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1.
European Journal of Immunology ; n/a(n/a), 2022.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1819355

ABSTRACT

Severe coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) manifests with systemic immediate pro-inflammatory innate immune activation and altered iron turnover. Iron homeostasis, differentiation, and function of myeloid leukocytes are interconnected. Therefore, we characterized the cellularity, surface marker expression and iron transporter phenotype of neutrophils and monocyte subsets in COVID-19 patients within 72 hours from hospital admission, and analyzed how these parameters relate to infection severity. Between March and November 2020, blood leukocyte samples from hospitalized COVID-19 patients (n = 48) and healthy individuals (n = 7) were analyzed by flow cytometry enabling comparative analysis of 40 features. Inflammation driven neutrophil expansion, depletion of CD16+ non-classical monocytes and changes in surface expression of neutrophil and monocyte CD64 and CD86 were associated with COVID-19 severity. By unsupervised self-organizing map clustering, four patterns of innate myeloid response were identified and linked to varying levels of systemic inflammation, altered cellular iron trafficking and the severity of disease. These alterations of the myeloid leukocyte compartment during acute COVID-19 may be hallmarks of inefficient viral control and immune hyper-activation and may and help at risk prediction and treatment optimization. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

2.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 792881, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775691

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) convalescents are at risk of developing a de novo mental health disorder or worsening of a pre-existing one. COVID-19 outpatients have been less well characterized than their hospitalized counterparts. The objectives of our study were to identify indicators for poor mental health following COVID-19 outpatient management and to identify high-risk individuals. Methods: We conducted a binational online survey study with adult non-hospitalized COVID-19 convalescents (Austria/AT: n = 1,157, Italy/IT: n = 893). Primary endpoints were positive screening for depression and anxiety (Patient Health Questionnaire; PHQ-4) and self-perceived overall mental health (OMH) and quality of life (QoL) rated with 4 point Likert scales. Psychosocial stress was surveyed with a modified PHQ stress module. Associations of the mental health and QoL with socio-demographic, COVID-19 course, and recovery variables were assessed by multi-parameter Random Forest and Poisson modeling. Mental health risk subsets were defined by self-organizing maps (SOMs) and hierarchical clustering algorithms. The survey analyses are publicly available (https://im2-ibk.shinyapps.io/mental_health_dashboard/). Results: Depression and/or anxiety before infection was reported by 4.6% (IT)/6% (AT) of participants. At a median of 79 days (AT)/96 days (IT) post-COVID-19 onset, 12.4% (AT)/19.3% (IT) of subjects were screened positive for anxiety and 17.3% (AT)/23.2% (IT) for depression. Over one-fifth of the respondents rated their OMH (AT: 21.8%, IT: 24.1%) or QoL (AT: 20.3%, IT: 25.9%) as fair or poor. Psychosocial stress, physical performance loss, high numbers of acute and sub-acute COVID-19 complaints, and the presence of acute and sub-acute neurocognitive symptoms (impaired concentration, confusion, and forgetfulness) were the strongest correlates of deteriorating mental health and poor QoL. In clustering analysis, these variables defined subsets with a particularly high propensity of post-COVID-19 mental health impairment and decreased QoL. Pre-existing depression or anxiety (DA) was associated with an increased symptom burden during acute COVID-19 and recovery. Conclusion: Our study revealed a bidirectional relationship between COVID-19 symptoms and mental health. We put forward specific acute symptoms of the disease as "red flags" of mental health deterioration, which should prompt general practitioners to identify non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients who may benefit from early psychological and psychiatric intervention. Clinical Trial Registration: [ClinicalTrials.gov], identifier [NCT04661462].

