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2.
Liver Int ; 2022 Jun 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2236338

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: A strategy to improve the low rate of anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine-induced immunogenicity in liver transplant recipients (LTs) is urgently needed. METHODS: We analyzed the rate of positive (≥0.8 U/ml) anti-SARS-CoV-2 receptor domain binding protein (RBD) antibody response two months after a third dose of the BNT16b2 vaccine in 107 LTs who completed the second vaccine dose seven months earlier. RESULTS: A positive anti-SARS-CoV-2-s-RBD antibody response after the third vaccine dose was detected in 98 (91.6%) LTs compared to 82 (76.6%) after the second vaccine dose (p=0.003). The median of anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibody titers increased from 22.9 U/ml six months after the second to 3500 U/ml two months after the third vaccine dose (p<0.001). Fourteen (14.3%) responder patients presented antibody titers <100 U/ml, 57 (58.2%) between 100 and 9999 U/ml and 27 (27.6%) ≥10000 U/ml. Seropositivity after the second dose was maintained after the third dose. Independent predictors of antibody response failure after the third vaccine dose were taking a higher daily dose of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF, p<0.001) and had a lower (<60 ml/min/1.73m2 ) estimated glomerular filtration rate (p=0.007). Nine (9.1%) LTs experienced symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection after the third vaccine dose. Median antibody titers were not statistically different between infected and not infected LTs (1325 vs 3515 U/ml, p=0.678). CONCLUSIONS: The third dose of the BNT16b2 vaccine increased the number of LTs who developed a positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 s-RBD antibody response. A proportion of patients remained unresponsive, mainly for modifiable factors, such the use of MMF or multiple immunosuppressants.

3.
Transpl Infect Dis ; 25(2): e14003, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2234450

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients undergoing allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (allo-SCT) have reduced responses to vaccines due to immunosuppressive status linked to GvHD prophylaxis and treatment. In our study, we compared humoral responses to anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine, and infection onset, according to patients and transplant features; we also evaluated cellular response in patients without seroconversion. METHODS: We tested antibodies titer after second and third vaccine doses. Antibodies were detected through an immune-enzymatic assay. In a patients' subgroup without seroconversion, we tested cell-mediated responses evaluating interferon-gamma release by T-lymphocytes exposed to virus spike protein. RESULTS: Seroconversion rate increased from 66% at 30 days to 81% at 90 days after the second dose; it was 97% at 150 days after the third dose. We found a significant association between seroconversion after the second dose and two variables: shorter interval between allo-SCT and vaccination; ongoing immunosuppression. Twelve of 19 patients (63%) without antibodies after the second dose did not show cellular responses. Nineteen percent of patients developed SARS-CoV-2 infection after the third dose, with favorable outcome in all cases. Patients within 12 months after allo-SCT showed a significantly higher infection risk. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that an interval shorter than 12 months between allo-SCT and first vaccine dose and/or ongoing immunosuppression were associated with humoral and cellular response deficiency after two doses. Third dose induced an increased and sustained humoral response in the majority of patients. However, patients within 1 year after allo-SCT remained at higher infection risk and may be candidate for prophylaxis with anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Antibodies, Viral , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Hematopoietic Stem Cells , RNA, Messenger
4.
J Clin Med ; 12(3)2023 Jan 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2225406

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate humoral and T-cell cellular-mediated immune response after three doses of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) under Belimumab. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 12 patients on Belimumab and 13 age-matched healthy volunteers were recruited. Patients were in remission or in low disease activity, and they were taking no corticosteroids or only low doses. None of the patients and controls had detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies due to previous exposure to the virus. All the patients received three doses of mRNA anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and the humoral and cellular-mediated response were tested 4 weeks after the second dose (T0), 6 months after the second dose (T1) and 4 weeks after the third dose (T2). Comparison with the control group was performed at time T0 (i.e., 4 weeks after the second dose). Total anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies were analyzed using a diagnostic assay, while cellular-mediated response was evaluated using the interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). RESULTS: A humoral response was documented in all the patients at T0 (median 459; IQR 225.25-758.5), but the antibody titer significantly declined from T0 to T1 (median 44.7; IQR: 30.3-202; p = 0.0066). At T2, the antibody titer significantly increased from T1 (median 2500; IQR: 2500-2500), and it was not different from T0 (respectively p < 0.0001, p = 0.66). Cellular-mediated response significantly declined from T0 to T1 (p = 0.003) but not from T0 to T2 (p = 0.3). No differences were found between patients and controls at T0 as regards both humoral and cellular responses (p = 1.0 and p = 0.09 for humoral and cellular responses, respectively). CONCLUSION: The third dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine can restore both humoral and cellular immune response in SLE patients on Belimumab.

