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3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322046

ABSTRACT

Baricitinib, is an oral Janus kinase (JAK)1/JAK2 inhibitor approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that was independently hypothesized, using artificial intelligence (AI)-algorithms, to be useful for the treatment of COVID-19 infection via a proposed anti-cytokine effects and as an inhibitor of host cell viral propagation 1,2 . We validated the AI-predicted biochemical inhibitory effects of baricitinib on human numb-associated kinase (hNAK) members measuring nanomolar affinities for AAK1, BIKE, and GAK. Inhibition of NAKs led to reduced viral infectivity with baricitinib using human primary liver spheroids, which express hAAK1 and hGAK. We evaluated the in vitro pharmacology of baricitinib across relevant leukocyte subpopulations coupled to its in vivo pharmacokinetics and showed it inhibited signaling of cytokines implicated in COVID-19 infection. In a case series of patients with bilateral COVID-19 pneumonia, baricitinib treatment was associated with clinical and radiologic recovery, a rapid decline in SARS-CoV-2 viral load, inflammatory markers, and IL-6 levels. This represents an important example of an AI-predicted treatment showing scientific and clinical promise during a global health crisis. Collectively, these data support further evaluation of the AI-derived hypothesis on anti-cytokine and anti-viral activity and supports its assessment in randomized trials in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311147

ABSTRACT

Background: To assess differences in the probability of COVID-19-related death between native Italians and immigrants hospitalised with COVID-19. Methods This was a retrospective study of prospectively collected data conducted at the ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco Hospital in Milan, Italy, between 21 February and 31 November 2020. Uni- and multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the impact of the patients' origin on the probability of COVID-19-related death. Results The study population consisted of 1,179 COVID-19 patients: 921 Italians (78.1%) and 258 immigrants (21.9%) from Latin America (99, 38.4%), Asia (72, 27.9%), Africa (50, 19.4%) and central/eastern Europe (37, 14.3%). The Italians were older (p < 0.001) and more frequently affected by co-morbidities (p < 0.001). Mortality was significantly greater among the Italians than the immigrants as a whole (26.6% vs 12.8%;p < 0.001), and significantly greater among the immigrants from Latin America than among those from Asia, Africa and central/eastern Europe (21.2% vs 8.3%, 6% and 8.1%, respectively;p = 0.016). Multivariate analyses showed that a Latin American origin was independently associated with an increased risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio 1.95, 95% confidence interval 1.17–3.23). Conclusions Our findings support the need to strengthen COVID-19 information and prevention initiatives in the Latin American community living in Milan.

5.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328605

ABSTRACT

This first of its kind study provides objective context to the potential mechanism of action of corticosteroid use in COVID-19 patients from 3 separate European medical centers by connecting inflammatory biomarkers to IgG levels for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antigens and neutralization of ACE2 binding within infected individuals. CXCL9 is described herein as an important COVID-19 biomarker connecting disease severity with inflammatory biomarker and serology response profiles in corticosteroid-treated patients.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307476

