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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5736, 2022 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778634

ABSTRACT

The aims of this study were to characterize new SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled all over Italy and to reconstruct the origin and the evolutionary dynamics in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed only small clusters including < 80 Italian isolates, while most of the Italian strains were intermixed in the whole tree. Pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 (20B) most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 (20D) developed most probably in other European countries entering Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, within the limitations of phylogeographical reconstruction, the estimated ancestral scenario suggests an important role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
Eur Respir J ; 2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775304

ABSTRACT

RATIONALE: Pulse glucocorticoid therapy is used in hyperinflammation related to coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). We evaluated the efficacy and safety of pulse intravenous methylprednisolone in addition to standard treatment in COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS: In this multicenter, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 304 hospitalised patients with Covid-19 pneumonia were randomised to receive 1 g of methylprednisolone intravenously for 3 consecutive days or placebo in addition to standard dexamethasone. The primary outcome was the duration of the patient hospitalisation, calculated as the time interval between randomisation and hospital discharge without the need of supplementary oxygen. The key secondary outcomes were survival free from invasive ventilation with orotracheal intubation and overall survival. RESULTS: Overall, 112 of 151 (75.4%) patients in the pulse methylprednisolone arm and 111 of 150 (75.2%) in the placebo arm were discharged from hospital without oxygen within 30 days from randomisation. Median time to discharge was similar in both groups [15 days (95% confidence interval (CI), 13.0 to 17.0) and 16 days (95%CI, 13.8 to 18.2); hazard ratio (HR), 0.92; 95% CI 0.71-1.20; p=0.528]. No significant differences between pulse methylprednisolone and placebo arms were observed in terms of admission to Intensive Care Unit with orotracheal intubation or death (20.0% versus 16.1%; HR, 1.26; 95%CI, 0.74-2.16; p=0.176), or overall mortality (10.0% versus 12.2%; HR, 0.83; 95%CI, 0.42-1.64; p=0.584). Serious adverse events occurred with similar frequency in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Methylprenisolone pulse therapy added to dexamethasone was not of benefit in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. MESSAGE OF THE STUDY: Pulse glucocorticoid therapy is used for severe and/or life threatening immuno-inflammatory diseases. The addition of pulse glucocorticoid therapy to the standard low dose of dexamethasone scheme was not of benefit in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314810

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was the reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary dynamics in time and space in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed that pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 entered Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314809

ABSTRACT

The aims of this study were to characterize new SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled all over Italy and to reconstruct the origin and the evolutionary dynamics in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed only small clusters including <80 Italian isolates, while most of the Italian strains were intermixed in the whole tree. Pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 developed most probably in other European countries entering Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.

5.
Tohoku J Exp Med ; 255(1): 61-69, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496649

ABSTRACT

North Italy emerged as an epicenter of COVID-19 in the Western world. The majority of studies of patients with COVID-19 have focused on hospitalized patients, and data on early outpatient treatment are limited. This research retrospectively examines consecutive symptomatic adults who did not present to a hospital but who experience laboratory confirmed (nasopharyngeal swabs) or probable COVID-19 infection. From March 12 to April 12, 2020, 124 consecutive patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection (84%) or with epidemiologically linked exposure to a person with confirmed infection (16%) were managed at home. The diagnosis of pneumonia was made with a portable ultrasound. COVID-19 treatment was based on low-dose hydroxychloroquine with or without darunavir/cobicistat or azithromycin and enoxaparine for bedridden patients. The patients were monitored by telemedicine. The primary endpoints were clinical improvement or hospitalization, and the secondary endpoints were mortality at day 30 and at day 60. Forty-seven (37.9%) patients had mild COVID-19 infection, 44 (35.5%) had moderate COVID-19 infection, and 33 (26.6%) had severe COVID-19 infection. Four patients (3.2%) were hospitalized and there were no deaths at day 30 and at day 60. Only mild side effects were reported. Early home treatment of COVID-19 patients resulted in a low hospitalization rate with no deaths, with the limitations of the small sample size and that it was conducted within a single geographic area. We believe that this model may be easily reproduced in both cities and rural areas around the world to treat COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19 Testing , Cobicistat/therapeutic use , Darunavir/therapeutic use , Drug Combinations , Female , Home Care Services , Hospitalization , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Telemedicine , Young Adult
6.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20964, 2021 10 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483147

