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1.
Front Immunol ; 13: 937667, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933702

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The SARS-CoV-2 infection has been advocated as an environmental trigger for autoimmune diseases, and a paradigmatic example comes from similarities between COVID-19 and the myositis-spectrum disease associated with antibodies against the melanoma differentiation antigen 5 (MDA5) in terms of clinical features, lung involvement, and immune mechanisms, particularly type I interferons (IFN). Case Report: We report a case of anti-MDA5 syndrome with skin manifestations, constitutional symptoms, and cardiomyopathy following a proven SARS-CoV-2 infection. Systematic Literature Review: We systematically searched for publications on inflammatory myositis associated with COVID-19. We describe the main clinical, immunological, and demographic features, focusing our attention on the anti-MDA5 syndrome. Discussion: MDA5 is a pattern recognition receptor essential in the immune response against viruses and this may contribute to explain the production of anti-MDA5 antibodies in some SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. The activation of MDA5 induces the synthesis of type I IFN with an antiviral role, inversely correlated with COVID-19 severity. Conversely, elevated type I IFN levels correlate with disease activity in anti-MDA5 syndrome. While recognizing this ia broad area of uncertainty, we speculate that the strong type I IFN response observed in patients with anti-MDA5 syndrome, might harbor protective effects against viral infections, including COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Melanoma , Myositis , Antigens, Differentiation , Autoimmunity , Biomarkers , Humans , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1 , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(5)2022 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917836

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the Moderna-1273 mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 in patients with immune-mediated diseases under different treatments. Anti-trimeric spike protein antibodies were tested in 287 patients with rheumatic or autoimmune diseases (10% receiving mycophenolate mofetil, 15% low-dose glucocorticoids, 21% methotrexate, and 58% biologic/targeted synthetic drugs) at baseline and in 219 (76%) 4 weeks after the second Moderna-1273 mRNA vaccine dose. Family members or caretakers were enrolled as the controls. The neutralizing serum activity against SARS-CoV-2-G614, alpha, and beta variants in vitro and the cytotoxic T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 peptides were determined in a subgroup of patients and controls. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody development, i.e., seroconversion, was observed in 69% of the mycophenolate-treated patients compared to 100% of both the patients taking other treatments and the controls (p < 0.0001). A dose-dependent impairment of the humoral response was observed in the mycophenolate-treated patients. A daily dose of >1 g at vaccination was a significant risk factor for non-seroconversion (ROC AUC 0.89, 95% CI 0.80-98, p < 0.0001). Moreover, in the seroconverted patients, a daily dose of >1 g of mycophenolate was associated with significantly lower anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers, showing slightly reduced neutralizing serum activity but a comparable cytotoxic response compared to other immunosuppressants. In non-seroconverted patients treated with mycophenolate at a daily dose of >1 g, the cytotoxic activity elicited by viral peptides was also impaired. Mycophenolate treatment affects the Moderna-1273 mRNA vaccine immunogenicity in a dose-dependent manner, independent of rheumatological disease.

3.
Curr Pharm Des ; 2022 06 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902781

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) represent a predisposing condition to COVID-19. Our prospective, observational multicenter telephone survey study aimed to investigate the prevalence, prognostic factors, and outcomes of COVID-19 in Italian ASD patients. METHOD: The study included 3,918 ASD pts (815 M, 3103 F; mean age 59±12SD years) consecutively recruited between March 2020 and May 2021 at the 36 referral centers of COVID-19 & ASD Italian Study Group. The possible development of COVID-19 was recorded by means of a telephone survey using a standardized symptom assessment questionnaire. RESULTS: ASD patients showed a significantly higher prevalence of COVID-19 (8.37% vs 6.49%; p<0.0001) but a death rate statistically comparable to the Italian general population (3.65% vs 2.95%). Among the 328 ASD patients developing COVID-19, 17% needed hospitalization, while mild-moderate manifestations were observed in 83% of cases. Moreover, 12/57 hospitalized patients died due to severe interstitial pneumonia and/or cardiovascular events; systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients showed a significantly higher COVID-19-related death rate compared to the general population (6.29% vs 2.95%; p=0.018). Major adverse prognostic factors to develop COVID-19 were: older age, male gender, SSc, pre-existing ASD-related interstitial lung involvement, and long-term steroid treatment. Of note, patients treated with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) showed a significantly lower prevalence of COVID-19 compared to those without (3.58% vs 46.99%; p=0.000), as well as the SSc patients treated with low dose aspirin (with 5.57% vs without 27.84%; p=0.000). CONCLUSION: During the first three pandemic waves, ASD patients showed a death rate comparable to the general population despite the significantly higher prevalence of COVID-19. A significantly increased COVID-19-related mortality was recorded in only SSc patients' subgroup, possibly favored by preexisting lung fibrosis. Moreover, ongoing long-term treatment with csDMARDs in ASD might usefully contribute to the generally positive outcomes of this frail patients' population.