ABSTRACT

Background: High concentrations of ivermectin demonstrated antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Aim of this study was to assess safety and efficacy of high-dose ivermectin in reducing viral load in individuals with initial SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: Randomised, double-blind, multicentre, phase II, dose-finding, proof-of-concept clinical trial performed in outpatients in Italy. Participants: adults recently diagnosed with asymptomatic/oligosymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, providing informed consent. Exclusion criteria: pregnant or lactating women;CNS diseases;participants under dialysis;severe medical condition with prognosis < 6 months;warfarin treatment;antiviral/chloroquine phosphate/hydroxychloroquine treatment. Participants were assigned according to a randomized permuted block procedure to one of the following arms with allocation ratio 1:1:1: placebo (arm A);single dose ivermectin 600 μg/kg plus placebo for 5 days (arm B);single dose ivermectin 1200 μg/kg for 5 days (arm C). The pharmacist prepared the treatment according to the randomization list and on the basis of the participant’s weight. Primary outcomes: serious adverse drug reactions (SADR) and change of viral load at Day 7. The protocol was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT04438850. Findings. From 31th July, 2020 to 26th May, 2021, 32 participants were randomized to arm A, 29 to arm B and 32 to arm C. The recruitment was stopped on 10th June, because of a dramatic drop of cases. Eighty-nine participants were included in the safety analysis set, the change in viral load was calculated on 87 participants. No SADR were registered. The mean log10 viral load reduction was 2.9 in arm C (SD 1.6), 2.5 (2.2) in arm B and 2.0 (2.1) in arm A, with no significant differences (p=0.099 and 0.122 for C versus A and B versus A, respectively). Interpretation: High- dose ivermectin demonstrated safe, but did not prove efficacy to reduce viral load.Trial Registration: The protocol was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT04438850. Funding: The trial was partly funded by the Italian Ministry of Health.Declaration of Interest: None to declare. Ethical Approval: This study was approved by the national Ethics Committee of INMI – Spallanzani in Rome that is competent for all COVID-19 trials in Italy (resolution 139/2020 of 28th May, 2020), and by the Italian drug agency AIFA (resolution 136BIS/2020 of 18th May, 2020).

7.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 63, 2022 Jan 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632640

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To compare differences in the probability of COVID-19-related death between native Italians and immigrants hospitalised with COVID-19. METHODS: This retrospective study of prospectively collected data was conducted at the ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco Hospital in Milan, Italy, between 21 February and 31 November 2020. Uni- and multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the impact of the patients' origin on the probability of COVID-19-related death. RESULTS: The study population consisted of 1,179 COVID-19 patients: 921 Italians (78.1%) and 258 immigrants (21.9%) who came from Latin America (99, 38%), Asia (72, 28%), Africa (50, 19%) and central/eastern Europe (37, 14%). The Italians were significantly older than the immigrants (median age 70 years, interquartile range (IQR) 58-79 vs 51 years, IQR 41-60; p < 0.001), and more frequently had one or more co-morbidities (79.1% vs 53.9%; p < 0.001). Mortality was significantly greater among the Italians than the immigrants as a whole (26.6% vs 12.8%; p < 0.001), and significantly greater among the immigrants from Latin America than among those from Asia, Africa or central/eastern Europe (21% vs 8%, 6% and 8%; p = 0.016). Univariable analysis showed that the risk of COVID-19-related death was lower among the immigrants (hazard ratio [HR] 0.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.30-0.63; p < 0.0001], but the risk of Latin American immigrants did not significantly differ from that of the Italians (HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.47-1.15; p = 0.183). However, after adjusting for potential confounders, multivariable analysis showed that there was no difference in the risk of death between the immigrants and the Italians (adjusted HR [aHR] 1.04, 95% CI 0.70-1.55; p = 0.831), but being of Latin American origin was independently associated with an increased risk of death (aHR 1.95, 95% CI 1.17-3.23; p = 0.010). CONCLUSIONS: Mortality was lower among the immigrants hospitalised with COVID-19 than among their Italian counterparts, but this difference disappeared after adjusting for confounders. However, the increased risk of death among immigrants of Latin American origin suggests that COVID-19 information and prevention initiatives need to be strengthened in this sub-population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emigrants and Immigrants , Aged , Hospitals , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Registries , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Int J Antimicrob Agents ; 59(2): 106516, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611755

