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1.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1940223

ABSTRACT

IgM memory B cells, are a peculiar subset of memory B cells, which probably originates in the spleen and outside germinal centers and provide a rapid line of defence against mucosal infections. Their role in counteracting COVID-19 is still elusive but, recent evidence, mainly boosted by studies on spleen function/involvement in COVID-19, seems to support the notion that this subset of memory B cells could exert a protective role against this virus, along with other coronaviruses, particularly in the acute setting of the infection, as outlined by worst clinical outcomes observed in unvaccinated patients with impaired IgM B memory response and spleen function. Herein we critically summarise the current landscape of studies on IgM memory B cells, focusing on the clinical impact of their depletion, by comparing the COVID-19-related splenic dysfunction with other hypo- and asplenic conditions and by adding recent data on follow-up studies and postulate a mechanistic explanation for their reduced numbers. The early detection of an impaired IgM memory B cell response in patients with COVID-19 may contribute to their improved care through different strategies, such as through tailored vaccine strategies, prompt hospital admission and/or administration of anti-infective treatments, thus resulting in an better prognosis, although at present management algorithms are still unavailable. Moreover, further studies with longer follow-up are needed to assess the evolution of COVID-19-associated/exacerbated immune deficit.

2.
Expert Rev Clin Immunol ; : 1-11, 2022 Jul 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931586

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Chronic urticaria (CU) appears with daily or intermittent/recurrent wheals with/without angioedema for more than six weeks. When no specific eliciting factors are found, chronic urticaria is defined as spontaneous (CSU). Up to 50% of patients with CSU do not respond to therapy, leading to a prolonged disease course and the need for expensive therapies, impacting the quality of life (QoL) and healthcare resources. AREAS COVERED: Diagnosis of CSU is made when other potential causes of chronic urticaria are excluded. CSU therapy aims to achieve complete control of symptoms and normalization of QoL. Current treatment options for urticaria aim to target mast cell mediators such as histamine, or activators, such as autoantibodies. Guidelines recommend starting with second generation antihistamines (sgAHs) and adding omalizumab therapy if symptoms are not controlled. This review aims to provide a practical guide for CSU in the pediatric population. EXPERT OPINION: Treatment options for pediatric CSU are primarily based on adult data that have been extrapolated for children. Current guidelines should be reevaluated based on pediatric data, new biological treatments, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Future research is needed to investigate strategies to personalize current treatments and identify potential predictive biomarkers.

3.
Front Pediatr ; 10: 813874, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869401

ABSTRACT

Background: In recent years, lung ultrasound (LUS) has spread to emergency departments and clinical practise gaining great support, especially in time of pandemic, but only a few studies have been done on children. The aim of the present study is to compare the diagnostic accuracy of LUS (using Soldati LUS score) and that of chest X-ray (CXR) in CAP and COVID-19 pneumonia in paediatric patients. Secondary objective of the study is to examine the association between LUS score and disease severity. Finally, we describe the local epidemiology of paediatric CAP during the study period in the era of COVID-19 by comparing it with the previous 2 years. Methods: This is an observational retrospective single-centre study carried out on patients aged 18 or younger and over the month of age admitted to the Paediatric Unit of our Foundation for suspected community-acquired pneumonia or SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia during the third pandemic wave of COVID-19. Quantitative variables were elaborated with Shapiro-Wilks test or median and interquartile range (IQR). Student's t-test was used for independent data. Association between quantitative data was evaluated with Pearson correlation. ROC curve analysis was used to calculate best cut-off of LUS score in paediatric patients. Area under the ROC curve (AUC), sensibility, and specificity are also reported with 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: The diagnostic accuracy of the LUS score in pneumonia, the area underlying the ROC curve (AUC) was 0.67 (95% CI: 0.27-1) thus showing a discrete discriminatory power, with a sensitivity of 89.66% and specificity 50% setting a LUS score greater than or equal to 1 as the best cut-off. Nine patients required oxygen support and a significant statistical correlation (p = 0.0033) emerged between LUS score and oxygen therapy. The mean LUS score in patients requiring oxygen therapy was 12. RCP was positively correlated to the patient's LUS score (p = 0.0024). Conclusions: Our study has shown that LUS is a valid alternative to CXR. Our results show how LUS score can be applied effectively for the diagnosis and stratification of paediatric pneumonia.

4.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 884680, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855385

ABSTRACT

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.3389/fmed.2021.637375.].