ABSTRACT

Multicentre, retrospective cohort study with multivariable Cox proportional-hazards modelling and survival-time inverse-probability-weighting, evaluating the impact of different treatments on survival of proven COVID-19 patients admitted to two Hospitals in the province of Piacenza, Italy. Use of tocilizumab and of high doses of low molecular weight heparin, but not of antivirals (either alone or in combination), azithromycin, and any corticosteroid, was independently associated with lower mortality. Our results support further clinical evaluation of high doses of low molecular weight heparin and tocilizumab as COVID-19 therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Heparin/administration & dosage , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/administration & dosage , Aged , Azithromycin/administration & dosage , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Admission , Probability , Proportional Hazards Models , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
7.
Microorganisms ; 9(9)2021 Sep 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403851

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Herpes simplex 1 co-infections in patients with COVID-19 are considered relatively uncommon; some reports on re-activations in patients in intensive-care units were published. The aim of the study was to analyze herpetic re-activations and their clinical manifestations in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, performing HSV-1 PCR on plasma twice a week. METHODS: we conducted a prospective, observational, single-center study involving 70 consecutive patients with severe/critical SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia tested for HSV-1 hospitalized at Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria of Modena. RESULTS: of these 70 patients, 21 (30.0%) showed detectable viremia and 13 (62%) had clinically relevant manifestations of HSV-1 infection corresponding to 15 events (4 pneumonia, 5 herpes labialis, 3 gingivostomatitis, one encephalitis and two hepatitis). HSV-1 positive patients were more frequently treated with steroids than HSV-1 negative patients (76.2% vs. 49.0%, p = 0.036) and more often underwent mechanical ventilation (IMV) (57.1% vs. 22.4%, p = 0.005). In the unadjusted logistic regression analysis, steroid treatment, IMV, and higher LDH were significantly associated with an increased risk of HSV1 re-activation (odds ratio 3.33, 4.61, and 16.9, respectively). The association with the use of steroids was even stronger after controlling for previous use of both tocilizumab and IMV (OR = 5.13, 95% CI:1.36-19.32, p = 0.016). The effect size was larger when restricting to participants who were treated with high doses of steroids while there was no evidence to support an association with the use of tocilizumab Conclusions: our study shows a high incidence of HSV-1 re-activation both virologically and clinically in patients with SARS-CoV-2 severe pneumonia, especially in those treated with steroids.

8.
Front Oncol ; 10: 582901, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084178

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects humans through the angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptor expressed on many cells, including lymphocytes. In Covid-19 patients IL-6 is overexpressed, and hyperactivated plasmacytoid lymphocytes are detected in peripheral blood film. We hypothesize that, due to the unpredictable interaction between the new virus and the B cell lineage of infected patients, a cascade of out of control events can ensue, capable of determining unexpected pathologic disorders involving such lineage. Here we report two cases of autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) and two cases of B-cell hematological malignancies developed or reactivated during acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. The temporal relationship of the events may suggest a potential causal relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the hematopoietic disorders. We suggest that special attention should be paid to COVID-19 patients with underlining B cell lineage disorders.

9.
J Infect Public Health ; 14(2): 263-270, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-966884

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Piacenza is the closest city to the first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cluster in Italy and has the highest national COVID-19 death rates per population. The objective of this study is to present characteristics and outcomes of patients admitted to medical departments of the Hospital of Piacenza during the first wave of the epidemic. METHODS: A total of 218 patients with confirmed or suspect COVID-19 and severe pneumonia were included from February 21st to May 15th, 2020. Routinely-collected clinical and laboratory data were retrospectively retrieved from electronic medical files. A Cox proportional-hazards model was fit to assess the association of treatment and other variables with death. RESULTS: Median age of patients was 68 years; 150 patients (69%) had comorbidities, mainly hypertension (107, 49%). Overall, 185 (85%) patients had acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) on admission, including 103 (47%) with moderate or severe ARDS. Chest computed tomography scan showed bilateral disease in 201 (98%) and extensive lung involvement in 79 (50%) patients. Most patients received antiviral treatment (187, 86%) and corticosteroids (134, 61%). All patients received respiratory support and 64 (29%) were admitted to intensive care unit. As of June 30th, 100 patients (46%) died, 109 patients (50%) were discharged, and 9 patients (4%) were still hospitalized. In multivariable Cox analysis, age above 65 years, having more than one comorbidity, severe ARDS, low platelet counts, and high LDH levels at admission were associated with mortality, while having diarrhea at admission was associated with survival. The use of antivirals or corticosteroids was not associated with survival. CONCLUSIONS: Overall case fatality rates were high and associated with comorbidities, extensive lung involvement, ARDS at admission, and advanced age. The use of antivirals was not associated with increased survival.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/physiopathology , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
10.
J Clin Med ; 9(12)2020 Nov 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-948922