3.
Eur J Neurol ; 2022 Mar 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759178

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neurological sequelae from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may persist after recovery from acute infection. Here, the aim was to describe the natural history of neurological manifestations over 1 year after COVID-19. METHODS: A prospective, multicentre, longitudinal cohort study in COVID-19 survivors was performed. At a 3-month and 1-year follow-up, patients were assessed for neurological impairments by a neurological examination and a standardized test battery including the assessment of hyposmia (16-item Sniffin' Sticks test), cognitive deficits (Montreal Cognitive Assessment < 26) and mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist 5). RESULTS: Eighty-one patients were evaluated 1 year after COVID-19, out of which 76 (94%) patients completed a 3-month and 1-year follow-up. Patients were 54 (47-64) years old and 59% were male. New and persistent neurological disorders were found in 15% (3 months) and 12% (10/81; 1 year). Symptoms at 1-year follow-up were reported by 48/81 (59%) patients, including fatigue (38%), concentration difficulties (25%), forgetfulness (25%), sleep disturbances (22%), myalgia (17%), limb weakness (17%), headache (16%), impaired sensation (16%) and hyposmia (15%). Neurological examination revealed findings in 52/81 (64%) patients without improvement over time (3 months, 61%, p = 0.230) including objective hyposmia (Sniffin' Sticks test <13; 51%). Cognitive deficits were apparent in 18%, whereas signs of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders were found in 6%, 29% and 10% respectively 1 year after infection. These mental and cognitive disorders had not improved after the 3-month follow-up (all p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that a significant patient number still suffer from neurological sequelae including neuropsychiatric symptoms 1 year after COVID-19 calling for interdisciplinary management of these patients.

4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 3677, 2022 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730313

ABSTRACT

The CovILD study is a prospective, multicenter, observational cohort study to systematically follow up patients after coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). We extensively evaluated 145 COVID-19 patients at 3 follow-up visits scheduled for 60, 100, and 180 days after initial confirmed diagnosis based on typical symptoms and a positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). We employed comprehensive pulmonary function and laboratory tests, including serum concentrations of IgG against the viral spike (S) glycoprotein, and compared the results to clinical data and chest computed tomography (CT). We found that at the 60 day follow-up, 131 of 145 (90.3%) participants displayed S-specific serum IgG levels above the cut-off threshold. Notably, the highly elevated IgG levels against S glycoprotein positively correlated with biomarkers of immune activation and negatively correlated with pulmonary function and the extent of pulmonary CT abnormalities. Based on the association between serum S glycoprotein-specific IgG and clinical outcome, we generated an S-specific IgG-based recovery score that, when applied in the early convalescent phase, accurately predicted delayed pulmonary recovery after COVID-19. Therefore, we propose that S-specific IgG levels serve as a useful immunological surrogate marker for identifying at-risk individuals with persistent pulmonary injury who may require intensive follow-up care after COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Lung/pathology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Function Tests , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317702

ABSTRACT

The diagnosis of COVID-19 relies on the direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in respiratory specimens by RT-PCR. The pandemic spread of the disease caused an imbalance between demand and supply of materials and reagents needed for diagnostic purposes including swab sets. In a comparative effectiveness study, we conducted serial follow-up swabs in hospitalized laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients. We assessed the diagnostic performance of an in-house system developed according to recommendations by the US CDC. In a total of 96 swabs, we found significant differences in the accuracy of the different swab systems to generate a positive result in SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR, ranging from around 50 to 80%. Of note, an in-house swab system was superior to most commercially available sets as reflected by significantly lower Ct values of viral genes. Thus, a simple combination of broadly available materials may enable diagnostic laboratories to bypass global limitations in the supply of swab sets.