4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(5)2022 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820449

ABSTRACT

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are safe and effective, also in individuals with allergic and immune-mediated diseases (IMDs). There are reports suggesting that vaccines may be able to trigger de-novo or exacerbate pre-existing IMDs in predisposed individuals. Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is a small-vessel vasculitis characterized by asthma, eosinophilia, and eosinophil-rich granulomatous inflammation in various tissues. We describe the case of a 63-year-old man who experienced cardiac, pulmonary, and neurological involvement one day after the administration of the booster dose of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (mRNA-1273). A diagnosis of EGPA was made and the patient was treated with high-dose steroids and cyclophosphamide, with a good clinical response. Interestingly, our patient had experienced a significant worsening of his pre-existing asthma six months earlier, just after the first two vaccine shots with the ChAdOx1 anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. It is impossible to know whether our patient would have had developed EGPA following natural SARS-CoV-2 infection or at some point in his life regardless of infectious stimuli. Nevertheless, our report may suggest that caution should be paid during the administration of additional vaccine doses in individuals who experienced an increase in IMD severity that persisted over time following previous vaccine shots.

5.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(3)2022 Mar 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742759

ABSTRACT

Short-term adverse events are common following the BNT162b2 vaccine for SARS-Cov-2 and have been possibly associated with IgG response. We aimed to determine the incidence of adverse reactions to the vaccine and the impact on IgG response. Our study included 4156 health-care professionals who received two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine 21 days apart and obtained 6113 online questionnaires inquiring about adverse events. The serum response was tested in 2765 subjects 10 days after the second dose. Adverse events, most frequently a local reaction at the site of injection, were reported by 39% of subjects. Multivariate analysis showed that female sex (odds ratio-OR-1.95; 95% confidence interval-CI-1.74-2.19; p < 0.001), younger age (OR 0.98 per year, p < 0.001), second dose of vaccine (OR 1.36, p < 0.001), and previous COVID-19 infection (OR 1.41, p < 0.001) were independently associated with adverse events. IgG response was significantly higher in subjects with adverse events (1110 AU/mL-IQR 345-1630 vs. 386 AU/mL, IQR 261-1350, p < 0.0001), and the association was more pronounced in subjects experiencing myalgia, fever, and lymphadenopathy. We demonstrate that a more pronounced IgG response is associated with specific adverse events, and these are commonly reported by health care professionals after the BNT162b2 vaccine for SARS-Cov-2.

6.
Life Sci Alliance ; 5(6)2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1689580

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 vaccination has proven effective in inducing an immune response in healthy individuals and is progressively us allowing to overcome the pandemic. Recent evidence has shown that response to vaccination in some vulnerable patients may be diminished, and it has been proposed a booster dose. We tested the kinetic of development of serum antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, their neutralizing capacity, the CD4 and CD8 IFN-γ T-cell response in 328 subjects, including 131 immunocompromised individuals (cancer, rheumatologic, and hemodialysis patients), 160 health-care workers (HCW) and 37 subjects older than 75 yr, after vaccination with two or three doses of mRNA vaccines. We stratified the patients according to the type of treatment. We found that immunocompromised patients, depending on the type of treatment, poorly respond to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines. However, an additional booster dose of vaccine induced a good immune response in almost all of the patients except those receiving anti-CD20 antibody. Similarly to HCW, previously infected and vaccinated immunocompromised individuals demonstrate a stronger SARS-CoV-2-specific immune response than those who are vaccinated without prior infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , /immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/immunology , Renal Dialysis
7.
Clin Rev Allergy Immunol ; 2022 Jan 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1653765

ABSTRACT

The cardiovascular system is frequently affected by coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), particularly in hospitalized cases, and these manifestations are associated with a worse prognosis. Most commonly, heart involvement is represented by myocarditis, myocardial infarction, and pulmonary embolism, while arrhythmias, heart valve damage, and pericarditis are less frequent. While the clinical suspicion is necessary for a prompt disease recognition, imaging allows the early detection of cardiovascular complications in patients with COVID-19. The combination of cardiothoracic approaches has been proposed for advanced imaging techniques, i.e., CT scan and MRI, for a simultaneous evaluation of cardiovascular structures, pulmonary arteries, and lung parenchyma. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the cardiovascular injury, and among these, it is established that the host immune system is responsible for the aberrant response characterizing severe COVID-19 and inducing organ-specific injury. We illustrate novel evidence to support the hypothesis that molecular mimicry may be the immunological mechanism for myocarditis in COVID-19. The present article provides a comprehensive review of the available evidence of the immune mechanisms of the COVID-19 cardiovascular injury and the imaging tools to be used in the diagnostic workup. As some of these techniques cannot be implemented for general screening of all cases, we critically discuss the need to maximize the sustainability and the specificity of the proposed tests while illustrating the findings of some paradigmatic cases.