5.
Thromb J ; 20(1): 34, 2022 Jun 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2139317

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pulmonary embolism (PE) without overt deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was common in hospitalized coronavirus-induced disease (COVID)-19 patients and represented a diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic challenge. The aim of this study was to analyze the prognostic role of PE on mortality and the preventive effect of heparin on PE and mortality in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients without overt DVT. METHODS: Data from 401 unvaccinated patients (age 68 ± 13 years, 33% females) consecutively admitted to the intensive care unit or the medical ward were included in a retrospective longitudinal study. PE was documented by computed tomography scan and DVT by compressive venous ultrasound. The effect of PE diagnosis and any heparin use on in-hospital death (primary outcome) was analyzed by a classical survival model. The preventive effect of heparin on either PE diagnosis or in-hospital death (secondary outcome) was analyzed by a multi-state model after having reclassified patients who started heparin after PE diagnosis as not treated. RESULTS: Median follow-up time was 8 days (range 1-40 days). PE cumulative incidence and in-hospital mortality were 27% and 20%, respectively. PE was predicted by increased D-dimer levels and COVID-19 severity. Independent predictors of in-hospital death were age (hazards ratio (HR) 1.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.08, p < 0.001), body mass index (HR 0.93, 95% CI 0.89-0.98, p = 0.004), COVID-19 severity (severe versus mild/moderate HR 3.67, 95% CI 1.30-10.4, p = 0.014, critical versus mild/moderate HR 12.1, 95% CI 4.57-32.2, p < 0.001), active neoplasia (HR 2.58, 95% CI 1.48-4.50, p < 0.001), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (HR 2.47; 95% CI 1.15-5.27, p = 0.020), respiratory rate (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.11, p = 0.008), heart rate (HR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.04, p < 0.001), and any heparin treatment (HR 0.35, 95% CI 0.18-0.67, p = 0.001). In the multi-state model, preventive heparin at prophylactic or intermediate/therapeutic dose, compared with no treatment, reduced PE risk and in-hospital death, but it did not influence mortality of patients with a PE diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: PE was common during the first waves pandemic in unvaccinated patients, but it was not a negative prognostic factor for in-hospital death. Heparin treatment at any dose prevented mortality independently of PE diagnosis, D-dimer levels, and disease severity.

6.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 810, 2022 Oct 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098319

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is limited information to compare the qualitative and semi-quantitative performance of rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) and serology for the assessment of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Therefore, the objective of the study was (a) to compare the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection between RDT and laboratory serology, trying to identify appropriate semi-quantitative cut-offs for RDT in relation with quantitative serology values and to (b) evaluate diagnostic accuracy of RDT compared to the NAAT gold standard in an unselected adult population. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were simultaneously measured with lateral flow immunochromatographic assays (LFA), the Cellex qSARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM Rapid Test (by capillary blood), the iFlash-SARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) (by venous blood) and the nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) in samples from in- and out-patients with confirmed, suspected and negative diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) attending Udine Hospital (Italy) (March-May 2020). Interpretation of RDT was qualitative (positive/negative) and semi-quantitative based on a chromatographic intensity scale (negative, weak positive, positive). RESULTS: Overall, 720 paired antibody measures were performed on 858 patients. The qualitative and semiquantitative agreement analysis performed in the whole sample between LFA and CLIA provided a Kendall's tau of 0.578 (p < 0.001) and of 0.623 (p < 0.001), respectively, for IgM and IgG. In patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19, accordance between LFA and CLIA was maintained as a function of time from the onset of COVID-19 disease and the severity of disease both for qualitative and semi-quantitative assessments. RDT compared to the NAAT gold standard in 858 patients showed 78.5% sensitivity (95% CI 75.1%-81.7%) and 94.1% specificity (95% CI 90.4%-96.8%), with variable accordance depending on the timing from symptom onset. CONCLUSION: The RDT used in our study can be a non-invasive and reliable alternative to serological tests and facilitate both qualitative and a semi-quantitative antibody detection in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , Immunoglobulin M , Sensitivity and Specificity , Antibodies, Viral , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoassay/methods
7.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 988686, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022786