6.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 795026, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686455

ABSTRACT

Objective: To develop and validate a prognostic model for in-hospital mortality after four days based on age, fever at admission and five haematological parameters routinely measured in hospitalized Covid-19 patients during the first four days after admission. Methods: Haematological parameters measured during the first 4 days after admission were subjected to a linear mixed model to obtain patient-specific intercepts and slopes for each parameter. A prediction model was built using logistic regression with variable selection and shrinkage factor estimation supported by bootstrapping. Model development was based on 481 survivors and 97 non-survivors, hospitalized before the occurrence of mutations. Internal validation was done by 10-fold cross-validation. The model was temporally-externally validated in 299 survivors and 42 non-survivors hospitalized when the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) was prevalent. Results: The final model included age, fever on admission as well as the slope or intercept of lactate dehydrogenase, platelet count, C-reactive protein, and creatinine. Tenfold cross validation resulted in a mean area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of 0.92, a mean calibration slope of 1.0023 and a Brier score of 0.076. At temporal-external validation, application of the previously developed model showed an AUROC of 0.88, a calibration slope of 0.95 and a Brier score of 0.073. Regarding the relative importance of the variables, the (apparent) variation in mortality explained by the six variables deduced from the haematological parameters measured during the first four days is higher (explained variation 0.295) than that of age (0.210). Conclusions: The presented model requires only variables routinely acquired in hospitals, which allows immediate and wide-spread use as a decision support for earlier discharge of low-risk patients to reduce the burden on the health care system. Clinical Trial Registration: Austrian Coronavirus Adaptive Clinical Trial (ACOVACT); ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier NCT04351724.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Retrospective Studies
7.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 149(4): 1242-1252.e12, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654642

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Few studies have directly compared virus-specific antibodies and their neutralizing capacity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) wild type (WT) and circulating variants of concern despite the reported high efficacy of messenger RNA (mRNA)- and vector-based vaccines. OBJECTIVE: We assessed SARS-CoV-2 spike protein region 1 (S1)-specific antibodies of BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, and ChAdOx1 vaccinated as well as convalescent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. We also determined the neutralization ability against SARS-CoV-2 WT and B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B1.1.7 E484K (Alpha-E484K), B.1.351 (Beta), and B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants. METHODS: Serum samples of 107 fully vaccinated or convalescent individuals were analyzed for anti-SARS-CoV-2-S1 IgG and IgA as well as for total anti-SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain Ig. Furthermore, neutralization capacity as 50% and 90% neutralization titer values against SARS-CoV-2 WT virus and circulating variants were determined. RESULTS: We observed a robust IgG response in all participants; however, the highest titers were detected in mRNA-based vaccine recipients. In case of serum IgA responses, the difference between mRNA- and vector-based vaccines or convalescent patients was even more pronounced. Interestingly, all 3 vaccines could neutralize all tested variants of concern in addition to WT virus, but in some individuals, only low or no neutralization, especially against Alpha-E484K and the Delta variant, was detected. CONCLUSION: Our study of the efficacy of various COVID-19 vaccines found that mRNA-1273 had the highest neutralization abilities compared to BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1. COVID-19 convalescent patients demonstrated the most heterogeneous range of antibody titers and neutralization abilities, making it hard to assess protection. Furthermore, a significant positive relation between antibodies and the 50% neutralization titer values for immunized and convalescent individuals was determined.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin A , Immunoglobulin G , RNA, Messenger , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
8.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3348-3359, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607398

