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J Innate Immun ; : 1-11, 2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546612


BACKGROUND: Macrophage activation-like syndrome (MALS) and complex immune dysregulation (CID) often underlie acute respiratory distress (ARDS) in COVID-19. We aimed to investigate the effect of personalized immunotherapy on clinical improvement of critical COVID-19. METHODS: In this open-label prospective trial, 102 patients with ARDS by SARS-CoV-2 were screened for MALS (ferritin >4,420 ng/mL) and CID (ferritin ≤4,420 ng/mL and low human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR expression on CD14-monocytes). Patients with MALS or CID with increased aminotransferases received intravenous anakinra; those with CID and normal aminotransferases received tocilizumab. The primary outcome was ≥25% decrease in the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score and/or 50% increase in the respiratory ratio by day 8; 28-day mortality, change of SOFA score by day 28, serum biomarkers, and cytokine production by mononuclear cells were secondary endpoints. RESULTS: The primary study endpoint was met in 58.3% of anakinra-treated patients and in 33.3% of tocilizumab-treated patients (p: 0.01). Most patients in both groups received dexamethasone as standard of care. No differences were found in secondary outcomes, mortality, and SOFA score changes. Ferritin decreased among anakinra-treated patients; interleukin-6, soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor, and HLA-DR expression increased among tocilizumab-treated patients. Survivors by day 28 who received anakinra were distributed to lower severity levels of the WHO clinical progression scale. Greater incidence of secondary infections was found with tocilizumab treatment. CONCLUSION: Immune assessment resulted in favorable anakinra responses among critically ill patients with COVID-19 and features of MALS.

Elife ; 102021 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121691


Background: It was studied if early suPAR-guided anakinra treatment can prevent severe respiratory failure (SRF) of COVID-19. Methods: A total of 130 patients with suPAR ≥6 ng/ml were assigned to subcutaneous anakinra 100 mg once daily for 10 days. Primary outcome was SRF incidence by day 14 defined as any respiratory ratio below 150 mmHg necessitating mechanical or non-invasive ventilation. Main secondary outcomes were 30-day mortality and inflammatory mediators; 28-day WHO-CPS was explored. Propensity-matched standard-of care comparators were studied. Results: 22.3% with anakinra treatment and 59.2% comparators (hazard ratio, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.20-0.46) progressed into SRF; 30-day mortality was 11.5% and 22.3% respectively (hazard ratio 0.49; 95% CI 0.25-0.97). Anakinra was associated with decrease in circulating interleukin (IL)-6, sCD163 and sIL2-R; IL-10/IL-6 ratio on day 7 was inversely associated with SOFA score; patients were allocated to less severe WHO-CPS strata. Conclusions: Early suPAR-guided anakinra decreased SRF and restored the pro-/anti-inflammatory balance. Funding: This study was funded by the Hellenic Institute for the Study of Sepsis, Technomar Shipping Inc, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, and the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. Clinical trial number: NCT04357366.

People infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, can develop severe respiratory failure and require a ventilator to keep breathing, but this does not happen to every infected individual. Measuring a blood protein called suPAR (soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor) may help identify patients at the greatest risk of developing severe respiratory failure and requiring a ventilator. Previous investigations have suggested that measuring suPAR can identify pneumonia patients at highest risk for developing respiratory failure. The protein can be measured by taking a blood sample, and its levels provide a snapshot of how the body's immune system is reacting to infection, and of how it may respond to treatment. Anakinra is a drug that forms part of a class of medications called interleukin antagonists. It is commonly prescribed alone or in combination with other medications to reduce pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Kyriazopoulou et al. investigated whether treating COVID-19 patients who had developed pneumonia with anakinra could prevent the use of a ventilator and lower the risk of death. The findings show that treating COVID-19 patients with an injection of 100 milligrams of anakinra for ten days may be an effective approach because the drug combats inflammation. Kyriazopoulou et al. examined various markers of the immune response and discovered that anakinra was able to improve immune function, protecting a significant number of patients from going on a ventilator. The drug was also found to be safe and cause no significant adverse side effects. Administering anakinra decreased of the risk of progression into severe respiratory failure by 70%, and reduced death rates significantly. These results suggest that it may be beneficial to use suPAR as an early biomarker for identifying those individuals at highest risk for severe respiratory failure, and then treat them with anakinra. While the findings are promising, they must be validated in larger studies.

Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/administration & dosage , Respiratory Insufficiency/prevention & control , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antigens, CD/blood , Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic/blood , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Humans , Incidence , Injections, Subcutaneous , Interleukin-10/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, Cell Surface/blood , Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator/blood , Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator/metabolism , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Insufficiency/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Standard of Care , Treatment Outcome