ABSTRACT

Data on the burden of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients are scant. We conducted an observational, retrospective, multicenter, 1:3 case (COVID-19 patients with CDI)-control (COVID-19 patients without CDI) study in Italy to assess incidence and outcomes, and to identify risk factors for CDI in COVID-19 patients. From February through July 2020, 8402 COVID-19 patients were admitted to eight Italian hospitals; 38 CDI cases were identified, including 32 hospital-onset-CDI (HO-CDI) and 6 community-onset, healthcare-associated-CDI (CO-HCA-CDI). HO-CDI incidence was 4.4 × 10,000 patient-days. The percentage of cases recovering without complications at discharge (i.e., pressure ulcers, chronic heart decompensation) was lower than among controls (p = 0.01); in-hospital stays was longer among cases, 35.0 versus 19.4 days (p = 0.0007). The presence of a previous hospitalisation (p = 0.001), previous steroid administration (p = 0.008) and the administration of antibiotics during the stay (p = 0.004) were risk factors associated with CDI. In conclusions, CDI complicates COVID-19, mainly in patients with co-morbidities and previous healthcare exposures. Its association with antibiotic usage and hospital acquired bacterial infections should lead to strengthen antimicrobial stewardship programmes and infection prevention and control activities.

11.
JAMA Intern Med ; 181(1): 24-31, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-880239

ABSTRACT

Importance: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is threatening billions of people worldwide. Tocilizumab has shown promising results in retrospective studies in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia with a good safety profile. Objective: To evaluate the effect of early tocilizumab administration vs standard therapy in preventing clinical worsening in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia. Design, Setting, and Participants: Prospective, open-label, randomized clinical trial that randomized patients hospitalized between March 31 and June 11, 2020, with COVID-19 pneumonia to receive tocilizumab or standard of care in 24 hospitals in Italy. Cases of COVID-19 were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction method with nasopharyngeal swab. Eligibility criteria included COVID-19 pneumonia documented by radiologic imaging, partial pressure of arterial oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen (Pao2/Fio2) ratio between 200 and 300 mm Hg, and an inflammatory phenotype defined by fever and elevated C-reactive protein. Interventions: Patients in the experimental arm received intravenous tocilizumab within 8 hours from randomization (8 mg/kg up to a maximum of 800 mg), followed by a second dose after 12 hours. Patients in the control arm received supportive care following the protocols of each clinical center until clinical worsening and then could receive tocilizumab as a rescue therapy. Main Outcome and Measures: The primary composite outcome was defined as entry into the intensive care unit with invasive mechanical ventilation, death from all causes, or clinical aggravation documented by the finding of a Pao2/Fio2 ratio less than 150 mm Hg, whichever came first. Results: A total of 126 patients were randomized (60 to the tocilizumab group; 66 to the control group). The median (interquartile range) age was 60.0 (53.0-72.0) years, and the majority of patients were male (77 of 126, 61.1%). Three patients withdrew from the study, leaving 123 patients available for the intention-to-treat analyses. Seventeen patients of 60 (28.3%) in the tocilizumab arm and 17 of 63 (27.0%) in the standard care group showed clinical worsening within 14 days since randomization (rate ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.59-1.86). Two patients in the experimental group and 1 in the control group died before 30 days from randomization, and 6 and 5 patients were intubated in the 2 groups, respectively. The trial was prematurely interrupted after an interim analysis for futility. Conclusions and Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial of hospitalized adult patients with COVID-19 pneumonia and Pao2/Fio2 ratio between 200 and 300 mm Hg who received tocilizumab, no benefit on disease progression was observed compared with standard care. Further blinded, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm the results and to evaluate possible applications of tocilizumab in different stages of the disease. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04346355; EudraCT Identifier: 2020-001386-37.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hospital Mortality , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Aged , Blood Gas Analysis , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Disease Progression , Early Termination of Clinical Trials , Female , Fever , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy , Male , Medical Futility , Middle Aged , Receptors, Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Respiratory Insufficiency/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 26(11): 1545-1553, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-764425