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To assess neurological manifestations and health-related quality of life (QoL) 3 months after COVID-19. METHODS: In this prospective, multicenter, observational cohort study we systematically evaluated neurological signs and diseases by detailed neurological examination and a predefined test battery assessing smelling disorders (16-item Sniffin Sticks test), cognitive deficits (Montreal Cognitive Assessment), QoL (36-item Short Form), and mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-5) 3 months after disease onset. RESULTS: Of 135 consecutive COVID-19 patients, 31 (23%) required intensive care unit (ICU) care (severe), 72 (53%) were admitted to the regular ward (moderate), and 32 (24%) underwent outpatient care (mild) during acute disease. At the 3-month follow-up, 20 patients (15%) presented with one or more neurological syndromes that were not evident before COVID-19. These included polyneuro/myopathy (n = 17, 13%) with one patient presenting with Guillain-Barré syndrome, mild encephalopathy (n = 2, 2%), parkinsonism (n = 1, 1%), orthostatic hypotension (n = 1, 1%), and ischemic stroke (n = 1, 1%). Objective testing revealed hyposmia/anosmia in 57/127 (45%) patients at the 3-month follow-up. Self-reported hyposmia/anosmia was lower (17%) at 3 months, however, improved when compared to the acute disease phase (44%; p < 0.001). At follow-up, cognitive deficits were apparent in 23%, and QoL was impaired in 31%. Assessment of mental health revealed symptoms of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorders in 11%, 25%, and 11%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Despite recovery from the acute infection, neurological symptoms were prevalent at the 3-month follow-up. Above all, smelling disorders were persistent in a large proportion of patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Stroke , Cohort Studies , Humans , Prospective Studies , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3411-3417, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Since the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, several reports indicated neurological involvement in COVID-19 disease. Muscle involvement has also been reported as evidenced by creatine kinase (CK) elevations and reports of myalgia. METHODS: Creatine kinase, markers of inflammation, pre-existing diseases and statin use were extracted from records of Austrian hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Disease severity was classified as severe in case of intensive care unit (ICU) admission or mortality. COVID-19 patients were additionally compared to an historical group of hospitalised influenza patients. RESULTS: Three hundred fifty-one patients with SARS-CoV-2 and 258 with influenza were included in the final analysis. CK was elevated in 27% of COVID-19 and in 28% of influenza patients. CK was higher in severe COVID-19 as were markers of inflammation. CK correlated significantly with inflammation markers, which had an independent impact on CK when adjusted for demographic variables and disease severity. Compared to influenza patients, COVID-19 patients were older, more frequently male, had more comorbidities, and more frequently had a severe disease course. Nevertheless, influenza patients had higher baseline CK than COVID-19, and 35.7% of intensive care unit (ICU)-admitted patients had CK levels >1,000 U/L compared to only 4.7% of ICU-admitted COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSIONS: HyperCKemia occurs in a similar frequency in COVID-19 and influenza infection. CK levels were lower in COVID-19 than in influenza in mild and severe disease. CK levels strongly correlate with disease severity and markers of inflammation. To date, it remains unclear whether hyperCKemia is due to a virus-triggered inflammatory response or direct muscle toxicity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Humans , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Muscles , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Cardiovasc Res ; 117(14): 2807-2820, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596913

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Anticoagulation was associated with improved survival of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in large-scale studies. Yet, the development of COVID-19-associated coagulopathy (CAC) and the mechanism responsible for improved survival of anticoagulated patients with COVID-19 remain largely elusive. This investigation aimed to explore the effects of anticoagulation and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in particular on patient outcome, CAC development, thromboinflammation, cell death, and viral persistence. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data of 586 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from three different regions of Austria were evaluated retrospectively. Of these, 419 (71.5%) patients received LMWH and 62 (10.5%) received non-vitamin-K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during hospitalization. Plasma was collected at different time points in a subset of 106 patients in order to evaluate markers of thromboinflammation (H3Cit-DNA) and the cell death marker cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Use of LMWH was associated with improved survival upon multivariable Cox regression (hazard ratio = 0.561, 95% confidence interval: 0.348-0.906). Interestingly, neither LMWH nor NOAC was associated with attenuation of D-dimer increase over time, or thromboinflammation. In contrast, anticoagulation was associated with a decrease in cfDNA during hospitalization, and curtailed viral persistence was observed in patients using LMWH leading to a 4-day reduction of virus positivity upon quantitative polymerase chain reaction [13 (interquartile range: 6-24) vs. 9 (interquartile range: 5-16) days, P = 0.009]. CONCLUSION: Time courses of haemostatic and thromboinflammatory biomarkers were similar in patients with and without LMWH, indicating either no effects of LMWH on haemostasis or that LMWH reduced hypercoagulability to levels of patients without LMWH. Nonetheless, anticoagulation with LMWH was associated with reduced mortality, improved markers of cell death, and curtailed viral persistence, indicating potential beneficial effects of LMWH beyond haemostasis, which encourages use of LMWH in COVID-19 patients without contraindications.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , /virology , Aged , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Austria/epidemiology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hemostasis , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , /prevention & control
11.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 2(1): 100058, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561656

