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J Infect Dis ; 223(6): 933-944, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155780


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection is associated with hypercoagulability, which predisposes to venous thromboembolism (VTE). We analyzed platelet and neutrophil activation in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and their association with VTE. METHODS: Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and age- and sex-matched healthy controls were studied. Platelet and leukocyte activation, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), and matrix metalloproteinase 9, a neutrophil-released enzyme, were measured. Four patients were restudied after recovery. The activating effect of plasma from patients with COVID-19 on control platelets and leukocytes and the inhibiting activity of common antithrombotic agents on it were studied. RESULTS: A total of 36 patients with COVID-19 and 31 healthy controls were studied; VTE developed in 8 of 36 patients with COVID-19 (22.2%). Platelets and neutrophils were activated in patients with COVID-19. NET, but not platelet activation, biomarkers correlated with disease severity and were associated with thrombosis. Plasmatic matrix metalloproteinase 9 was significantly increased in patients with COVID-19. Platelet and neutrophil activation markers, but less so NETs, normalized after recovery. In vitro, plasma from patients with COVID-19 triggered platelet and neutrophil activation and NET formation, the latter blocked by therapeutic-dose low-molecular-weight heparin, but not by aspirin or dypiridamole. CONCLUSIONS: Platelet and neutrophil activation are key features of patients with COVID-19. NET biomarkers may help to predict clinical worsening and VTE and may guide low-molecular-weight heparin treatment.

COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Thrombosis/blood , Thrombosis/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Platelets/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Extracellular Traps , Female , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/blood , Humans , Male , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/blood , Middle Aged , Neutrophil Activation , Neutrophils/immunology , Platelet Activation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thrombosis/virology , Venous Thromboembolism/blood , Venous Thromboembolism/immunology , Venous Thromboembolism/virology
Platelets ; 32(2): 284-287, 2021 Feb 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-990311


The frequent finding of thrombocytopenia in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) and previous evidence that several viruses enter platelets suggest that SARS-CoV-2 might be internalized by platelets of COVID-19. Aim of our study was to assess the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in platelets from hospitalized patients with aconfirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. RNA was extracted from platelets, leukocytes and serum from 24 COVID-19 patients and 3 healthy controls, real-time PCR and ddPCR for viral genes were carried out. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detected in any of the samples analyzed nor in healthy controls, by either RT-PCR or ddPCR, while RNA samples from nasopharyngeal swabs of COVID-19 patients were correctly identified. Viral RNA was not detected independently of viral load, of positive nasopharyngeal swabs, or viremia, the last detected in only one patient (4.1%). SARS-CoV-2 entry in platelets is not acommon phenomenon in COVID-19 patients, differently from other viral infections.

Blood Platelets/virology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load