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to develop and validate a risk score to predict severe respiratory failure (SRF) among patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: We performed a multicentre cohort study among hospitalized (>24 hours) patients diagnosed with COVID-19 from 22 February to 3 April 2020, at 11 Italian hospitals. Patients were divided into derivation and validation cohorts according to random sorting of hospitals. SRF was assessed from admission to hospital discharge and was defined as: Spo2 <93% with 100% Fio2, respiratory rate >30 breaths/min or respiratory distress. Multivariable logistic regression models were built to identify predictors of SRF, ß-coefficients were used to develop a risk score. Trial Registration NCT04316949. RESULTS: We analysed 1113 patients (644 derivation, 469 validation cohort). Mean (±SD) age was 65.7 (±15) years, 704 (63.3%) were male. SRF occurred in 189/644 (29%) and 187/469 (40%) patients in the derivation and validation cohorts, respectively. At multivariate analysis, risk factors for SRF in the derivation cohort assessed at hospitalization were age ≥70 years (OR 2.74; 95% CI 1.66-4.50), obesity (OR 4.62; 95% CI 2.78-7.70), body temperature ≥38°C (OR 1.73; 95% CI 1.30-2.29), respiratory rate ≥22 breaths/min (OR 3.75; 95% CI 2.01-7.01), lymphocytes ≤900 cells/mm3 (OR 2.69; 95% CI 1.60-4.51), creatinine ≥1 mg/dL (OR 2.38; 95% CI 1.59-3.56), C-reactive protein ≥10 mg/dL (OR 5.91; 95% CI 4.88-7.17) and lactate dehydrogenase ≥350 IU/L (OR 2.39; 95% CI 1.11-5.11). Assigning points to each variable, an individual risk score (PREDI-CO score) was obtained. Area under the receiver-operator curve was 0.89 (0.86-0.92). At a score of >3, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were 71.6% (65%-79%), 89.1% (86%-92%), 74% (67%-80%) and 89% (85%-91%), respectively. PREDI-CO score showed similar prognostic ability in the validation cohort: area under the receiver-operator curve 0.85 (0.81-0.88). At a score of >3, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were 80% (73%-85%), 76% (70%-81%), 69% (60%-74%) and 85% (80%-89%), respectively. CONCLUSION: PREDI-CO score can be useful to allocate resources and prioritize treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Logistic Models , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prognosis , Reproducibility of Results , Respiratory Insufficiency/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
13.
Future Oncol ; 16(20): 1425-1432, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-260506

ABSTRACT

Background: We describe cancer patients with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection treated at the Piacenza's general hospital (north Italy). Materials & methods: 25 cancer patients infected by COVID-19 admitted at the Piacenza's general hospital from 21 February to 18 March 2020. Outcome from the infection were compared with infected noncancer patients. Results: 20 patients (80%) were treated with antiviral therapy and hydroxychloroquine and five (20%) received hydroxychloroquine alone. Nine (36%) patients died, while 16 (64%) overcome the infection. In the control group the mortality was 16.13% and the overcome from infection was 83.87%. Conclusion: Mortality for COVID-19 was greater in cancer patients when compared with noncancer patients, worse prognosis for older age, women and patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone. However, the comparisons did not reach statistical significance in most cases. This could be due to the small sample size that is the main limitation of the study.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Neoplasms/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Ceftriaxone/therapeutic use , Cobicistat/therapeutic use , Darunavir/therapeutic use , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , HIV Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Humans , Italy , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Male , Methylprednisolone/therapeutic use , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Pandemics , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
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