ABSTRACT

The presence of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in a large number of people is - besides cellular immunity - important to overcome the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. While determination of neutralizing antibodies via virus neutralization tests are laborious, assays to determine the antibody levels serologically are fully automated and widely available. Correlations between these methodologies were recently given by the manufacturers, however performance in samples close to the cut off value have not yet been fully validated. Thus, we analysed 22 borderline and low positive (<100 BAU/ml) samples and 9 high positive (≥ 100 BAU/ml) from infected and/or vaccinated individuals and compared the SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant assay (Abbott), LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 TrimericS IgG (Diasorin), Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S (Roche), and SARS-CoV-2 IgG (Siemens) with results obtained from a virus neutralization test. Based on the cut off values given by Abbott, Diasorin, Roche, and Siemens, the positive serologic results were concordant with the virus neutralization test in 100%, 76%, 88%, and 71%, respectively, while in turn, negative ones were in agreement in 29%, 79%, 93%, and 86%, respectively. In conclusion, weakly positive, serologic results are challenging to correctly predict the presence of neutralizing antibodies. Our study suggests, that different cut off values (for positivity vs. presence of neutralizing antibodies) could improve the test's performance, but determination thereof requires more samples to be analysed.

12.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 761887, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551519

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged at the end of 2019 in China and affected the entire world population, either by infection and its health consequences, or by restrictions in daily life as a consequence of hygiene measures and containment strategies. As of September 2021, more than 231,000.000 infections and 4,740.000 deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported. The infections present with varied clinical symptoms and severity, ranging from asymptomatic course to fatal outcome. Several risk factors for a severe course of the disease have been identified, the most important being age, gender, comorbidities, lifestyle, and genetics. While most patients recover within several weeks, some report persistent symptoms restricting their daily lives and activities, termed as post-COVID. Over the past 18months, we have acquired significant knowledge as reflected by an almost uncountable number of publications on the nature of the underlying virus and its evolution, host responses to infection, modes of transmission, and different clinical presentations of the disease. Along this line, new diagnostic tests and algorithms have been developed paralleled by the search for and clinical evaluation of specific treatments for the different stages of the disease. In addition, preventive non-pharmacological measures have been implemented to control the spread of infection in the community. While an effective antiviral therapy is not yet available, numerous vaccines including novel vaccine technologies have been developed, which show high protection from infection and specifically from a severe course or death from COVID-19. In this review, we tried to provide an up-to-date schematic of COVID-19, including aspects of epidemiology, virology, clinical presentation, diagnostics, therapy, and prevention.

13.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545917

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long COVID, defined as presence of COVID-19 symptoms 28 days or more after clinical onset, is an emerging challenge to healthcare systems. The objective of this study was to explore recovery phenotypes in non-hospitalized COVID-19 individuals. METHODS: A dual cohort, online survey study was conducted between September 2020 and July 2021 in the neighboring European regions Tyrol (TY, Austria, n = 1157) and South Tyrol (STY, Italy, n = 893). Data on demographics, comorbidities, COVID-19 symptoms and recovery adult outpatients were collected. Phenotypes of acute COVID-19, post-acute sequelae and risk of protracted recovery were explored by semi-supervised clustering and multi-parameter LASSO modeling. RESULTS: Working age subjects (TY: 43 yrs (IQR: 31 - 53), STY: 45 yrs (IQR: 35 - 55)) and females (TY: 65.1%, STY: 68.3%) predominated the study cohorts. Nearly half of the participants (TY: 47.6%, STY: 49.3%) reported symptom persistence beyond 28 days. Two acute COVID-19 phenotypes were discerned: the non-specific infection phenotype and the multi-organ phenotype (MOP). Acute MOP symptoms encompassing multiple neurological, cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal and dermatological complaints were linked to elevated risk of protracted recovery. The major subset of long COVID individuals (TY: 49.3%, STY: 55.6%) displayed no persistent hyposmia or hypogeusia but high counts of post-acute MOP symptoms and poor self-reported physical recovery. CONCLUSION: The results of our two-cohort analysis delineated phenotypic diversity of acute and post-acute COVID-19 manifestations in home-isolated patients which needs to be considered for predicting protracted convalescence and allocation of medical resources.

