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1.
Critical Care (London, England) ; 26(1):278, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029727

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Studies quantifying SARS-CoV-2 have focused on upper respiratory tract or plasma viral RNA with inconsistent association with clinical outcomes. The association between plasma viral antigen levels and clinical outcomes has not been previously studied. Our aim was to investigate the relationship between plasma SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen (N-antigen) concentration and both markers of host response and clinical outcomes. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 N-antigen concentrations were measured in the first study plasma sample (D0), collected within 72 h of hospital admission, from 256 subjects admitted between March 2020 and August 2021 in a prospective observational cohort of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The rank correlations between plasma N-antigen and plasma biomarkers of tissue damage, coagulation, and inflammation were assessed. Multiple ordinal regression was used to test the association between enrollment N-antigen plasma concentration and the primary outcome of clinical deterioration at one week as measured by a modified World Health Organization (WHO) ordinal scale. Multiple logistic regression was used to test the association between enrollment plasma N-antigen concentration and the secondary outcomes of ICU admission, mechanical ventilation at 28 days, and death at 28 days. The prognostic discrimination of an externally derived "high antigen" cutoff of N-antigen >= 1000 pg/mL was also tested. RESULTS: N-antigen on D0 was detectable in 84% of study participants. Plasma N-antigen levels significantly correlated with RAGE (r = 0.61), IL-10 (r = 0.59), and IP-10 (r = 0.59, adjusted p = 0.01 for all correlations). For the primary outcome of clinical status at one week, each 500 pg/mL increase in plasma N-antigen level was associated with an adjusted OR of 1.05 (95% CI 1.03-1.08) for worse WHO ordinal status. D0 plasma N-antigen >= 1000 pg/mL was 77% sensitive and 59% specific (AUROC 0.68) with a positive predictive value of 23% and a negative predictive value of 93% for a worse WHO ordinal scale at day 7 compared to baseline. D0 N-antigen concentration was independently associated with ICU admission and 28-day mechanical ventilation, but not with death at 28 days. CONCLUSIONS: Plasma N-antigen levels are readily measured and provide important insight into the pathogenesis and prognosis of COVID-19. The measurement of N-antigen levels early in-hospital course may improve risk stratification, especially for identifying patients who are unlikely to progress to severe disease.

2.
PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333583

ABSTRACT

While SARS-CoV-2 infection has pleiotropic and systemic effects in some patients, many others experience milder symptoms. We sought a holistic understanding of the severe/mild distinction in COVID-19 pathology, and its origins. We performed a whole-blood preserving single-cell analysis protocol to integrate contributions from all major cell types including neutrophils, monocytes, platelets, lymphocytes and the contents of serum. Patients with mild COVID-19 disease display a coordinated pattern of interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression across every cell population and these cells are systemically absent in patients with severe disease. Severe COVID-19 patients also paradoxically produce very high anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers and have lower viral load as compared to mild disease. Examination of the serum from severe patients demonstrates that they uniquely produce antibodies with multiple patterns of specificity against interferon-stimulated cells and that those antibodies functionally block the production of the mild disease-associated ISG-expressing cells. Overzealous and auto-directed antibody responses pit the immune system against itself in many COVID-19 patients and this defines targets for immunotherapies to allow immune systems to provide viral defense. ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: In severe COVID-19 patients, the immune system fails to generate cells that define mild disease;antibodies in their serum actively prevents the successful production of those cells.

3.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-330704

ABSTRACT

Secondary bacterial infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), lead to worse clinical outcomes and increased mortality following viral respiratory infections including in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Using a combination of tracheal aspirate bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) we assessed lower respiratory tract immune responses and microbiome dynamics in 28 COVID-19 patients, 15 of whom developed VAP, and eight critically ill uninfected controls. Two days before VAP onset we observed a transcriptional signature of bacterial infection. Two weeks prior to VAP onset, following intubation, we observed a striking impairment in immune signaling in COVID-19 patients who developed VAP. Longitudinal metatranscriptomic analysis revealed disruption of lung microbiome community composition in patients with VAP, providing a connection between dysregulated immune signaling and outgrowth of opportunistic pathogens. These findings suggest that COVID-19 patients who develop VAP have impaired antibacterial immune defense detectable weeks before secondary infection onset.

4.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-297038

ABSTRACT

Secondary bacterial infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), lead to worse clinical outcomes and increased mortality following viral respiratory infections. Critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) face an elevated risk of VAP, although susceptibility varies widely. Because mechanisms underlying VAP predisposition remained unknown, we assessed lower respiratory tract host immune responses and microbiome dynamics in 36 patients, including 28 COVID-19 patients, 15 of whom developed VAP, and eight critically ill controls. We employed a combination of tracheal aspirate bulk and single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). Two days before VAP onset, a lower respiratory transcriptional signature of bacterial infection was observed, characterized by increased expression of neutrophil degranulation, toll-like receptor and cytokine signaling pathways. When assessed at an earlier time point following endotracheal intubation, more than two weeks prior to VAP onset, we observed a striking early impairment in antibacterial innate and adaptive immune signaling that markedly differed from COVID-19 patients who did not develop VAP. scRNA-seq further demonstrated suppressed immune signaling across monocytes/macrophages, neutrophils and T cells. While viral load did not differ at an early post-intubation timepoint, impaired SARS-CoV-2 clearance and persistent interferon signaling characterized the patients who later developed VAP. Longitudinal metatranscriptomic analysis revealed disruption of lung microbiome community composition in patients who developed VAP, providing a connection between dysregulated immune signaling and outgrowth of opportunistic pathogens. Together, these findings demonstrate that COVID-19 patients who develop VAP have impaired antibacterial immune defense weeks before secondary infection onset. One sentence summary: COVID-19 patients with secondary bacterial pneumonia have impaired immune signaling and lung microbiome changes weeks before onset.

5.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-8864

ABSTRACT

Secondary bacterial infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), lead to worse clinical outcomes and increased mortality following viral respiratory infections including in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Using a combination of tracheal aspirate bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) we assessed lower respiratory tract immune responses and microbiome dynamics in 28 COVID-19 patients, 15 of whom developed VAP, and eight critically ill uninfected controls. Two days before VAP onset we observed a transcriptional signature of bacterial infection. Two weeks prior to VAP onset, following intubation, we observed a striking impairment in immune signaling in COVID-19 patients who developed VAP. Longitudinal metatranscriptomic analysis revealed disruption of lung microbiome community composition in patients with VAP, providing a connection between dysregulated immune signaling and outgrowth of opportunistic pathogens. These findings suggest that COVID-19 patients who develop VAP have impaired antibacterial immune defense detectable weeks before secondary infection onset.

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