from HSCT to the diagnosis of COVID-19 was 268 days (IQR 86-713;range 0-185 days). COVID-19 severity was mild in 21% of the patients, severe in 39% and critical in 16% of the patients. In multivariable analysis factors associated with a higher risk of mortality were, age above 50 years, presence of 3 or more comorbidities, active hematologic disease at time of COVID-19 infection, development of COVID-19 within 12 months of HSCT, and severe/critical infections. Overall mortality rate was 21% (n=68): COVID-19 was the main or secondary cause of death in 16% of the patients (n=53). Conclusions Mortality in HSCT recipients who develop COVID-19 is high and largely dependent on age, comorbidities, active hematologic disease, timing from transplant and severity of the infection.

5.
Life (Basel) ; 12(10)2022 Sep 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043845

ABSTRACT

Cluster of differentiation (CD) 24, a long-known protein with multifaceted functions, has gained attention as a possible treatment for Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) due to its known anti-inflammatory action. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), such as exosomes and microvesicles, may serve as candidate drug delivery platforms for novel therapeutic approaches in COVID-19 and various other diseases due to their unique characteristics. In the current review, we describe the physiology of CD24 and EVs and try to elucidate their role, both independently and as a combination, in COVID-19 therapeutics. CD24 may act as an important immune regulator in diseases with complex physiologies characterized by excessive inflammation. Very recent data outline a possible therapeutic role not only in COVID-19 but also in other similar disease states, e.g., acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and sepsis where immune dysregulation plays a key pathophysiologic role. On the other hand, CD24, as well as other therapeutic molecules, can be administered with the use of exosomes, exploiting their unique characteristics to create a novel drug delivery platform as outlined in recent clinical efforts. The implications for human therapeutics in general are huge with regard to pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, safety, and efficacy that will be further elucidated in future randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

6.
Crit Care ; 26(1): 183, 2022 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1894497

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Clarithromycin may act as immune-regulating treatment in sepsis and acute respiratory dysfunction syndrome. However, clinical evidence remains inconclusive. We aimed to evaluate whether clarithromycin improves 28-day mortality among patients with sepsis, respiratory and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, randomized, clinical trial in patients with sepsis. Participants with ratio of partial oxygen pressure to fraction of inspired oxygen less than 200 and more than 3 SOFA points from systems other than the respiratory function were enrolled between December 2017 and September 2019. Patients were randomized to receive 1 gr of clarithromycin or placebo intravenously once daily for 4 consecutive days. The primary endpoint was 28-day all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes were 90-day mortality; sepsis response (defined as at least 25% decrease in SOFA score by day 7); sepsis recurrence; and differences in peripheral blood cell populations and leukocyte transcriptomics. RESULTS: Fifty-five patients were allocated to each arm. By day 28, 27 (49.1%) patients in the clarithromycin and 25 (45.5%) in the placebo group died (risk difference 3.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) - 15.7 to 22.7]; P = 0.703, adjusted OR 1.03 [95%CI 0.35-3.06]; P = 0.959). There were no statistical differences in 90-day mortality and sepsis response. Clarithromycin was associated with lower incidence of sepsis recurrence (OR 0.21 [95%CI 0.06-0.68]; P = 0.012); significant increase in monocyte HLA-DR expression; expansion of non-classical monocytes; and upregulation of genes involved in cholesterol homeostasis. Serious and non-serious adverse events were equally distributed. CONCLUSIONS: Clarithromycin did not reduce mortality among patients with sepsis with respiratory and multiple organ dysfunction. Clarithromycin was associated with lower sepsis recurrence, possibly through a mechanism of immune restoration. Clinical trial registration clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT03345992 registered 17 November 2017; EudraCT 2017-001056-55.


Subject(s)
Clarithromycin , Sepsis , Administration, Intravenous , Clarithromycin/pharmacology , Clarithromycin/therapeutic use , Humans , Multiple Organ Failure/complications , Multiple Organ Failure/drug therapy , Oxygen/therapeutic use , Sepsis/complications
7.
World J Nephrol ; 11(2): 58-72, 2022 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1791985