ABSTRACT

High concentrations of ivermectin demonstrated antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. The aim of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of high-dose ivermectin in reducing viral load in individuals with early SARS-CoV-2 infection. This was a randomised, double-blind, multicentre, phase II, dose-finding, proof-of-concept clinical trial. Participants were adults recently diagnosed with asymptomatic/oligosymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Exclusion criteria were: pregnant or lactating women; CNS disease; dialysis; severe medical condition with prognosis <6 months; warfarin treatment; and antiviral/chloroquine phosphate/hydroxychloroquine treatment. Participants were assigned (ratio 1:1:1) according to a randomised permuted block procedure to one of the following arms: placebo (arm A); single-dose ivermectin 600 µg/kg plus placebo for 5 days (arm B); and single-dose ivermectin 1200 µg/kg for 5 days (arm C). Primary outcomes were serious adverse drug reactions (SADRs) and change in viral load at Day 7. From 31 July 2020 to 26 May 2021, 32 participants were randomised to arm A, 29 to arm B and 32 to arm C. Recruitment was stopped on 10 June because of a dramatic drop in cases. The safety analysis included 89 participants and the change in viral load was calculated in 87 participants. No SADRs were registered. Mean (S.D.) log10 viral load reduction was 2.9 (1.6) in arm C, 2.5 (2.2) in arm B and 2.0 (2.1) in arm A, with no significant differences (P = 0.099 and 0.122 for C vs. A and B vs. A, respectively). High-dose ivermectin was safe but did not show efficacy to reduce viral load.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , COVID-19/drug therapy , Ivermectin/pharmacokinetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adult , Antiparasitic Agents/blood , Antiparasitic Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiparasitic Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/blood , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Double-Blind Method , Drug Repositioning , Female , Humans , Ivermectin/blood , Ivermectin/pharmacology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Treatment Outcome , Viral Load/drug effects
10.
J Fungi (Basel) ; 7(11)2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488646

ABSTRACT

Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) can complicate the clinical course of COVID-19 and are associated with a significant increase in mortality, especially in critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). This narrative review concerns 4099 cases of IFIs in 58,784 COVID-19 patients involved in 168 studies. COVID-19-associated invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) is a diagnostic challenge because its non-specific clinical/imaging features and the fact that the proposed clinically diagnostic algorithms do not really apply to COVID-19 patients. Forty-seven observational studies and 41 case reports have described a total of 478 CAPA cases that were mainly diagnosed on the basis of cultured respiratory specimens and/or biomarkers/molecular biology, usually without histopathological confirmation. Candidemia is a widely described secondary infection in critically ill patients undergoing prolonged hospitalisation, and the case reports and observational studies of 401 cases indicate high crude mortality rates of 56.1% and 74.8%, respectively. COVID-19 patients are often characterised by the presence of known risk factors for candidemia such as in-dwelling vascular catheters, mechanical ventilation, and broad-spectrum antibiotics. We also describe 3185 cases of mucormycosis (including 1549 cases of rhino-orbital mucormycosis (48.6%)), for which the main risk factor is a history of poorly controlled diabetes mellitus (>76%). Its diagnosis involves a histopathological examination of tissue biopsies, and its treatment requires anti-fungal therapy combined with aggressive surgical resection/debridement, but crude mortality rates are again high: 50.8% in case reports and 16% in observational studies. The presence of other secondary IFIs usually diagnosed in severely immunocompromised patients show that SARS-CoV-2 is capable of stunning the host immune system: 20 cases of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, 5 cases of cryptococcosis, 4 cases of histoplasmosis, 1 case of coccidioides infection, 1 case of pulmonary infection due to Fusarium spp., and 1 case of pulmonary infection due to Scedosporium.

11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463680

ABSTRACT

The northern Italian region of Lombardy has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic since its arrival in Europe. However, there are only a few published studies of the possible influence of social and cultural factors on its prevalence in the general population. This cross-sectional study of the San Siro social-housing neighbourhood of Milan, which was carried about between 23 December 2020 and 19 February 2021, found that the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies in the population as a whole was 12.4% (253/2044 inhabitants), but there was a more than two-fold difference between non-Italians and Italians (23.3% vs. 9.1%). Multivariable analyses showed that being more than 50 years old, living in crowded accommodation, being a non-Italian, and having a low educational level were associated with higher odds of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, whereas a higher level of education, retirement, and being a former or current cigarette smoker were inversely associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our findings are in line with previous observations indicating that a lower socio-economic status may be a risk factor for COVID-19 and show that non-Italians are disproportionately affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection. This suggests that public health policies should focus more on disadvantaged populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Services Accessibility , Housing , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prevalence
12.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1421-1427, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196443