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Stress hyperglycemia is a frequent finding in patients with COVID-19 infection and could affect the outcome of disease. Cytokines released in response to infection could have adverse effects on insulin sensitivity and pancreatic beta-cell function. The aim of the study was to examine the relationships of stress hyperglycemia with cytokines and clinical outcomes in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Methods: In a cross-sectional analysis of 150 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 infection who were included in the GIRA-COVID database, we identified patients with stress hyperglycemia by calculation of the Stress Hyperglycemia Ratio (SHR) and use of a cut-off of 1.14. Plasma levels of cytokines principally involved in COVID-19 infection-related cytokine storm were measured. Outcome variables were use of mechanical ventilation and death within 60 days from hospital admission. Results: Patients with SHR > 1.14 had significantly higher plasma insulin, HOMA-index, and levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10), interleukin-10/tumor necrosis factor-a ratio (IL-10/TNF-α), and CXC motif chemokine ligand 10 (CXCL10) than patients with SHR ≤ 1.14. IL-10, IL-10/TNF-α ratio, CXCL10, and IFN-γ were significantly and directly related with SHR in univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression models showed that IL-10, IL-10/TNF-α ratio, and CXCL10 were independently associated with SHR>1.14. In a multivariate logistic model, stress hyperglycemia predicted use of mechanical ventilation (OR 2.453; CI 1.078-6.012) and death (OR 2.281; CI 1.049-7.369) independently of diabetes and other major confounders. Conclusions: In patients hospitalized for COVID-19 infection, stress hyperglycemia is associated with worse clinical outcomes and is independently related to levels of cytokines that might impair glucose homeostasis.

8.
Respir Res ; 23(1): 221, 2022 Aug 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021292

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mid-Regional pro-Adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) is an inflammatory biomarker that improves the prognostic assessment of patients with sepsis, septic shock and organ failure. Previous studies of MR-proADM have primarily focussed on bacterial infections. A limited number of small and monocentric studies have examined MR-proADM as a prognostic factor in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, however there is need for multicenter validation. An evaluation of its utility in predicting need for hospitalisation in viral infections was also performed. METHODS: An observational retrospective analysis of 1861 patients, with SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by RT-qPCR, from 10 hospitals across Europe was performed. Biomarkers, taken upon presentation to Emergency Departments (ED), clinical scores, patient demographics and outcomes were collected. Multiclass random forest classifier models were generated as well as calculation of area under the curve analysis. The primary endpoint was hospital admission with and without death. RESULTS: Patients suitable for safe discharge from Emergency Departments could be identified through an MR-proADM value of ≤ 1.02 nmol/L in combination with a CRP (C-Reactive Protein) of ≤ 20.2 mg/L and age ≤ 64, or in combination with a SOFA (Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) score < 2 if MR-proADM was ≤ 0.83 nmol/L regardless of age. Those at an increased risk of mortality could be identified upon presentation to secondary care with an MR-proADM value of > 0.85 nmol/L, in combination with a SOFA score ≥ 2 and LDH > 720 U/L, or in combination with a CRP > 29.26 mg/L and age ≤ 64, when MR-proADM was > 1.02 nmol/L. CONCLUSIONS: This international study suggests that for patients presenting to the ED with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, MR-proADM in combination with age and CRP or with the patient's SOFA score could identify patients at low risk where outpatient treatment may be safe.


Subject(s)
Adrenomedullin , COVID-19 , Hospitalization , Adrenomedullin/analysis , Biomarkers , C-Reactive Protein , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Prognosis , Protein Precursors , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(16)2022 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987836

ABSTRACT

The persistence of long-term coronavirus-induced disease 2019 (COVID-19) sequelae demands better insights into its natural history. Therefore, it is crucial to discover the biomarkers of disease outcome to improve clinical practice. In this study, 160 COVID-19 patients were enrolled, of whom 80 had a "non-severe" and 80 had a "severe" outcome. Sera were analyzed by proximity extension assay (PEA) to assess 274 unique proteins associated with inflammation, cardiometabolic, and neurologic diseases. The main clinical and hematochemical data associated with disease outcome were grouped with serological data to form a dataset for the supervised machine learning techniques. We identified nine proteins (i.e., CD200R1, MCP1, MCP3, IL6, LTBP2, MATN3, TRANCE, α2-MRAP, and KIT) that contributed to the correct classification of COVID-19 disease severity when combined with relative neutrophil and lymphocyte counts. By analyzing PEA, clinical and hematochemical data with statistical methods that were able to handle many variables in the presence of a relatively small sample size, we identified nine potential serum biomarkers of a "severe" outcome. Most of these were confirmed by literature data. Importantly, we found three biomarkers associated with central nervous system pathologies and protective factors, which were downregulated in the most severe cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Proteomics , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Lymphocyte Count , Machine Learning
10.
Clin Nutr ESPEN ; 51: 437-444, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1936181