14.
Cardiovasc Res ; 117(14): 2807-2820, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450385

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Anticoagulation was associated with improved survival of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in large-scale studies. Yet, the development of COVID-19-associated coagulopathy (CAC) and the mechanism responsible for improved survival of anticoagulated patients with COVID-19 remain largely elusive. This investigation aimed to explore the effects of anticoagulation and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in particular on patient outcome, CAC development, thromboinflammation, cell death, and viral persistence. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data of 586 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from three different regions of Austria were evaluated retrospectively. Of these, 419 (71.5%) patients received LMWH and 62 (10.5%) received non-vitamin-K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during hospitalization. Plasma was collected at different time points in a subset of 106 patients in order to evaluate markers of thromboinflammation (H3Cit-DNA) and the cell death marker cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Use of LMWH was associated with improved survival upon multivariable Cox regression (hazard ratio = 0.561, 95% confidence interval: 0.348-0.906). Interestingly, neither LMWH nor NOAC was associated with attenuation of D-dimer increase over time, or thromboinflammation. In contrast, anticoagulation was associated with a decrease in cfDNA during hospitalization, and curtailed viral persistence was observed in patients using LMWH leading to a 4-day reduction of virus positivity upon quantitative polymerase chain reaction [13 (interquartile range: 6-24) vs. 9 (interquartile range: 5-16) days, P = 0.009]. CONCLUSION: Time courses of haemostatic and thromboinflammatory biomarkers were similar in patients with and without LMWH, indicating either no effects of LMWH on haemostasis or that LMWH reduced hypercoagulability to levels of patients without LMWH. Nonetheless, anticoagulation with LMWH was associated with reduced mortality, improved markers of cell death, and curtailed viral persistence, indicating potential beneficial effects of LMWH beyond haemostasis, which encourages use of LMWH in COVID-19 patients without contraindications.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , /virology , Aged , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Austria/epidemiology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hemostasis , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , /prevention & control
15.
Metabolites ; 11(10)2021 Sep 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438667

ABSTRACT

Anemia and disturbances of iron metabolism are frequently encountered in patients with COVID-19 and associated with an adverse clinical course. We retrospectively analyzed 645 consecutive COVID-19 patients hospitalized at the Innsbruck University Hospital. Pre-existing anemia was associated with increased risk for in-hospital death. We further found that the decline in hemoglobin levels during hospital stay is more pronounced in patients with signs of hyperinflammation upon admission, the latter being associated with a nearly two-fold higher risk for new onset anemia within one week. Anemia prevalence increased from 44.3% upon admission to 87.8% in patients who were still hospitalized after two weeks. A more distinct decrease in hemoglobin levels was observed in subjects with severe disease, and new-onset anemia was associated with a higher risk for ICU admission. Transferrin levels decreased within the first week of hospitalization in all patients, however, a continuous decline was observed in subjects who died. Hemoglobin, ferritin, and transferrin levels normalized in a median of 122 days after discharge from hospital. This study uncovers pre-existing anemia as well as low transferrin concentrations as risk factors for mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, whereas new-onset anemia during hospitalization is a risk factor for ICU admission. Anemia and iron disturbances are mainly driven by COVID-19 associated inflammation, and cure from infection results in resolution of anemia and normalization of dysregulated iron homeostasis.