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still a menacing pandemic, especially in vulnerable patients. Morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients are considered worse than those in the general population, but vary across continents and countries in Europe. AIM: To describe the clinical course and outcomes of hospitalized MHD patients with COVID-19 in a retrospective observational single center study in Greece. METHODS: We correlated clinical, laboratory, and radiological data with the clinical outcomes of MHD patients hospitalized with COVID-19 during the pandemic. The diagnosis was confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Outcome was determined as survivors vs non-survivors and "progressors" (those requiring oxygen supplementation because of COVID-19 pneumonia worsening) vs "non-progressors". RESULTS: We studied 32 patients (17 males), with a median age of 75.5 (IQR: 58.5-82) years old. Of those, 12 were diagnosed upon screening and 20 with related symptoms. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) score, the severity on admission was mild disease in 16, moderate in 13, and severe in 3 cases. Chest computed tomography (CT) showed 1-10% infiltrates in 24 patients. Thirteen "progressors" were recorded among included patients. The case fatality rate was 5/32 (15.6%). Three deaths occurred among "progressors" and two in "non-progressors", irrespective of co-morbidities and gender. Predictors of mortality on admission included frailty index, chest CT findings, WHO severity score, and thereafter the increasing values of serum LDH and D-dimers and decreasing serum albumin. Predictors of becoming a "progressor" included increasing number of neutrophils and neutrophils/lymphocytes ratio. CONCLUSION: Patients on MHD seem to be at higher risk of COVID-19 mortality, distinct from the general population. Certain laboratory parameters on admission and during follow-up may be helpful in risk stratification and management of patients.

9.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(1): ofab588, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608344

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Therapeutic options for hospitalized patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (sCOVID-19) are limited. Preliminary data have shown promising results with baricitinib, but real-life experience is lacking. We assessed the safety and effectiveness of add-on baricitinib to standard-of-care (SOC) including dexamethasone in hospitalized patients with sCOVID-19. METHODS: This study is a 2-center, observational, retrospective cohort study of patients with sCOVID-19, comparing outcomes and serious events between patients treated with SOC versus those treated with SOC and baricitinib combination. RESULTS: We included 369 patients with sCOVID-19 (males 66.1%; mean age 65.2 years; median symptom duration 6 days). The SOC was administered in 47.7% and combination in 52.3%. Patients treated with the combination reached the composite outcome (intensive care unit [ICU] admission or death) less frequently compared with SOC (22.3% vs 36.9%, P = .002). Mortality rate was lower with the combination in the total cohort (14.7% vs 26.6%, P = .005), and ICU admission was lower in patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (29.7% vs 44.8%, P = .03). By multivariable analysis, age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.36-2.44, per 10-year increase), partial pressure of oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen ratio (OR = 0.60, 95% CI = .52-0.68, per 10 units increase), and use of high-flow nasal cannula (OR = 0.34; 95% CI, .16-0.74) were associated with the composite outcome, whereas baricitinib use was marginally not associated with the composite outcome (OR = 0.52; 95% CI, .26-1.03). However, baricitinib use was found to be significant after inverse-probability weighted regression (OR = 0.93; 95% CI, .87-0.99). No difference in serious events was noted between treatment groups. CONCLUSIONS: In real-life settings, addition of baricitinib to SOC in patients hospitalized with sCOVID-19 is associated with decreased mortality without concerning safety signals.

10.
Viruses ; 14(1)2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580409

ABSTRACT

Health-Care-Workers (HCWs) are considered at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection. We sought to compare rates and severity of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among vaccinated and unvaccinated HCWs conducting a retrospective cohort study in two tertiary Academic Hospitals, namely Laiko and Attikon, in Athens, Greece. Vaccinated by BNT162b2 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine and unvaccinated HCWs were included and data were collected between 1 January 2021 and 15 September 2021. Overall, 2921 of 3219 HCWs without a history of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were fully vaccinated during the study period (90.7% at each Hospital). Demographic characteristics were comparable between 102/2921 (3.5%) vaccinated and 88/298 (29.5%) unvaccinated HCWs with COVID-19, although age and occupation differed significantly. None were in need of hospital admission in the vaccinated Group, whereas in the unvaccinated Group 4/88 (4.5%) were hospitalized and one (1.1%) died. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that lack of vaccination was an independent risk factor for COVID-19 with an odds ratio 11.54 (95% CI: 10.75-12.40). Vaccination hesitancy among HCWs resulted to highly increased COVID-19 rates; almost one in three unvaccinated HCWs was SARS-CoV-2 infected during the 9-month period. The absolute need of vaccination of HCWs, including boosting dose, is highlighted. Evidence should be used appropriately to overcome any hesitancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination Hesitancy/statistics & numerical data , Adult , BNT162 Vaccine/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Greece/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Tertiary Care Centers , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data
11.
J Med Virol ; 94(3): 1050-1059, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487497