ABSTRACT

As it has been shown that lopinavir (LPV) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have in vitro activity against coronaviruses, they were used to treat COVID-19 during the first wave of the epidemic in Lombardy, Italy. To compare the rate of clinical improvement between those who started LPV/ritonavir (LPV/r)+HCQ within 5 days of symptom onset (early treatment, ET) and those who started later (delayed treatment, DT). This was a retrospective intent-to-treat analysis of the hospitalized patients who started LPV/r + HCQ between 21 February and 20 March 2020. The association between the timing of treatment and the probability of 30-day mortality was assessed using univariable and multivariable logistic models. The study involved 172 patients: 43 (25%) in the ET and 129 (75%) in the DT group. The rate of clinical improvement increased over time to 73.3% on day 30, without any significant difference between the two groups (Gray's test P = .213). After adjusting for potentially relevant clinical variables, there was no significant association between the timing of the start of treatment and the probability of 30-day mortality (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] ET vs DT = 1.45, 95% confidence interval 0.50-4.19). Eight percent of the patients discontinued the treatment becausebecause of severe gastrointestinal disorders attributable to LPV/r. The timing of the start of LPV/r + HCQ treatment does not seem to affect the clinical course of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Together with the severe adverse events attributable to LPV/r, this raises concerns about the benefit of using this combination to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Aged , Drug Combinations , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
13.
Drugs Aging ; 38(4): 341-346, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1107914

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are often elderly, with comorbidities, and receiving polypharmacy, all of which are known factors for potentially severe drug-drug interactions (DDIs) and the prescription of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the risk of DDIs and PIMs in COVID-19 patients at hospital discharge. METHOD: Patients with a proven diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection who were hospitalized between 21 February and 30 April 2020, treated with at least two drugs, and with available information regarding pharmacological treatments upon admission and at discharge were considered. The appropriateness of drug prescriptions was assessed using INTERcheck®. RESULTS: A significant increase in the prescription of proton pump inhibitors and heparins was found when comparing admission with hospital discharge (from 24 to 33% [p < 0.05] and from 1 to 17% [p < 0.01], respectively). The increased prescription of heparins at discharge resulted in a highly significant increase in the potentially severe DDIs mediated by this class of drugs. 51% of COVID-19 patients aged > 65 years had at least one PIM upon admission, with an insignificant increment at discharge (58%). CONCLUSION: An increased number of prescribed drugs was observed in COVID-19 patients discharged from our hospital. The addition of heparins is appropriate according to the current literature, while the use of proton pump inhibitors is more controversial. Particular attention should be paid to the risk of bleeding complications linked to heparin-based DDIs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Drug Interactions , Drug Prescriptions , Female , Humans , Male , Patient Discharge , Potentially Inappropriate Medication List
14.
Europace ; 22(12): 1855-1863, 2020 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059434

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The aim of the study was to describe ECG modifications and arrhythmic events in COVID-19 patients undergoing hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) therapy in different clinical settings. METHODS AND RESULTS: COVID-19 patients at seven institutions receiving HCQ therapy from whom a baseline and at least one ECG at 48+ h were available were enrolled in the study. QT/QTc prolongation, QT-associated and QT-independent arrhythmic events, arrhythmic mortality, and overall mortality during HCQ therapy were assessed. A total of 649 COVID-19 patients (61.9 ± 18.7 years, 46.1% males) were enrolled. HCQ therapy was administrated as a home therapy regimen in 126 (19.4%) patients, and as an in-hospital-treatment to 495 (76.3%) hospitalized and 28 (4.3%) intensive care unit (ICU) patients. At 36-72 and at 96+ h after the first HCQ dose, 358 and 404 ECGs were obtained, respectively. A significant QT/QTc interval prolongation was observed (P < 0.001), but the magnitude of the increase was modest [+13 (9-16) ms]. Baseline QT/QTc length and presence of fever (P = 0.001) at admission represented the most important determinants of QT/QTc prolongation. No arrhythmic-related deaths were reported. The overall major ventricular arrhythmia rate was low (1.1%), with all events found not to be related to QT or HCQ therapy at a centralized event evaluation. No differences in QT/QTc prolongation and QT-related arrhythmias were observed across different clinical settings, with non-QT-related arrhythmias being more common in the intensive care setting. CONCLUSION: HCQ administration is safe for a short-term treatment for patients with COVID-19 infection regardless of the clinical setting of delivery, causing only modest QTc prolongation and no directly attributable arrhythmic deaths.