17.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(8): 863-872, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340915

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 entry in human cells depends on angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, which can be upregulated by inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). We aimed to test our hypothesis that discontinuation of chronic treatment with ACE-inhibitors (ACEIs) or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) mitigates the course o\f recent-onset COVID-19. METHODS: ACEI-COVID was a parallel group, randomised, controlled, open-label trial done at 35 centres in Austria and Germany. Patients aged 18 years and older were enrolled if they presented with recent symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and were chronically treated with ACEIs or ARBs. Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to discontinuation or continuation of RAS inhibition for 30 days. Primary outcome was the maximum sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score within 30 days, where death was scored with the maximum achievable SOFA score. Secondary endpoints were area under the death-adjusted SOFA score (AUCSOFA), mean SOFA score, admission to the intensive care unit, mechanical ventilation, and death. Analyses were done on a modified intention-to-treat basis. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04353596. FINDINGS: Between April 20, 2020, and Jan 20, 2021, 204 patients (median age 75 years [IQR 66-80], 37% females) were randomly assigned to discontinue (n=104) or continue (n=100) RAS inhibition. Within 30 days, eight (8%) of 104 died in the discontinuation group and 12 (12%) of 100 patients died in the continuation group (p=0·42). There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint between the discontinuation and continuation group (median [IQR] maximum SOFA score 0·00 (0·00-2·00) vs 1·00 (0·00-3·00); p=0·12). Discontinuation was associated with a significantly lower AUCSOFA (0·00 [0·00-9·25] vs 3·50 [0·00-23·50]; p=0·040), mean SOFA score (0·00 [0·00-0·31] vs 0·12 [0·00-0·78]; p=0·040), and 30-day SOFA score (0·00 [10-90th percentile, 0·00-1·20] vs 0·00 [0·00-24·00]; p=0·023). At 30 days, 11 (11%) in the discontinuation group and 23 (23%) in the continuation group had signs of organ dysfunction (SOFA score ≥1) or were dead (p=0·017). There were no significant differences for mechanical ventilation (10 (10%) vs 8 (8%), p=0·87) and admission to intensive care unit (20 [19%] vs 18 [18%], p=0·96) between the discontinuation and continuation group. INTERPRETATION: Discontinuation of RAS-inhibition in COVID-19 had no significant effect on the maximum severity of COVID-19 but may lead to a faster and better recovery. The decision to continue or discontinue should be made on an individual basis, considering the risk profile, the indication for RAS inhibition, and the availability of alternative therapies and outpatient monitoring options. FUNDING: Austrian Science Fund and German Center for Cardiovascular Research.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors , COVID-19 , Hypertension , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/administration & dosage , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/adverse effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/adverse effects , Area Under Curve , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Hypertension/drug therapy , Hypertension/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Dysfunction Scores , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Renin-Angiotensin System/drug effects , Renin-Angiotensin System/physiology , Risk Adjustment/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Withholding Treatment/statistics & numerical data
18.
Eur Heart J Case Rep ; 5(2): ytaa521, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1334208

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the first documented outbreak of a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome inducing Coronavirus in China at the end of 2019 the virus has spread to all continents, leading the WHO to declare a pandemic in March 2020. While this virus primarily targets the alveoli in the lungs, multiple authors have described an increased rate of thrombo-embolic events in affected patients. We present this case of a myocardial infarction with no obstructive coronary atherosclerosis in an otherwise healthy 48-year-old patient. CASE SUMMARY: A 48-year-old female, presenting with chest pain radiating to her left shoulder with no cardiovascular risk factors other than genetic predisposition, was screened for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and tested positive. Although computed tomography angiography excluded obstructive coronary heart disease, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging showed an acute myocardial infarction with no obstructive coronary arteries of the inferior wall. The patient was treated with dual anti-platelet therapy, an angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor and a statin, and assigned to a cardiac rehabilitation program. CONCLUSION: We report a serious thrombo-embolic event during an oligosymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in a healthy, young patient. While these two diseases may have occurred simultaneously, by chance, it is possible that the pro-thrombotic effects of the SARS-CoV-2 infection facilitated the infarction. This case further demonstrates the significant cardiovascular morbidity potentially caused by SARS-CoV-2.

