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1.
iScience ; : 104766, 2022 Jul 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1936590

ABSTRACT

The B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant has rapidly supplanted most other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Using microfluidics-based antibody affinity profiling (MAAP), we have characterized affinity and IgG concentration in the plasma of 39 individuals with multiple trajectories of SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or vaccination. Antibody affinity was similar against the wild-type, delta, and omicron variants (K A ranges: 122±155, 159±148, 211±307 µM-1, respectively), indicating a surprisingly broad and mature cross-clade immune response.. Postinfectious and vaccinated subjects showed different IgG profiles, with IgG3 (p-value=0.002) against spike being more prominent in the former group. Lastly, we found that the ELISA titers correlated linearly with measured concentrations (R=0.72) but not with affinity (R=0.29). These findings suggest that the wild-type and delta spike induce a polyclonal immune response capable of binding the omicron spike with similar affinity. Changes in titers were primarily driven by antibody concentration, suggesting that B-cell expansion, rather than affinity maturation, dominated the response after infection or vaccination.

2.
PLoS Biol ; 20(7): e3001709, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923649

ABSTRACT

Autoantibodies neutralizing the antiviral action of type I interferons (IFNs) have been associated with predisposition to severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we screened for such autoantibodies in 103 critically ill COVID-19 patients in a tertiary intensive care unit (ICU) in Switzerland. Eleven patients (10.7%), but no healthy donors, had neutralizing anti-IFNα or anti-IFNα/anti-IFNω IgG in plasma/serum, but anti-IFN IgM or IgA was rare. One patient had non-neutralizing anti-IFNα IgG. Strikingly, all patients with plasma anti-IFNα IgG also had anti-IFNα IgG in tracheobronchial secretions, identifying these autoantibodies at anatomical sites relevant for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Longitudinal analyses revealed patient heterogeneity in terms of increasing, decreasing, or stable anti-IFN IgG levels throughout the length of hospitalization. Notably, presence of anti-IFN autoantibodies in this critically ill COVID-19 cohort appeared to predict herpesvirus disease (caused by herpes simplex viruses types 1 and 2 (HSV-1/-2) and/or cytomegalovirus (CMV)), which has been linked to worse clinical outcomes. Indeed, all 7 tested COVID-19 patients with anti-IFN IgG in our cohort (100%) suffered from one or more herpesviruses, and analysis revealed that these patients were more likely to experience CMV than COVID-19 patients without anti-IFN autoantibodies, even when adjusting for age, gender, and systemic steroid treatment (odds ratio (OR) 7.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14 to 46.31, p = 0.036). As the IFN system deficiency caused by neutralizing anti-IFN autoantibodies likely directly and indirectly exacerbates the likelihood of latent herpesvirus reactivations in critically ill patients, early diagnosis of anti-IFN IgG could be rapidly used to inform risk-group stratification and treatment options. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04410263.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytomegalovirus Infections , Herpes Simplex , Interferon Type I , Autoantibodies , Critical Illness , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 778489, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1834435

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long-term sequelae of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including the interaction between persisting viral-RNA and specific tissue involvement, pose a challenging issue. In this study, we addressed the chronological correlation (after first clinical diagnosis and postmortem) between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA and organ involvement. METHODS: The presence of postmortem SARS-CoV-2 RNA from 35 complete COVID-19 autopsies was correlated with the time interval between the first diagnosis of COVID-19 and death and with its relationship to morphologic findings. RESULTS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA can be evident up to 40 days after the first diagnosis and can persist to 94 hours after death. Postmortem SARS-CoV-2 RNA was mostly positive in lungs (70%) and trachea (69%), but all investigated organs were positive with variable frequency. Late-stage tissue damage was evident up to 65 days after initial diagnosis in several organs. Positivity for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in pulmonary swabs correlated with diffuse alveolar damage (p = 0.0009). No correlation between positive swabs and other morphologic findings was present. Cerebral (p = 0.0003) and systemic hemorrhages (p = 0.009), cardiac thrombi (p = 0.04), and ischemic events (p = 0.03) were more frequent in the first wave, whereas bacterial pneumonia (p = 0.03) was more prevalent in the second wave. No differences in biometric data, clinical comorbidities, and other autopsy findings were found. CONCLUSIONS: Our data provide evidence not only of long-term postmortem persisting SARS-CoV-2 RNA but also of tissue damage several weeks after the first diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Additional conditions, such as concomitant bacterial pulmonary superinfection, lung aspergillosis, thromboembolic phenomena, and hemorrhages can further worsen tissue damage.