Subject(s)
Arrhythmias, Cardiac/virology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Electrocardiography , Hydroxychloroquine/administration & dosage , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/chemically induced , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Int J Clin Pract ; 75(4): e13946, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-979538

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hypoalbuminemia is frequently observed in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection although its underlying mechanism and relationship with the clinical outcome still need to be clarified. METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated in patients with COVID-19 hospitalised at the Fatebenefratelli-Sacco Hospital in Milan, the prevalence of hypoalbuminemia, its association with the severity of COVID-19, with the levels of C-reactive protein, d-dimer and interleukin-6 and with clinical outcome over a follow-up period of 30 days. Urinalysis was evaluated in a subgroup of patients. RESULTS: Serum albumin levels <30 g/L were found in 105/207 (50.7%) patients at hospital admission. Overall, the median albumin value was 29.5 g/L (IQR 25-32.8). A negative association was found between albumin levels and severity of COVID-19 (P < .0001) and death (P = .003). An inverse correlation was observed between albumin and both C-reactive protein and D-dimer at hospital admission (r = -.487 and r = -.479, respectively; P < .0001). Finally, a positive correlation was found between albumin levels and eGFR (r = .137; P = .049). Proteinuria was observed in 75% of patients with available data and it did not differ between patients with hypoalbuminemia and those with albumin ≥30 g/L (81% and 67%, respectively; P = .09). CONCLUSION: In patients with COVID-19, hypoalbuminemia is common and observed in quite an early stage of pulmonary disease. It is strictly associated with inflammation markers and clinical outcome. The common finding of proteinuria, even in the absence of creatinine increase, indicates protein loss as a possible biomarker of local and systemic inflammation worthwhile to evaluate disease severity in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumonia, Viral , Proteinuria , SARS-CoV-2 , Serum Albumin , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Proteinuria/complications , Retrospective Studies
16.
Crit Care Med ; 49(1): e31-e40, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977413

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to assess the frequency of ICU-acquired bloodstream infections in coronavirus disease 2019 patients. DESIGN: Retrospective observational study. SETTING: The emergency expansion of an ICU from eight general beds to 30 coronavirus disease 2019 beds. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 admitted to the ICU of Luigi Sacco Hospital (Milan, Italy) for greater than or equal to 48 hours between February 21, 2020, and April 30, 2020. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The frequency of bloodstream infections per 1,000 days of ICU stay was calculated in 89 coronavirus disease 2019 patients, and the cumulative probability of bloodstream infection was estimated using death and ICU discharge as competing events. Sixty patients (67.4%) experienced at least one of the 93 recorded episodes of bloodstream infection, a frequency of 87 per 1,000 days of ICU stay (95% CI, 67-112).The patients who experienced a bloodstream infection had a higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score upon ICU admission (9.5; interquartile range, 8-12 vs 8, interquartile range, 5-10; p = 0.042), a longer median ICU stay (15 d; interquartile range, 11-23 vs 8, interquartile range, 5-12; p < 0.001), and more frequently required invasive mechanical ventilation (98.3% vs 82.8%; p = 0.013) than those who did not. The median time from ICU admission to the first bloodstream infection episode was 10 days. Gram-positive bacteria accounted for 74 episodes (79.6%), with Enterococcus species being the most prevalent (53 episodes, 55.8%). Thirty-two isolates (27.3%) showed multidrug resistance. CONCLUSIONS: Coronavirus disease 2019 seemed to increase the frequency of bloodstream infections (particularly Enterococcus-related bloodstream infection) after ICU admission. This may have been due to enteric involvement in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 and/or limitations in controlling the patient-to-patient transmission of infectious agents in extremely challenging circumstances.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/microbiology , Enterococcus/isolation & purification , Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections/microbiology , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Sepsis/microbiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Illness , Female , Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Sepsis/epidemiology , Treatment Outcome
17.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 147(1): 107-111, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-753406