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Obesity has been described as a predisposing risk factor to severe forms of COVID-19, but conflicting results are emerging on its real impact on the mortality of COVID-19. We aimed to compare clinical outcomes and mortality among COVID-19 patients according to obesity, metabolic syndrome and adiposity distribution. METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational study of all consecutive adult patients with a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted to the Infectious Diseases Clinic at Udine Hospital, Italy, from January 2021 to February 2021. At admission, the study population was submitted to specific anthropometric, laboratory and bioimpedance analysis (BIA) measurements and divided into five groups according to: 1) BMI < or >30 kg/m2; 2) waist circumference (WC) < or >98 cm for women, < or >102 cm for men; 3) presence or absence of metabolic syndrome (MS); 4) visceral adipose tissue (VAT) distribution; and 5) presence or absence of sarcopenia (SP) both based on BIA. We then compared clinical outcomes (ventilatory support, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, ICU length of stay, total hospital length of stay and mortality), immune and inflammatory makers and infectious and non-infectious acute complications within the five groups. RESULTS: A total of 195 patients were enrolled in the study. The mean age of patients was 71 years (IQR 61-80) and 64.6% (126) were male. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (55.9%) and MS (55.4%). Overall mortality was 19.5%. Abdominal adiposity, measured both with WC and with BIA, and SP were significantly associated with need for increased ventilator support (p = 0.013 for WC; p = 0.037, 0.027 and 0.009 for VAT; p = 0.004 and 0.036 for FMI; and p = 0.051 for SP), but not with ICU admission (WC p = 0.627, VAT p = 0.153, FMI p = 0.519 and SP p = 0.938), length of stay (WC p = 0.345, VAT p = 0.650, FMI p = 0.159 and SP p = 0.992) and mortality (WC p = 0.277, VAT p = 0.533, FMI p = 0.957 and SP p = 0.211). Obesity and MS did not discriminate for the intensity of ventilatory outcome (p = 0.142 and p = 0.198, respectively), ICU admission (p = 0.802 and p = 0.947, respectively), length of stay (p = 0.471 and p = 0.768, respectively) and mortality (p = 0.495 and p = 0.268, respectively). We did not find significant differences in inflammatory markers and secondary complications within the five groups. CONCLUSIONS: In patients admitted with COVID-19, increased WC, visceral abdominal fat and SP are associated with higher need for ventilatory support. However, obesity, MS, SP and abdominal adiposity are not sensitive predictive factors for mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Metabolic Syndrome , Sarcopenia , Abdominal Fat , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Body Composition , Body Mass Index , Female , Humans , Male , Metabolic Syndrome/complications , Metabolic Syndrome/diagnosis , Middle Aged , Obesity/epidemiology , Obesity, Abdominal/complications , Obesity, Abdominal/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sarcopenia/complications
11.
Indian J Gastroenterol ; 41(3): 292-299, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906551

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with liver disease may be at increased risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection due to immune dysfunction. However, the risk of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection in these patients remains unknown. This study aimed to determine whether patients with liver disease are at an increased risk of nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection upon admission to the hospital for diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. METHODS: The study prospectively enrolled 143 patients who were admitted at least once to the hepatology unit at our hospital; 95 patients (66%) were admitted at least twice during the study period. History of past symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 exposure was assessed on the day before hospital admission via an interview. Patients were evaluated for active SARS-CoV-2 infection via real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) performed on nasopharyngeal swabs and tests for serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. RESULTS: None of the patients enrolled tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection by RT-PCR at the first or the second clinical evaluation. One patient who had previously received a liver transplant and who had a history of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection that occurred 4 months before hospital admission tested positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG but not IgM antibodies at each of the two hospital admissions. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our study suggest that patients with liver disease are at no increased risk of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection. These data support the policy of maintaining clinical hospital checks that will be necessary until or possibly even after the completion of the current SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Digestive System Diseases , Gastroenterology , Liver Diseases , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross Infection/diagnosis , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Liver Diseases/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(9)2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809944