5.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 33 Suppl 27: 105-107, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1840516

ABSTRACT

Few conflicting data are currently available on the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with autoimmune disorders. The studies performed so far are influenced, in most cases, by the treatment with immunosuppressive drugs, making it difficult to ascertain the burden of autoimmunity per se. For this reason, herein we assessed the susceptibility to COVID-19 in immunosuppressive drug-naïve patients with autoimmune diseases, such as autoimmune gastritis (AIG), celiac disease (CD), type 1 diabetes (T1D), and autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). Telephone interviews were conducted on 400 patients-100 for each group-in May 2021 by looking at the positivity of molecular nasopharyngeal swabs and/or serology for SARS-CoV-2, the need for hospitalization, the outcome, and the vaccination status. Overall, a positive COVID-19 test was reported in 33 patients (8.2%), comparable with that of the Lombardy general population (8.2%). In particular, seven patients with AIG, 9 with CD, 8 with T1D, and 9 with AITD experienced COVID-19. Only three patients required hospitalization, none died, and 235 (58.7%) were vaccinated, 43 with AIG, 47 with CD, 91 with T1D, and 54 with AITD. These results seem to suggest that autoimmunity per se does not increase the susceptibility to COVID-19. Also, COVID-19 seems to be mild in these patients, as indicated by the low hospitalization rates and adverse outcomes, although further studies are needed to better clarify this issue.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Celiac Disease , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 , Gastritis , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Thyroid Diseases , Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , Celiac Disease/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Heliyon ; 8(2): e08895, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778151

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 tide had shattered on European countries with three distinct and tough waves, from March and April, 2020; October and November, 2020 and March and April, 2021 respectively. We observed a 50% reduction in the hazard of death during both wave II and III compared with wave I (HR 0.54, 95%CI 0.39-0.74 and HR 0.57, 95%CI 0.41-0.80, respectively). Sex and age were independent predictors of death. We compare in-hospital mortality of COVID-19 patients admitted at our Referral Hospital of Northern Italy during the different waves, discuss the reasons of the observed differences and suggest approaches to the challenges ahead.

7.
J Clin Gastroenterol ; 55(10): e87-e91, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1562002

ABSTRACT

GOALS: The present survey from the Italian Society of Digestive Endoscopy (SIED-Società Italiana di Endoscopia Digestiva) was aimed at reporting infection control practice and outcomes at Digestive Endoscopy Units in a high-incidence area. BACKGROUND: Lombardy was the Italian region with the highest coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) prevalence, at the end of March 2020 accounting for 20% of all worldwide deaths. Joint Gastro-Intestinal societies released recommendations for Endoscopy Units to reduce the risk of the contagion. However, there are few data from high-prevalence areas on adherence to these recommendations and on their efficacy. METHODS: A survey was designed by the Lombardy section of SIED to analyze (a) changes in activity and organization, (b) adherence to recommendations, (c) rate of health care professionals' (HCP) infection during the COVID-19 outbreak. RESULTS: In total, 35/61 invited centers (57.4%) participated; most modified activities were according to recommendations and had filtering face piece 2/filtering face piece 3 and water-repellent gowns available, but few had negative-pressure rooms or provided telephonic follow-up; 15% of HCPs called in sick and 6% had confirmed COVID-19. There was a trend (P=0.07) toward different confirmed COVID-19 rates among endoscopists (7.9%), nurses (6.6%), intermediate-care technicians (3.4%), and administrative personnel (2.2%). There was no correlation between the rate of sick HCPs and COVID-19 incidence in the provinces and personal protective equipment availability and use, whereas an inverse correlation with hospital volume was found. CONCLUSIONS: Adherence to recommendations was rather good, though a minority were able to follow all recommendations. Confirmed COVID-19 seemed higher among endoscopists and nurses, suggesting that activities in the endoscopy rooms are at considerable viral spread risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Humans , Infection Control , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Ultrasound Med ; 2021 Dec 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549272

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Worldwide, lung ultrasound (LUS) was utilized to assess coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Often, imaging protocols were however defined arbitrarily and not following an evidence-based approach. Moreover, extensive studies on LUS in post-COVID-19 patients are currently lacking. This study analyses the impact of different LUS imaging protocols on the evaluation of COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 LUS data. METHODS: LUS data from 220 patients were collected, 100 COVID-19 positive and 120 post-COVID-19. A validated and standardized imaging protocol based on 14 scanning areas and a 4-level scoring system was implemented. We utilized this dataset to compare the capability of 5 imaging protocols, respectively based on 4, 8, 10, 12, and 14 scanning areas, to intercept the most important LUS findings. This to evaluate the optimal trade-off between a time-efficient imaging protocol and an accurate LUS examination. We also performed a longitudinal study, aimed at investigating how to eventually simplify the protocol during follow-up. Additionally, we present results on the agreement between AI models and LUS experts with respect to LUS data evaluation. RESULTS: A 12-areas protocol emerges as the optimal trade-off, for both COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 patients. For what concerns follow-up studies, it appears not to be possible to reduce the number of scanning areas. Finally, COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 LUS data seem to show differences capable to confuse AI models that were not trained on post-COVID-19 data, supporting the hypothesis of the existence of LUS patterns specific to post-COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSIONS: A 12-areas acquisition protocol is recommended for both COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 patients, also during follow-up.