ABSTRACT

Accumulating data has shown a contribution of the renin-angiotensin system in COVID-19 pathogenesis. The role of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) insertion (I)/deletion (D) polymorphism as a risk factor in developing COVID-19 disease comes from epidemiological data and is controversially discussed. We conducted a retrospective case-control study and assessed the impact of ACE I/D genotype in COVID-19 disease prevalence and severity. In 81 COVID-19 patients explicitly characterized and 316 controls, recruited during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, ACE I/D genotype, and ACE activity were determined. A generalized linear model was used and Poisson regression analysis estimated the risk ratios (RRs) of alleles and genotypes for disease severity. DD patients had almost 2.0-fold increased risk (RR: 1.886, confidence limit [CL] 95%: 1.266-2.810, p = 0.0018) of developing a more severe disease when contrasted to ID and II individuals, as did D allele carriers compared to I carriers (RR: 1.372; CL 95%: 1.051-1.791; p = 0.0201). ACE activity (expressed as arbitrary units, AU/L) was lower in patients (3.62 ± 0.26) than in controls (4.65 ± 0.13) (p < 0.0001), and this reduction was observed mainly among DD patients compared to DD controls (3.97 ± 0.29 vs. 5.38 ± 0.21; p = 0.0014). Our results demonstrate that ACE DD genotype may predispose to COVID-19 increased disease severity via a mechanism associated, at least in part, with the significant fall in their ACE activity. Our findings suggest a more complex pattern of synergy between this polymorphism and ACE activity in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy individuals and set the grounds for large-scale studies assessing ACE genotype-based optimized therapies with ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Alleles , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/physiopathology , Case-Control Studies , Humans , INDEL Mutation , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Polymorphism, Genetic , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index
12.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(9)2021 Sep 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438752

ABSTRACT

BNT162b2 has proven to be highly effective, but there is a paucity of data regarding immunogenicity factors and comparison between response to vaccination and natural infection. This study included 871 vaccinated healthcare workers (HCW) and 181 patients with natural infection. Immunogenicity was assessed by measuring anti-SARS-CoV-2 against the RBD domain of the spike protein (anti-RBD). Samples were collected 1-2 weeks after vaccination or 15-59 days post-onset of symptoms. Post-vaccine anti-RBD concentrations were associated with age, gender, vaccination side-effects (VSE) and prior infection (Pr-CoV). Anti-RBD median levels (95%CI) were lower by 2466 (651-5583), 6228 (3254-9203) and 7651 (4479-10,823) AU/mL in 35-44, 45-54, 55-70 yrs, respectively, compared with the 18-34 yrs group. In females, the median levels were higher by 2823 (859-4787), 5024 (3122-6926) in individuals with VSE, and 9971 (5158-14,783) AU/mL in HCWs with Pr-CoV. The ratio of anti-RBD in vaccinated individuals versus those with natural infection varied from 1.0 to 19.4. The high immunogenicity of BNT162b2 is verified, although its sustainability has yet to be elucidated. The use of comparative data from natural infection serological panels, expressing the clinical heterogeneity of natural infection, may facilitate early decisions for candidate vaccines to be evaluated in clinical trials.

13.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411088

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is an ongoing pandemic with high morbidity and mortality. Despite meticulous research, only dexamethasone has shown consistent mortality reduction. Convalescent plasma (CP) infusion might also develop into a safe and effective treatment modality on the basis of recent studies and meta-analyses; however, little is known regarding the kinetics of antibodies in CP recipients. To evaluate the kinetics, we followed 31 CP recipients longitudinally enrolled at a median of 3 days post symptom onset for changes in binding and neutralizing antibody titers and viral loads. Antibodies against the complete trimeric Spike protein and the receptor-binding domain (Spike-RBD), as well as against the complete Nucleocapsid protein and the RNA binding domain (N-RBD) were determined at baseline and weekly following CP infusion. Neutralizing antibody (pseudotype NAb) titers were determined at the same time points. Viral loads were determined semi-quantitatively by SARS-CoV-2 PCR. Patients with low humoral responses at entry showed a robust increase of antibodies to all SARS-CoV-2 proteins and Nab, reaching peak levels within 2 weeks. The rapid increase in binding and neutralizing antibodies was paralleled by a concomitant clearance of the virus within the same timeframe. Patients with high humoral responses at entry demonstrated low or no further increases; however, virus clearance followed the same trajectory as in patients with low antibody response at baseline. Together, the sequential immunological and virological analysis of this well-defined cohort of patients early in infection shows the presence of high levels of binding and neutralizing antibodies and potent clearance of the virus.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Nucleocapsid/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , COVID-19 Serotherapy
14.
Eur J Heart Fail ; 23(11): 1916-1926, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366228