ABSTRACT

The main aim of this study was to identify the most relevant cytokines which, when assessed in the earliest stages from hospital admission, may help to select COVID-19 patients with worse prognosis. A retrospective observational study was conducted in 415 COVID-19 patients (272 males; mean age 68 ± 14 years) hospitalized between May 2020 and March 2021. Within the first 72 h from hospital admission, patients were tested for a large panel of biomarkers, including C-reactive protein (CRP), Mid-regional proadrenomedullin (MR-proADM), Interferon-γ, interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-1ß, IL-8, IL-10, soluble IL2-receptor-α (sIL2Rα), IP10 and TNFα. Extensive statistical analyses were performed (correlations, t-tests, ranking tests and tree modeling). The mortality rate was 65/415 (15.7%) and a negative outcome (death and/or orotracheal intubation) affected 98/415 (23.6%) of cases. Univariate tests showed the majority of biomarkers increased in severe patients, but ranking tests helped to select the best variables to put on decisional tree modeling which identified IL-6 as the first dichotomic marker with a cut-off of 114 pg/mL. Then, a good synergy was found between IL-10, MR-proADM, sIL2Rα, IP10 and CRP in increasing the predictive value in classifying patients at risk or not for a negative outcome. In conclusion, beside IL-6, a panel of other cytokines representing the degree of immunoparalysis and the anti-inflammatory response (IP10, sIL2Rα and IL-10) showed synergic role when combined to biomarkers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction (CRP, MR-proADM) and may also better explain disease pathogenesis and suggests targeted intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adrenomedullin , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , Chemokine CXCL10 , Cytokines , Humans , Interleukin-10 , Interleukin-6 , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
13.
J Autoimmun ; 129: 102827, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783457

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate B-cell- and T-cell-mediated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination in patients with complex or rare systemic autoimmune diseases previously been treated with or under continuous treatment with B-cell-targeted therapies including rituximab (RTX) and belimumab (BEL). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-eight consecutive patients receiving RTX (n = 11) or BEL (n = 17) treatment and 13 age-/sex-matched controls (non-rheumatic healthcare personnel) were recruited. None of the patients had detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies caused by prior exposure to the virus. All the patients and controls received mRNA vaccines and were tested three to four weeks after completion of vaccination. In all the RTX patients, vaccination was started within 5 months from the last infusion, and B-cell depletion was confirmed in all but one of them. Total anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies were analyzed using a diagnostic assay, while T-cell response was evaluated using the interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). Further, SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses were employed to verify the strain-specific neutralizing capacity of the antibodies. RESULTS: Detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were documented in 1 out of the 11 RTX patients and 16 of the 17 BEL patients. The median concentration in the RTX and BEL patients was significantly lower than that in the controls (39.6 AU/ml vs. 1133 AU/ml, p = 0.002). The result of IGRA was positive in 8 of the 11 (72.7%) RTX patients and 16 of the 17 (94.1%) BEL patients, and interferon release in both the RTX and BEL patients was comparable to that in the control participants. CONCLUSION: B-cell-targeted therapies do not preclude SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, since virus-specific cellular immunity can be induced even in the absence of circulating B cells. An important finding was that lupus patients treated with BEL developed immune responses to SARS-CoV-2; this indicates retention of the immunogenicity of the COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Rituximab/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
14.
Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1755981

ABSTRACT

Objectives To describe the impact of vaccination and the role of humoral responses on post-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) syndrome one year after the onset of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Methods A prospective study. Interviews investigated post-COVID-19 syndrome 6 and 12 months after the disease onset of all adult in- and outpatients with COVID-19 attending Udine Hospital (March–May 2020). Vaccination status and two different serological assays to distinguish between response to vaccination (receptor-binding domain –RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG) and/or natural infection (non-RBD- SARS-CoV-2 IgG) were also assessed. Results 479 individuals (52.6% female, mean age 53 years) were interviewed 13.5 months (0.6 SD) after acute infection. Post-COVID-19 syndrome was observed in 47.2% (226/479) of patients after one year. There were no significant differences in the worsening of post-COVID 19 symptoms (22.7% vs 15.8%, p = 0.209) among vaccinated (n=132) and unvaccinated (n=347) patients. The presence of non-RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG induced by natural infection showed a significant association with post-COVID-19 syndrome (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.11–1.64, p = 0.003), and median non-RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG titres were significantly higher in long-haulers than in patients without symptoms 22 (IQR 9.7–37.2) vs 14.1 (IQR 5.4–31.3) kAU/L, p = 0.009) after one year. In contrast, the presence of RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG was not associated with the occurrence of post-COVID-19 syndrome (>2500 U/mL vs 0.9–2500 U/mL, OR 1.36, 95% CI 0.62–3.00, p = 0.441) and RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG titres were similar in long-haulers than in patients without symptoms (50% values > 2500 U/mL vs 55.6% values > 2500 U/mL, p = 0.451) Conclusions The SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is not associated with the emergence of post-COVID-19 symptoms over one year after acute infection. The persistence of high serological titres response induced by natural infection but not by vaccination, may play a role in long-COVID-19. Graphical Image 1