10.
World J Gastroenterol ; 27(35): 5919-5931, 2021 Sep 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438770

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is an acute infectious disease that spreads mainly through the respiratory route. Besides interstitial pneumonia, a number of other clinical manifestations were noticed in COVID-19 patients. In particular, liver and spleen dysfunctions have been described both as complications of COVID-19 and as potential predisposing factors for severe COVID-19. Liver damage is rather common in COVID-19 patients, and it is most likely multifactorial, caused by the direct insult of SARS-CoV-2 to the liver by the cytokine storm triggered by the virus, by the use of hepatotoxic drugs, and as a consequence of hypoxia. Although generally mild, liver impairment has been found to be associated with a higher rate of intensive care unit admission. A higher mortality rate was reported among chronic liver disease patients. Instead, spleen impairment in patients with COVID-19 has been poorly described. The main anatomical changes are the architectural derangement of the B cell compartment, white pulp atrophy, and reduction or absence of lymphoid follicles, while, from a functional point of view, the IgM memory B cell pool is markedly depleted. The outcome of COVID-19 in asplenic or hyposplenic patients is yet to be defined. In this review, we will summarise the current knowledge regarding the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the liver and spleen function, as well as the outcome of patients with a pre-existent liver disease or defective spleen function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Diseases , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Spleen
11.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 36(11): 3050-3055, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280343

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Since the outbreak of COVID-19, concerns have been raised as to whether inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients under biologic therapy may be more susceptible to the disease. This study aimed to determine the incidence and outcomes of COVID-19 in a large cohort of IBD patients on biologic therapy. METHODS: This observational retrospective multicenter study collected data about COVID-19 in IBD patients on biologic therapy in Italy, between February and May 2020. The main end-points were (i) to assess both the cumulative incidence and clinical outcome of COVID-19, according to different biologic agents and (ii) to compare them with the general population and a cohort IBD patients undergoing non-biologic therapies. RESULTS: Among 1816 IBD patients, the cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was 3.9 per 1000 (7/1816) with a 57% hospitalization rate and a 29% case-fatality rate. The class of biologic agents was the only risk factor of developing COVID-19 (P = 0.01). Non-gut selective agents were associated with a lower incidence of COVID-19 cases, related symptoms, and hospitalization (P < 0.05). Compared with the general population of Lombardy, an overall lower incidence of COVID-19 was observed (3.9 vs 8.5 per 1000, P = 0.03). Compared with 565 IBD patients on non-biologic therapies, a lower rate of COVID-19 symptoms was observed in our cohort (7.5% vs 18%, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Compared with the general population, IBD patients on biologic therapy are not exposed to a higher risk of COVID-19. Non-gut selective agents are associated with a lower incidence of symptomatic disease, supporting the decision of maintaining the ongoing treatment.


Subject(s)
Biological Factors/administration & dosage , Biological Therapy/adverse effects , COVID-19/epidemiology , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/drug therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , Colitis , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
15.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 637375, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231349

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a frequent, life-threatening COVID-19 complication, whose diagnosis can be challenging because of its non-specific symptoms. There are no studies assessing the impact of diagnostic delay on COVID-19 related PE. The aim of our exploratory study was to assess the diagnostic delay of PE in COVID-19 patients, and to identify potential associations between patient- or physician-related variables and the delay. This is a single-center observational retrospective study that included 29 consecutive COVID-19 patients admitted to the San Matteo Hospital Foundation between February and May 2020, with a diagnosis of PE, and a control population of 23 non-COVID-19 patients admitted at our hospital during the same time lapse in 2019. We calculated the patient-related delay (i.e., the time between the onset of the symptoms and the first medical examination), and the physician-related delay (i.e., the time between the first medical examination and the diagnosis of PE). The overall diagnostic delay significantly correlated with the physician-related delay (p < 0.0001), with the tendency to a worse outcome in long physician-related diagnostic delay (p = 0.04). The delay was related to the presence of fever, respiratory symptoms and high levels of lactate dehydrogenase. It is important to rule out PE as soon as possible, in order to start the right therapy, to improve patient's outcome and to shorten the hospitalization.