ABSTRACT

AIMS: SARS-CoV-2 infection may lead to endothelial and vascular dysfunction. We investigated alterations of arterial stiffness, endothelial coronary and myocardial function markers 4 months after COVID-19 infection. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a case-control prospective study, we included 70 patients 4 months after COVID-19 infection, 70 age- and sex-matched untreated hypertensive patients (positive control) and 70 healthy individuals. We measured (i) perfused boundary region (PBR) of the sublingual arterial microvessels (increased PBR indicates reduced endothelial glycocalyx thickness), (ii) flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), (iii) coronary flow reserve (CFR) by Doppler echocardiography, (iv) pulse wave velocity (PWV), (v) global left and right ventricular longitudinal strain (GLS), and (vi) malondialdehyde (MDA), an oxidative stress marker, thrombomodulin and von Willebrand factor as endothelial biomarkers. COVID-19 patients had similar CFR and FMD as hypertensives (2.48 ± 0.41 vs. 2.58 ± 0.88, P = 0.562, and 5.86 ± 2.82% vs. 5.80 ± 2.07%, P = 0.872, respectively) but lower values than controls (3.42 ± 0.65, P = 0.0135, and 9.06 ± 2.11%, P = 0.002, respectively). Compared to controls, both COVID-19 and hypertensives had greater PBR5-25 (2.07 ± 0.15 µm and 2.07 ± 0.26 µm, P = 0.8 vs. 1.89 ± 0.17 µm, P = 0.001), higher PWV (carotid-femoral PWV 12.09 ± 2.50 vs. 11.92 ± 2.94, P = 0.7 vs. 10.04 ± 1.80 m/s, P = 0.036) and impaired left and right ventricular GLS (-19.50 ± 2.56% vs. -19.23 ± 2.67%, P = 0.864 vs. -21.98 ± 1.51%, P = 0.020 and -16.99 ± 3.17% vs. -18.63 ± 3.20%, P = 0.002 vs. -20.51 ± 2.28%, P < 0.001). MDA and thrombomodulin were higher in COVID-19 patients than both hypertensives and controls (10.67 ± 0.32 vs 1.76 ± 0.03, P = 0.003 vs. 1.01 ± 0.05 nmol/L, P = 0.001 and 3716.63 ± 188.36 vs. 3114.46 ± 179.18 pg/mL, P = 0.017 vs. 2590.02 ± 156.51 pg/mL, P < 0.001). Residual cardiovascular symptoms at 4 months were associated with oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction markers. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 may cause endothelial and vascular dysfunction linked to impaired cardiac performance 4 months after infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Failure , Vascular Stiffness , Glycocalyx , Humans , Prospective Studies , Pulse Wave Analysis , SARS-CoV-2
15.
World J Nephrol ; 10(2): 21-28, 2021 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1170536

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious infection caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus and has a unique underlying pathogenesis. Hemodialysis (HD) patients experience high risk of contamination with COVID-19 and are considered to have higher mortality rates than the general population by most but not all clinical series. We aim to highlight the peculiarities in the immune state of HD patients, who seem to have both immune-activation and immune-depression affecting their outcome in COVID-19 infection. CASE SUMMARY: We report the opposite clinical outcomes (nearly asymptomatic course vs death) of two diabetic elderly patients infected simultaneously by COVID-19, one being on chronic HD and the other with normal renal function. They were both admitted in our hospital with COVID-19 symptoms and received the same treatment by protocol. The non-HD sibling deteriorated rapidly and was intubated and transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, where he died despite all supportive care. The HD sibling, although considered more "high-risk" for adverse outcome, followed a benign course and left the hospital alive and well. CONCLUSION: These cases may shed light on aspects of the immune responses to COVID-19 between HD and non-HD patients and stimulate further research in pathophysiology and treatment of this dreadful disease.

17.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0243025, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1004438

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Greece is a country with limited spread of SARS-CoV-2 and cumulative infection attack rate of 0.12% (95% CI 0.06-0.26). Health care workers (HCWs) are a well-recognized risk group for COVID-19. The study aimed to estimate the seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in a nosocomial setting and assess potential risk factors. METHODS: HCWs from two hospitals participated in the study. Hospital-1 was a tertiary university affiliated center, involved in the care of COVID-19 patients while hospital-2 was a tertiary specialized cardiac surgery center not involved in the care of these patients. A validated, CE, rapid, IgM/IgG antibody point-of-care test was used. Comparative performance with a reference globally available assay was assessed. RESULTS: 1,495 individuals consented to participate (response rate 77%). The anti-SARS-CoV-2 weighted prevalence was 1.26% (95% CI 0.43, 3.26) overall and 0.53% (95% CI 0.06, 2.78) and 2.70% (95% CI 0.57, 9.19) in hospital-1 and hospital-2, respectively although the study was underpowered to detect statistically significant differences. The overall, hospital-1, and hospital-2 seroprevalence was 10, 4 and 22 times higher than the estimated infection attack rate in general population, respectively. Suboptimal use of personal protective equipment was noted in both hospitals. CONCLUSIONS: These data have implications for the preparedness of a second wave of COVID-19 epidemic, given the low burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection rate, in concordance with national projections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Greece/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
18.
Microorganisms ; 8(12)2020 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-948911