15.
Aging Clin Exp Res ; 34(4): 939-944, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748378

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The study assesses the reliability of fr-AGILE, a validated rapid tool used for the evaluation of multidimensional frailty in older adults hospitalized with COVID-19. METHODS: Two different staff members independently assessed the presence of frailty in 144 patients aged ≥ 65 years affected by COVID-19 using the fr-AGILE tool. The internal consistency of fr-AGILE was evaluated by examining the item-total correlations and the Kuder-Richardson (KR) formula. The inter-rater reliability was evaluated using linear weighted kappa. RESULTS: Multidimensional frailty severity increases with age and is associated to higher use of non-invasive ventilation (p = 0.025), total severity score on chest tomography (p = 0.001) and in-hospital mortality (p = 0.032). Fr-AGILE showed good internal consistency (KR-20 = 0.742) and excellent inter-rater reliability (weighted kappa = 0.752 and 0.878 for frailty score and frailty degree, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: fr-AGILE tool can quickly identify and quantify multidimensional frailty in hospital settings for older patient affected by COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frailty , Aged , Frail Elderly , Frailty/diagnosis , Geriatric Assessment/methods , Hospitals , Humans , Reproducibility of Results
16.
J Hepatol ; 77(1): 152-162, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1734733

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The long-term immunogenicity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in liver transplant (LT) recipients is unknown. We aimed to assess the long-term antibody response of the Pfizer-BioNTech® BNT162b2 vaccine in LT recipients compared to controls. METHODS: LT recipients underwent anti-SARS-CoV-2 anti-receptor-binding domain protein IgG (anti-RBD) and anti-nucleocapsid protein IgG antibody (anti-N) measurements at the first and 1, 4 and 6 months after the second vaccination dose. RESULTS: One hundred forty-three LT recipients and 58 controls were enrolled. At baseline, 131/143 (91.6%) LT recipients tested anti-N negative (COVID-19 naïve), and 12/143 (8.4%) tested positive (COVID-19 recovered) compared to negative controls. Among COVID-19 naïve, 22.1% were anti-RBD positives 1 month after the first vaccine dose, while 66.4%, 77%, and 78.8% were 1, 4 and 6 months following the second vaccine dose. In contrast, 100% of controls were positive at 4 months (p <0.001). The median anti-RBD titer 4 months after the second vaccine dose was significantly lower (32 U/ml) in COVID-19 naïve than in controls (852 U/ml, p <0.0001). A higher daily dose of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) (p <0.001), higher frequency of ascites (p = 0.012), and lower serum leukocyte count (p = 0.016) were independent predictors of anti-RBD negativity at 6 months. All COVID-19 recovered patients tested positive for anti-RBD at each time point. The median antibody titer was similar in those taking MMF (9,400 U/ml, 11,925 U/ml, 13,305 U/ml, and 10,095 U/ml) or not taking MMF (13,950 U/ml, 9,575 U/ml, 3,500 U/ml, 2,835 U/ml, p = NS) 3 weeks after the first and 1, 4 and 6 months after the second vaccine dose, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In COVID-19-naïve LT recipients, the immunogenicity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination was significantly lower than that in controls. MMF was the main determinant of vaccination failure in SARS-CoV-2-naïve patients. LAY SUMMARY: The immunogenicity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in liver transplant recipients is currently unknown. Herein, we show that liver transplant recipients who have not previously had COVID-19 are less likely to mount effective antibody responses to vaccination than a control population. The main determinant of vaccination failure was the use of the immunosuppressive drug mycophenolate mofetil.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Mycophenolic Acid/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients , Vaccination
17.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690219