5.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(12): e1357, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568012

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients are characterised by a severely dysregulated cytokine profile and elevated neutrophil counts, impacting disease severity. However, it remains unclear how neutrophils contribute to pathophysiology during COVID-19. Here, we assessed the impact of the dysregulated cytokine profile on the regulated cell death (RCD) programme of neutrophils. METHODS: Regulated cell death phenotype of neutrophils isolated from critically ill COVID-19 patients or healthy donors and stimulated with COVID-19 or healthy plasma ex vivo was assessed by flow cytometry, time-lapse microscopy and cytokine multiplex analysis. Immunohistochemistry of COVID-19 patients and control biopsies were performed to assess the in situ neutrophil RCD phenotype. Plasma cytokine levels of COVID-19 patients and healthy donors were measured by multiplex analysis. Clinical parameters were correlated to cytokine levels of COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: COVID-19 plasma induced a necroptosis-sensitive neutrophil phenotype, characterised by cell lysis, elevated release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), increased receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase (RIPK) 1 levels and mixed lineage kinase domain-like pseudokinase (MLKL) involvement. The occurrence of neutrophil necroptosis MLKL axis was further confirmed in COVID-19 thrombus and lung biopsies. Necroptosis was induced by the tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFRI)/TNF-α axis. Moreover, reduction of soluble Fas ligand (sFasL) levels in COVID-19 patients and hence decreased signalling to Fas directly increased RIPK1 levels, exacerbated TNF-driven necroptosis and correlated with disease severity, which was abolished in patients treated with glucocorticoids. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest a novel role for sFasL signalling in the TNF-α-induced RCD programme in neutrophils during COVID-19 and a potential therapeutic target to curb inflammation and thus influence disease severity and outcome.

6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2869-e2874, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501012

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) frequently entails complications that bear similarities to autoimmune diseases. To date, there are little data on possible immunoglobulin (Ig) A-mediated autoimmune responses. Here, we aim to determine whether COVID-19 is associated with a vigorous total IgA response and whether IgA antibodies are associated with complications of severe illness. Since thrombotic events are frequent in severe COVID-19 and resemble hypercoagulation of antiphospholipid syndrome, our approach focused on antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, clinical data and aPL from 64 patients with COVID-19 were compared from 3 independent tertiary hospitals (1 in Liechtenstein, 2 in Switzerland). Samples were collected from 9 April to 1 May 2020. RESULTS: Clinical records of 64 patients with COVID-19 were reviewed and divided into a cohort with mild illness (mCOVID; 41%), a discovery cohort with severe illness (sdCOVID; 22%) and a confirmation cohort with severe illness (scCOVID; 38%). Total IgA, IgG, and aPL were measured with clinical diagnostic kits. Severe illness was significantly associated with increased total IgA (sdCOVID, P = .01; scCOVID, P < .001), but not total IgG. Among aPL, both cohorts with severe illness significantly correlated with elevated anticardiolipin IgA (sdCOVID and scCOVID, P < .001), anticardiolipin IgM (sdCOVID, P = .003; scCOVID, P< .001), and anti-beta 2 glycoprotein-1 IgA (sdCOVID and scCOVID, P< .001). Systemic lupus erythematosus was excluded from all patients as a potential confounder. CONCLUSIONS: Higher total IgA and IgA-aPL were consistently associated with severe illness. These novel data strongly suggest that a vigorous antiviral IgA response, possibly triggered in the bronchial mucosa, induces systemic autoimmunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Antiphospholipid , Humans , Immunoglobulin A , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 607594, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325533

ABSTRACT

The continued digitalization of medicine has led to an increased availability of longitudinal patient data that allows the investigation of novel and known diseases in unprecedented detail. However, to accurately describe any underlying pathophysiology and allow inter-patient comparisons, individual patient trajectories have to be synchronized based on temporal markers. In this pilot study, we use longitudinal data from critically ill ICU COVID-19 patients to compare the commonly used alignment markers "onset of symptoms," "hospital admission," and "ICU admission" with a novel objective method based on the peak value of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP). By applying our CRP-based method to align the progression of neutrophils and lymphocytes, we were able to define a pathophysiological window that improved mortality risk stratification in our COVID-19 patient cohort. Our data highlights that proper synchronization of longitudinal patient data is crucial for accurate interpatient comparisons and the definition of relevant subgroups. The use of objective temporal disease markers will facilitate both translational research efforts and multicenter trials.