10.
Curr Opin Rheumatol ; 33(6): 514-521, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402704

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of the present review is to analyze the link between autoimmune diseases and environmental factors, in particular severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (COVID-19) as it shares numerous features with the interstitial lung disease associated with connective tissue diseases positive for rare autoantibodies directed at highly specific autoantigens (i.e., MDA5 and RIG1) among the intracellular sensors of SARS-CoV-2 in the innate response against viruses. RECENT FINDINGS: As shown in recent publications and in our original data, specific autoantibodies may be functionally relevant to COVID-19 infection. We evaluated sera from 35 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 to identify antinuclear antibodies and autoantibodies directed against specific antigenic targets, and we identified anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) in 20/35 of patients with COVID-19 (57%), in patients with need for supplemental oxygen (90% vs. 20% in ANA-negative cases; P < 0.0001). In 7/35 COVID-19 sera, we detected anti-MJ/NXP2 (n = 3), anti-RIG1 (n = 2), anti-Scl-70/TOPO1 (n = 1), and anti-MDA5 (n = 1), overall associated with a significantly worse pulmonary involvement at lung computerized tomography scans. Eleven (31%) patients were positive for antibodies against the E2/E3 subunits of mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. SUMMARY: Viral infections such as COVID-19 are associated with ANA and autoantibodies directed toward antiviral signaling antigens in particular in patients with worse pulmonary involvement.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Connective Tissue Diseases , Dermatomyositis , Antibodies, Antinuclear , Autoantibodies , Dermatomyositis/complications , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Curr Pharm Des ; 27(41): 4245-4252, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394670

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Covid-19 pandemic may have a deleterious impact on patients with autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) due to their deep immune-system alterations. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to investigate the prevalence of symptomatic Covid-19 and its correlations with both organ involvement and ongoing treatments in a large series of Italian ASD patients during the first wave of pandemic. METHODS: Our multicenter telephone 6-week survey included 3,029 unselected ASD patients enrolled at 36 tertiary referral centers of northern, central, and southern Italian macro-areas with different diffusion of the pandemic. Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was classified as definite Covid-19 (presence of symptoms plus positive oral/nasopharyngeal swabs) or highly suspected Covid-19 (highly suggestive symptoms, in the absence of a swab testing). RESULTS: A significantly higher prevalence of definite plus highly suspected Covid-19 compared to the Italian general population was detected in the whole ASD series (p=.000), as well as in patients from the three macro-areas (p=.000 in all). Statistically higher prevalence of Covid-19 was also found in connective tissue diseases compared to chronic arthritis subgroup (p=.000) and in ASD patients with pre-existing interstitial lung involvement (p=.000). Patients treated with either conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and/or biological DMARDs showed a significantly lower prevalence of Covid-19 (p=.000 in both). Finally, scleroderma patients undergoing low-dose aspirin showed a significantly lower rate of Covid-19 compared to those without (p=0.003). CONCLUSION: The higher prevalence of Covid-19 in ASD patients, along with the significant correlations with important clinical features and therapeutic regimens, suggests the need to develop targeted prevention/management strategies during the current pandemic wave.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Rheumatic Diseases , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Lung , Pandemics , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Rheumatic Diseases/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Clin Microbiol Rev ; 34(3)2021 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166352

ABSTRACT

Several viruses target the human respiratory tract, causing different clinical manifestations spanning from mild upper airway involvement to life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). As dramatically evident in the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the clinical picture is not always easily predictable due to the combined effect of direct viral and indirect patient-specific immune-mediated damage. In this review, we discuss the main RNA (orthomyxoviruses, paramyxoviruses, and coronaviruses) and DNA (adenoviruses, herpesviruses, and bocaviruses) viruses with respiratory tropism and their mechanisms of direct and indirect cell damage. We analyze the thin line existing between a protective immune response, capable of limiting viral replication, and an unbalanced, dysregulated immune activation often leading to the most severe complication. Our comprehension of the molecular mechanisms involved is increasing and this should pave the way for the development and clinical use of new tailored immune-based antiviral strategies.