ABSTRACT

The development of prophylactic agents against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a public health priority in the search for new surrogate markers of active virus replication. Early detection markers are needed to follow disease progression and foresee patient negativization. Subgenomic RNA transcripts (with a focus on sgN) were evaluated in oro/nasopharyngeal swabs from COVID-19-affected patients with an analysis of 315 positive samples using qPCR technology. Cut-off Cq values for sgN (Cq < 33.15) and sgE (Cq < 34.06) showed correlations to high viral loads. The specific loss of sgN in home-isolated and hospitalized COVID-19-positive patients indicated negativization of patient condition, 3-7 days from the first swab, respectively. A new detection kit for sgN, gene E, gene ORF1ab, and gene RNAse P was developed recently. In addition, in vitro studies have shown that 2'-O-methyl antisense RNA (related to the sgN sequence) can impair SARS-CoV-2 N protein synthesis, viral replication, and syncytia formation in human cells (i.e., HEK-293T cells overexpressing ACE2) upon infection with VOC Alpha (B.1.1.7)-SARS-CoV-2 variant, defining the use that this procedure might have for future therapeutic actions against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/physiology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Giant Cells/drug effects , Giant Cells/virology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Phosphoproteins/genetics , RNA, Antisense/pharmacology , RNA, Viral , Ribonuclease P/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Social Isolation , Viral Load , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects
18.
Dis Markers ; 2022: 6478434, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622116

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the beginning of the pandemic, clinicians and researchers have been searching for alternative tests to improve the screening and diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Currently, the gold standard for virus identification is the nasopharyngeal (NP) swab. Saliva samples, however, offer clear, practical, and logistical advantages but due to a lack of collection, transport, and storage solutions, high-throughput saliva-based laboratory tests are difficult to scale up as a screening or diagnostic tool. With this study, we aimed to validate an intralaboratory molecular detection method for SARS-CoV-2 on saliva samples collected in a new storage saline solution, comparing the results to NP swabs to determine the difference in sensitivity between the two tests. METHODS: In this study, 156 patients (cases) and 1005 asymptomatic subjects (controls) were enrolled and tested simultaneously for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome by RT-PCR on both NP swab and saliva samples. Saliva samples were collected in a preservative and inhibiting saline solution (Biofarma Srl). Internal method validation was performed to standardize the entire workflow for saliva samples. RESULTS: The identification of SARS-CoV-2 conducted on saliva samples showed a clinical sensitivity of 95.1% and specificity of 97.8% compared to NP swabs. The positive predictive value (PPV) was 81% while the negative predictive value (NPV) was 99.5%. Test concordance was 97.6% (Cohen's Kappa = 0.86; 95% CI 0.81-0.91). The LoD of the test was 5 viral copies for both samples. CONCLUSIONS: RT-PCR assays conducted on a stored saliva sample achieved similar performance to those on NP swabs, and this may provide a very effective tool for population screening and diagnosis. Collection of saliva in a stabilizing solution makes the test more convenient and widely available; furthermore, the denaturing properties of the solution reduce the infective risks belonging to sample manipulation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Saliva/virology , Adult , Aged , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Predictive Value of Tests , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specimen Handling/methods
20.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261229, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571989

ABSTRACT

In-depth study of the entire SARS-CoV-2 genome has uncovered many mutations, which have replaced the lineage that characterized the first wave of infections all around the world. In December 2020, the outbreak of variant of concern (VOC) 202012/01 (lineage B.1.1.7) in the United Kingdom defined a turning point during the pandemic, immediately posing a worldwide threat on the Covid-19 vaccination campaign. Here, we reported the evolution of B.1.1.7 lineage-related infections, analyzing samples collected from January 1st 2021, until April 15th 2021, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a northeastern region of Italy. A cohort of 1508 nasopharyngeal swabs was analyzed by High Resolution Melting (HRM) and 479 randomly selected samples underwent Next Generation Sequencing analysis (NGS), uncovering a steady and continuous accumulation of B.1.1.7 lineage-related specimens, joined by sporadic cases of other known lineages (i.e. harboring the Spike glycoprotein p.E484K mutation). All the SARS-CoV-2 genome has been analyzed in order to highlight all the rare mutations that may eventually result in a new variant of interest. This work suggests that a thorough monitoring of the SARS-CoV-2 genome by NGS is essential to contain any new variant that could jeopardize all the efforts that have been made so far to resolve the emergence of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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