19.
Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) ; 12: 694083, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298138

ABSTRACT

Background: Male sex is related to increased COVID-19 severity and fatality although confirmed infections are similarly distributed between men and women. The aim of this retrospective analysis was to investigate the impact of sex hormones on disease progression and immune activation in men with COVID-19. Patients and Methods: We studied for effects of sex hormones on disease severity and immune activation in 377 patients (230 men, 147 women) with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections hospitalized at the Innsbruck University Hospital between February and December 2020. Results: Men had more severe COVID-19 with concomitant higher immune system activation upon hospital admission when compared to women. Men with a severe course of infection had lower serum total testosterone (tT) levels whereas luteinizing hormone (LH) and estradiol (E2) levels were within the normal range. tT deficiency was associated with elevated CRP (rs = - 0.567, p < 0.001), IL-6 levels (rs = - 0.563, p < 0.001), lower cholesterol levels (rs = 0.407, p < 0.001) and an increased morbidity and mortality. Men with tT levels < 100 ng/dL had a more than eighteen-fold higher in-hospital mortality risk (OR 18.243 [95%CI 2.301 - 144.639], p = 0.006) compared to men with tT levels > 230 ng/dL. Moreover, while morbidity and mortality showed a positive correlation with E2 levels at admission, we detected a negative correlation with the tT/E2 ratio upon hospital admission. Conclusion: Hospitalized men with COVID-19 present with rather low testosterone levels linked to more advanced immune activation, severe clinical manifestations translating into an increased risk for ICU admission or death. The underlying mechanisms remain elusive but may include infection driven hypogonadism as well as inflammation mediated cholesterol reduction causing gonadotropin suppression and impaired androgen formation. Finally, in elderly late onset hypogonadism might also contribute to lower testosterone levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Severity of Illness Index , Testosterone/blood , Testosterone/deficiency , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Testosterone/immunology
20.
Front Immunol ; 12: 684014, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290901

ABSTRACT

T cells play a fundamental role in the early control and clearance of many viral infections of the respiratory system. In SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals, lymphopenia with drastically reduced CD4+ and CD8+ T cells correlates with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated disease severity and mortality. In this study, we characterized cellular and humoral immune responses induced in patients with mild, severe and critical COVID-19. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 37 patients with mild, severe and critical COVID-19 and 10 healthy individuals were analyzed by IFNγ ELISpot and multi-color flow cytometry upon stimulation with peptide pools covering complete immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 matrix, nucleocapsid and spike proteins. In addition SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels, neutralization abilities and anaphylatoxin levels were evaluated by various commercially available ELISA platforms. Our data clearly demonstrates a significantly stronger induction of SARS-CoV-2 specific CD8+ T lymphocytes and higher IFNγ production in patients with mild compared to patients with severe or critical COVID-19. In all patients SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies with similar neutralizing activity were detected, but highest titers of total IgGs were observed in critical patients. Finally, elevated anaphylatoxin C3a and C5a levels were identified in severe and critical COVID-19 patients probably caused by aberrant immune complex formation due to elevated antibody titers in these patients. Crucially, we provide a full picture of cellular and humoral immune responses of COVID-19 patients and prove that robust polyfunctional CD8+ T cell responses concomitant with low anaphylatoxin levels correlate with mild infections. In addition, our data indicates that high SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers are associated with severe disease progression.


Subject(s)
Anaphylatoxins/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Disease Progression , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay , Female , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Interferon-gamma/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity
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