9.
J Intensive Care Med ; 36(10): 1184-1193, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261246

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lung-protective ventilation is key in bridging patients suffering from COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) to recovery. However, resource and personnel limitations during pandemics complicate the implementation of lung-protective protocols. Automated ventilation modes may prove decisive in these settings enabling higher degrees of lung-protective ventilation than conventional modes. METHOD: Prospective study at a Swiss university hospital. Critically ill, mechanically ventilated COVID-19 ARDS patients were allocated, by study-blinded coordinating staff, to either closed-loop or conventional mechanical ventilation, based on mechanical ventilator availability. Primary outcome was the overall achieved percentage of lung-protective ventilation in closed-loop versus conventional mechanical ventilation, assessed minute-by-minute, during the initial 7 days and overall mechanical ventilation time. Lung-protective ventilation was defined as the combined target of tidal volume <8 ml per kg of ideal body weight, dynamic driving pressure <15 cmH2O, peak pressure <30 cmH2O, peripheral oxygen saturation ≥88% and dynamic mechanical power <17 J/min. RESULTS: Forty COVID-19 ARDS patients, accounting for 1,048,630 minutes (728 days) of cumulative mechanical ventilation, allocated to either closed-loop (n = 23) or conventional ventilation (n = 17), presenting with a median paO2/ FiO2 ratio of 92 [72-147] mmHg and a static compliance of 18 [11-25] ml/cmH2O, were mechanically ventilated for 11 [4-25] days and had a 28-day mortality rate of 20%. During the initial 7 days of mechanical ventilation, patients in the closed-loop group were ventilated lung-protectively for 65% of the time versus 38% in the conventional group (Odds Ratio, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.76-1.82; P < 0.001) and for 45% versus 33% of overall mechanical ventilation time (Odds Ratio, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.21-1.23; P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Among critically ill, mechanically ventilated COVID-19 ARDS patients during an early highpoint of the pandemic, mechanical ventilation using a closed-loop mode was associated with a higher degree of lung-protective ventilation than was conventional mechanical ventilation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Humans , Prospective Studies , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Tidal Volume
10.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(4): 100229, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1129218

ABSTRACT

The impact of secondary bacterial infections (superinfections) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not well understood. In this prospective, monocentric cohort study, we aim to investigate the impact of superinfections in COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Patients are assessed for concomitant microbial infections by longitudinal analysis of tracheobronchial secretions, bronchoalveolar lavages, and blood cultures. In 45 critically ill patients, we identify 19 patients with superinfections (42.2%). Superinfections are detected on day 10 after intensive care admission. The proportion of participants alive and off invasive mechanical ventilation at study day 28 (ventilator-free days [VFDs] at 28 days) is substantially lower in patients with superinfection (subhazard ratio 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.15-0.90; p = 0.028). Patients with pulmonary superinfections have a higher incidence of bacteremia, virus reactivations, yeast colonization, and required intensive care treatment for a longer time. Superinfections are frequent and associated with reduced VFDs at 28 days despite a high rate of empirical antibiotic therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Respiration, Artificial , Superinfection/diagnosis , Aged , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/microbiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness , Enterococcus faecalis/isolation & purification , Female , Humans , Incidence , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Pseudomonas aeruginosa/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Superinfection/complications , Superinfection/epidemiology , Time Factors
11.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 10(1): 11, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1028830

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In intensive care units (ICUs) treating patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) invasive ventilation poses a high risk for aerosol and droplet formation. Surface contamination of severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or bacteria can result in nosocomial transmission. METHODS: Two tertiary care COVID-19 intensive care units treating 53 patients for 870 patient days were sampled after terminal cleaning and preparation for regular use to treat non-COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: A total of 176 swabs were sampled of defined locations covering both ICUs. No SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA) was detected. Gram-negative bacterial contamination was mainly linked to sinks and siphons. Skin flora was isolated from most swabbed areas and Enterococcus faecium was detected on two keyboards. CONCLUSIONS: After basic cleaning with standard disinfection measures no remaining SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected. Bacterial contamination was low and mainly localised in sinks and siphons.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/isolation & purification , COVID-19/therapy , Disinfection/methods , Equipment Contamination/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Aerosols/analysis , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/growth & development , COVID-19/virology , Cross Infection/microbiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Cross Infection/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tertiary Healthcare/statistics & numerical data
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