18.
BMJ Open Gastroenterol ; 8(1)2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1102175

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although evidence suggests frequent gastrointestinal (GI) involvement during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), endoscopic findings are scarcely reported. AIMS: We aimed at registering endoscopic abnormalities and potentially associated risk factors among patients with COVID-19. METHODS: All consecutive patients with COVID-19 undergoing endoscopy in 16 institutions from high-prevalence regions were enrolled. Mann-Whitney U, χ2 or Fisher's exact test were used to compare patients with major abnormalities to those with negative procedures, and multivariate logistic regression to identify independent predictors. RESULTS: Between February and May 2020, during the first pandemic outbreak with severely restricted endoscopy activity, 114 endoscopies on 106 patients with COVID-19 were performed in 16 institutions (men=70.8%, median age=68 (58-74); 33% admitted in intensive care unit; 44.4% reporting GI symptoms). 66.7% endoscopies were urgent, mainly for overt GI bleeding. 52 (45.6%) patients had major abnormalities, whereas 13 bled from previous conditions. The most prevalent upper GI abnormalities were ulcers (25.3%), erosive/ulcerative gastro-duodenopathy (16.1%) and petechial/haemorrhagic gastropathy (9.2%). Among lower GI endoscopies, 33.3% showed an ischaemic-like colitis.Receiver operating curve analysis identified D-dimers >1850 ng/mL as predicting major abnormalities. Only D-dimers >1850 ng/mL (OR=12.12 (1.69-86.87)) and presence of GI symptoms (OR=6.17 (1.13-33.67)) were independently associated with major abnormalities at multivariate analysis. CONCLUSION: In this highly selected cohort of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 requiring endoscopy, almost half showed acute mucosal injuries and more than one-third of lower GI endoscopies had features of ischaemic colitis. Among the hospitalisation-related and patient-related variables evaluated in this study, D-dimers above 1850 ng/mL was the most useful at predicting major mucosal abnormalities at endoscopy. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ClinicalTrial.gov (ID: NCT04318366).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Gastric Mucosa/pathology , Aged , COVID-19/complications , Colitis, Ischemic/etiology , Colitis, Ischemic/pathology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Duodenum/pathology , Female , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/etiology , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/pathology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Stomach Ulcer/etiology , Stomach Ulcer/pathology
19.
Neurogastroenterol Motil ; 33(3): e14104, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085279

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with gastrointestinal and hepatic manifestation in up to one fifth of patients. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiologic agent of COVID-19, infects gastrointestinal epithelial cells expressing angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors triggering a cascade of events leading to mucosal and systemic inflammation. Symptomatic patients display changes in gut microbiota composition and function which may contribute to intestinal barrier dysfunction and immune activation. Evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 infection and related mucosal inflammation impact on the function of the enteric nervous system and the activation of sensory fibers conveying information to the central nervous system, which, may at least in part, contribute symptom generation such as vomiting and diarrhea described in COVID-19. Liver and pancreas dysfunctions have also been described as non-respiratory complications of COVID-19 and add further emphasis to the common view of SARS-CoV-2 infection as a systemic disease with multiorgan involvement. PURPOSE: The aim of this review was to highlight the current knowledge on the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal SARS-CoV-2 infection, including the crosstalk with the gut microbiota, the fecal-oral route of virus transmission, and the potential interaction of the virus with the enteric nervous system. We also review the current available data on gastrointestinal and liver manifestations, management, and outcomes of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/etiology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/physiopathology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/physiology , Gastrointestinal Tract/physiopathology , Animals , Diarrhea/etiology , Diarrhea/physiopathology , Diarrhea/virology , Dysbiosis/etiology , Dysbiosis/physiopathology , Dysbiosis/virology , Enteric Nervous System/physiopathology , Enteric Nervous System/virology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/virology , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Humans , Liver Diseases/etiology , Liver Diseases/physiopathology , Liver Diseases/virology , Pancreatic Diseases/etiology , Pancreatic Diseases/physiopathology , Pancreatic Diseases/virology
20.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 20836, 2020 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059918

ABSTRACT

Impaired immune responses have been hypothesised to be a possible trigger of unfavourable outcomes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We aimed to characterise IgM memory B cells in patients with COVID-19 admitted to an internal medicine ward in Northern Italy. Overall, 66 COVID-19 patients (mean age 74 ± 16.6 years; 29 females) were enrolled. Three patients (4.5%; 1 female) had been splenectomised and were excluded from further analyses. Fifty-five patients (87.3%) had IgM memory B cell depletion, and 18 (28.6%) died during hospitalisation (cumulative incidence rate 9.26/100 person-week; 5.8-14.7 95% CI). All patients who died had IgM memory B cell depletion. A superimposed infection was found in 6 patients (9.5%), all of them having IgM memory B cell depletion (cumulative incidence rate 3.08/100 person-week; 1.3-6.8 95% CI). At bivariable analyses, older age, sex, number of comorbidities, and peripheral blood lymphocyte count < 1500/µl were not correlated with IgM memory B cell depletion. A discrete-to-marked reduction of the B-cell compartment was also noticed in autoptic spleen specimens of two COVID-19 patients. We conclude that IgM memory B cells are commonly depleted in COVID-19 patients and this correlates with increased mortality and superimposed infections.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/cytology , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Lymphocyte Depletion , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , B-Lymphocyte Subsets/cytology , B-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Longitudinal Studies , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spleen/cytology , Spleen/immunology
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