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Physicians treating patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increasingly believe that the hyperinflammatory acute stage of COVID-19 results in a cytokine storm. The circulating biomarkers seen across the spectrum of COVID-19 have not been characterized compared with healthy controls, but such analyses are likely to yield insights into the pursuit of interventions that adequately reduce the burden of these cytokine storms. OBJECTIVE: To identify and characterize the host inflammatory response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, we assessed levels of proteins related to immune responses and cardiovascular disease in patients stratified as mild, moderate, and severe versus matched healthy controls. METHODS: Blood samples from adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were analyzed using high-throughput and ultrasensitive proteomic platforms and compared with age- and sex-matched healthy controls to provide insights into differential regulation of 185 markers. RESULTS: Results indicate a dominant hyperinflammatory milieu in the circulation and vascular endothelial damage markers within patients with COVID-19, and strong biomarker association with patient response as measured by Ordinal Scale. As patients progress, we observe statistically significant dysregulation of IFN-γ, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-10, IL-19, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, MCP-2, MCP-3, CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL5, ENRAGE, and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1. Furthermore, in a limited series of patients who were sampled frequently, confirming reliability and reproducibility of our assays, we demonstrate that intervention with baricitinib attenuates these circulating biomarkers associated with the cytokine storm. CONCLUSIONS: These wide-ranging circulating biomarkers show an association with increased disease severity and may help stratify patients and selection of therapeutic options. They also provide insights into mechanisms of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pathogenesis and the host response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome/blood , Cytokines/blood , Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1/blood , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Biomarkers/blood , Female , Humans , Male
18.
EMBO Mol Med ; 12(8): e12697, 2020 08 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-434202

ABSTRACT

Baricitinib is an oral Janus kinase (JAK)1/JAK2 inhibitor approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that was independently predicted, using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, to be useful for COVID-19 infection via proposed anti-cytokine effects and as an inhibitor of host cell viral propagation. We evaluated the in vitro pharmacology of baricitinib across relevant leukocyte subpopulations coupled to its in vivo pharmacokinetics and showed it inhibited signaling of cytokines implicated in COVID-19 infection. We validated the AI-predicted biochemical inhibitory effects of baricitinib on human numb-associated kinase (hNAK) members measuring nanomolar affinities for AAK1, BIKE, and GAK. Inhibition of NAKs led to reduced viral infectivity with baricitinib using human primary liver spheroids. These effects occurred at exposure levels seen clinically. In a case series of patients with bilateral COVID-19 pneumonia, baricitinib treatment was associated with clinical and radiologic recovery, a rapid decline in SARS-CoV-2 viral load, inflammatory markers, and IL-6 levels. Collectively, these data support further evaluation of the anti-cytokine and anti-viral activity of baricitinib and support its assessment in randomized trials in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Artificial Intelligence , Azetidines/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Adult , Aged , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Azetidines/pharmacokinetics , Azetidines/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Cytokines/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drug Repositioning , Female , Humans , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Leukocytes/drug effects , Liver , Male , Middle Aged , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Purines , Pyrazoles , SARS-CoV-2 , Spheroids, Cellular/drug effects , Spheroids, Cellular/virology , Sulfonamides/pharmacokinetics , Sulfonamides/therapeutic use
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