Subject(s)
DNA Viruses , Lung Injury , RNA Viruses , Respiratory Tract Infections , Virus Diseases , Adult , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Interferons/therapeutic use , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Lung Injury/diagnosis , Lung Injury/drug therapy , Lung Injury/immunology , Lung Injury/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Nat Immunol ; 22(1): 19-24, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065905

ABSTRACT

Long pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is an essential component of humoral innate immunity, involved in resistance to selected pathogens and in the regulation of inflammation1-3. The present study was designed to assess the presence and significance of PTX3 in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)4-7. RNA-sequencing analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, single-cell bioinformatics analysis and immunohistochemistry of lung autopsy samples revealed that myelomonocytic cells and endothelial cells express high levels of PTX3 in patients with COVID-19. Increased plasma concentrations of PTX3 were detected in 96 patients with COVID-19. PTX3 emerged as a strong independent predictor of 28-d mortality in multivariable analysis, better than conventional markers of inflammation, in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The prognostic significance of PTX3 abundance for mortality was confirmed in a second independent cohort (54 patients). Thus, circulating and lung myelomonocytic cells and endothelial cells are a major source of PTX3, and PTX3 plasma concentration can serve as an independent strong prognostic indicator of short-term mortality in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
C-Reactive Protein/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Macrophages/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Serum Amyloid P-Component/genetics , A549 Cells , Adult , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Cells, Cultured , Cohort Studies , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Epidemics , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Neutrophils/metabolism , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serum Amyloid P-Component/metabolism
19.
J Autoimmun ; 117: 102592, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-974183

ABSTRACT

The diverse clinical manifestations of COVID-19 is emerging as a hallmark of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. While the initial target of SARS-CoV-2 is the respiratory tract, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a complex interaction between the virus and the immune system ranging from mild to controlling responses to exuberant and dysfunctional multi-tissue directed autoimmune responses. The immune system plays a dual role in COVID-19, being implicated in both the anti-viral response and in the acute progression of the disease, with a dysregulated response represented by the marked cytokine release syndrome, macrophage activation, and systemic hyperinflammation. It has been speculated that these immunological changes may induce the loss of tolerance and/or trigger chronic inflammation. In particular, molecular mimicry, bystander activation and epitope spreading are well-established proposed mechanisms to explain this correlation with the likely contribution of HLA alleles. We performed a systematic literature review to evaluate the COVID-19-related autoimmune/rheumatic disorders reported between January and September 2020. In particular, we investigated the cases of incident hematological autoimmune manifestations, connective tissue diseases, antiphospholipid syndrome/antibodies, vasculitis, Kawasaki-like syndromes, acute arthritis, autoimmune-like skin lesions, and neurologic autoimmune conditions such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. We screened 6263 articles and report herein the findings of 382 select reports which allow us to conclude that there are 2 faces of the immune response against SARS-CoV-2, that include a benign virus controlling immune response and a many faceted range of dysregulated multi-tissue and organ directed autoimmune responses that provides a major challenge in the management of this viral disease. The number of cases for each disease varied significantly while there were no reported cases of adult onset Still disease, systemic sclerosis, or inflammatory myositis.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Janus Kinases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Chronic Disease , Humans , Immunity , Incidence , Inflammation
20.
Nat Immunol ; 22(1): 19-24, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933698

ABSTRACT

Long pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is an essential component of humoral innate immunity, involved in resistance to selected pathogens and in the regulation of inflammation1-3. The present study was designed to assess the presence and significance of PTX3 in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)4-7. RNA-sequencing analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, single-cell bioinformatics analysis and immunohistochemistry of lung autopsy samples revealed that myelomonocytic cells and endothelial cells express high levels of PTX3 in patients with COVID-19. Increased plasma concentrations of PTX3 were detected in 96 patients with COVID-19. PTX3 emerged as a strong independent predictor of 28-d mortality in multivariable analysis, better than conventional markers of inflammation, in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The prognostic significance of PTX3 abundance for mortality was confirmed in a second independent cohort (54 patients). Thus, circulating and lung myelomonocytic cells and endothelial cells are a major source of PTX3, and PTX3 plasma concentration can serve as an independent strong prognostic indicator of short-term mortality in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
C-Reactive Protein/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Macrophages/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Serum Amyloid P-Component/genetics , A549 Cells , Adult , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Cells, Cultured , Cohort Studies , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Epidemics , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Neutrophils/metabolism , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serum Amyloid P-Component/metabolism
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