ABSTRACT

We evaluated the antibody responses in 259 potential convalescent plasma donors for Covid-19 patients. Different assays were used: a commercial ELISA detecting antibodies against the recombinant spike protein (S1); a multiplex assay detecting total and specific antibody isotypes against three SARS-CoV-2 antigens (S1, basic nucleocapsid (N) protein and receptor-binding domain (RBD)); and an in-house ELISA detecting antibodies to complete spike, RBD and N in 60 of these donors. Neutralizing antibodies (NAb) were also evaluated in these 60 donors. Analyzed samples were collected at a median time of 62 (14-104) days from the day of first symptoms or positive PCR (for asymptomatic patients). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected in 88% and 87.8% of donors using the ELISA and the multiplex assay, respectively. The multivariate analysis showed that age ≥50 years (p < 0.001) and need for hospitalization (p < 0.001) correlated with higher antibody titers, while asymptomatic status (p < 0.001) and testing >60 days after symptom onset (p = 0.001) correlated with lower titers. Interestingly, pseudotype virus-neutralizing antibodies (PsNAbs) significantly correlated with spike and with RBD antibodies by ELISA. Sera with high PsNAb also showed a strong ability to neutralize active SARS-CoV-2 virus, with hospitalized patients showing higher titers. Therefore, convalescent plasma donors can be selected based on the presence of high RBD antibody titers.

19.
In Vivo ; 34(5): 3039-3045, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-740635

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antibody testing is necessary to identify immune individuals in the post-initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We prospectively evaluated the performance of a quantitative point-of-care test (POCT) for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The patient group (PG) comprised of hospitalized confirmed COVID-19 cases. Asymptomatic healthcare volunteers with negative rRT-PCR were included in the control group (CG). Measurement of IgM and IgG was obtained by dry fluorescence immunoassay. RESULTS: Twenty-six PG (65.9±15.4 years old, male 57.7%) and 18 CG (45.6±10.1 years old, male 33.3%) were included. By manufacturer's cut-off (≥0.04 mIU/ml), sensitivity and specificity were 73.08% and 88.89% for IgM and 88.46% and 33.33% for IgG, respectively. Estimated areas under the ROC curve were 0.907 and 0.848 for IgM and IgG, respectively. Results were improved using a cut-off of IgM ≥0.05 mIU/ml and IgG ≥0.10 mIU/ml. CONCLUSION: Using stringent cut-off values, SARS-CoV-2 antibody POCT detects immune people and can be used during socioeconomic normalization of communities.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Greece/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/isolation & purification , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
20.
Cell Host Microbe ; 27(6): 992-1000.e3, 2020 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-735030

ABSTRACT

Proper management of COVID-19 mandates better understanding of disease pathogenesis. The sudden clinical deterioration 7-8 days after initial symptom onset suggests that severe respiratory failure (SRF) in COVID-19 is driven by a unique pattern of immune dysfunction. We studied immune responses of 54 COVID-19 patients, 28 of whom had SRF. All patients with SRF displayed either macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) or very low human leukocyte antigen D related (HLA-DR) expression accompanied by profound depletion of CD4 lymphocytes, CD19 lymphocytes, and natural killer (NK) cells. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) production by circulating monocytes was sustained, a pattern distinct from bacterial sepsis or influenza. SARS-CoV-2 patient plasma inhibited HLA-DR expression, and this was partially restored by the IL-6 blocker Tocilizumab; off-label Tocilizumab treatment of patients was accompanied by increase in circulating lymphocytes. Thus, the unique pattern of immune dysregulation in severe COVID-19 is characterized by IL-6-mediated low HLA-DR expression and lymphopenia, associated with sustained cytokine production and hyper-inflammation.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Respiratory Insufficiency/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Female , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Interleukin-6/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Lymphopenia/pathology , Macrophage Activation , Male , Monocytes/pathology , Pandemics
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