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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 13308, 2021 06 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281741

ABSTRACT

Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in COVID-19 patients but the nature of the gut immune response to SARS-CoV-2 remains poorly characterized, partly due to the difficulty of obtaining biopsy specimens from infected individuals. In lieu of tissue samples, we measured cytokines, inflammatory markers, viral RNA, microbiome composition, and antibody responses in stool samples from a cohort of 44 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in stool of 41% of patients and more frequently in patients with diarrhea. Patients who survived had lower fecal viral RNA than those who died. Strains isolated from stool and nasopharynx of an individual were the same. Compared to uninfected controls, COVID-19 patients had higher fecal levels of IL-8 and lower levels of fecal IL-10. Stool IL-23 was higher in patients with more severe COVID-19 disease, and we found evidence of intestinal virus-specific IgA responses associated with more severe disease. We provide evidence for an ongoing humeral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in the gastrointestinal tract, but little evidence of overt inflammation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Feces , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Aged , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cohort Studies , Cytokines/metabolism , Feces/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , New York City/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
2.
Am J Gastroenterol ; 116(9): 1876-1884, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278761

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Gastroenterologists at all levels of practice benefit from formal mentoring. Much of the current literature on mentoring in gastroenterology is based on expert opinion rather than data. In this study, we aimed to identify gender-related barriers to successful mentoring relationships from the mentor and mentee perspectives. METHODS: A voluntary, web-based survey was distributed to physicians at 20 academic institutions across the United States. Overall, 796 gastroenterology fellows and faculty received the survey link, with 334 physicians responding to the survey (42% response rate), of whom 299 (90%; 129 women and 170 men) completed mentorship questions and were included in analysis. RESULTS: Responses of women and men were compared. Compared with men, more women preferred a mentor of the same gender (38.6% women vs 4.2% men, P < 0.0001) but less often had one (45.5% vs 70.2%, P < 0.0001). Women also reported having more difficulty finding a mentor (44.4% vs 16.0%, P < 0.0001) and more often cited inability to identify a mentor of the same gender as a contributing factor (12.8% vs 0.9%, P = 0.0004). More women mentors felt comfortable advising women mentees about work-life balance (88.3% vs 63.8%, P = 0.0005). Nonetheless, fewer women considered themselves effective mentors (33.3% vs 52.6%, P = 0.03). More women reported feeling pressured to mentor because of their gender (39.5% vs 0.9% of men, P < 0.0001). Despite no gender differences, one-third of respondents reported negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their ability to mentor and be mentored. DISCUSSION: Inequities exist in the experiences of women mentees and mentors in gastroenterology, which may affect career advancement and job satisfaction.


Subject(s)
Clinical Clerkship , Gastroenterology/education , Gender Equity , Mentoring , Adult , Female , Humans , Internet , Male , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , Universities
4.
Gastroenterology ; 160(7): 2435-2450.e34, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116737

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Given that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a prominent extrapulmonary manifestation of COVID-19, we investigated intestinal infection with SARS-CoV-2, its effect on pathogenesis, and clinical significance. METHODS: Human intestinal biopsy tissues were obtained from patients with COVID-19 (n = 19) and uninfected control individuals (n = 10) for microscopic examination, cytometry by time of flight analyses, and RNA sequencing. Additionally, disease severity and mortality were examined in patients with and without GI symptoms in 2 large, independent cohorts of hospitalized patients in the United States (N = 634) and Europe (N = 287) using multivariate logistic regressions. RESULTS: COVID-19 case patients and control individuals in the biopsy cohort were comparable for age, sex, rates of hospitalization, and relevant comorbid conditions. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in small intestinal epithelial cells by immunofluorescence staining or electron microscopy in 15 of 17 patients studied. High-dimensional analyses of GI tissues showed low levels of inflammation, including down-regulation of key inflammatory genes including IFNG, CXCL8, CXCL2, and IL1B and reduced frequencies of proinflammatory dendritic cells compared with control individuals. Consistent with these findings, we found a significant reduction in disease severity and mortality in patients presenting with GI symptoms that was independent of sex, age, and comorbid illnesses and despite similar nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 viral loads. Furthermore, there was reduced levels of key inflammatory proteins in circulation in patients with GI symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: These data highlight the absence of a proinflammatory response in the GI tract despite detection of SARS-CoV-2. In parallel, reduced mortality in patients with COVID-19 presenting with GI symptoms was observed. A potential role of the GI tract in attenuating SARS-CoV-2-associated inflammation needs to be further examined.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/virology , Immunity, Mucosal , Intestinal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Case-Control Studies , Cells, Cultured , Cytokines/blood , Female , Gastrointestinal Diseases/diagnosis , Gastrointestinal Diseases/immunology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/mortality , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Intestinal Mucosa/immunology , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , New York City , Prognosis , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Load
6.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 19(7): 1355-1365.e4, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1071144

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The prevalence and significance of digestive manifestations in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remain uncertain. We aimed to assess the prevalence, spectrum, severity, and significance of digestive manifestations in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. METHODS: Consecutive patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were identified across a geographically diverse alliance of medical centers in North America. Data pertaining to baseline characteristics, symptomatology, laboratory assessment, imaging, and endoscopic findings from the time of symptom onset until discharge or death were abstracted manually from electronic health records to characterize the prevalence, spectrum, and severity of digestive manifestations. Regression analyses were performed to evaluate the association between digestive manifestations and severe outcomes related to COVID-19. RESULTS: A total of 1992 patients across 36 centers met eligibility criteria and were included. Overall, 53% of patients experienced at least 1 gastrointestinal symptom at any time during their illness, most commonly diarrhea (34%), nausea (27%), vomiting (16%), and abdominal pain (11%). In 74% of cases, gastrointestinal symptoms were judged to be mild. In total, 35% of patients developed an abnormal alanine aminotransferase or total bilirubin level; these were increased to less than 5 times the upper limit of normal in 77% of cases. After adjusting for potential confounders, the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms at any time (odds ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.76-1.15) or liver test abnormalities on admission (odds ratio, 1.31; 95% CI, 0.80-2.12) were not associated independently with mechanical ventilation or death. CONCLUSIONS: Among patients hospitalized with COVID-19, gastrointestinal symptoms and liver test abnormalities were common, but the majority were mild and their presence was not associated with a more severe clinical course.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Diseases/virology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , North America , Young Adult
7.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(1): e2035699, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1052808

ABSTRACT

Importance: Although health care workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of acquiring coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is unclear whether they are at risk of poorer outcomes. Objective: To evaluate the association between HCW status and outcomes among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective, observational cohort study included consecutive adult patients hospitalized with a diagnosis of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 across 36 North American centers from April 15 to June 5, 2020. Data were collected from 1992 patients. Data were analyzed from September 10 to October 1, 2020. Exposures: Data on patient baseline characteristics, comorbidities, presenting symptoms, treatments, and outcomes were collected, including HCW status. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was a requirement for mechanical ventilation or death. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to yield adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% CIs for the association between HCW status and COVID-19-related outcomes in a 3:1 propensity score-matched cohort, adjusting for residual confounding after matching. Results: In total, 1790 patients were included, comprising 127 HCWs and 1663 non-HCWs. After 3:1 propensity score matching, 122 HCWs were matched to 366 non-HCWs. Women comprised 71 (58.2%) of matched HCWs and 214 (58.5%) of matched non-HCWs. Matched HCWs had a mean (SD) age of 52 (13) years, whereas matched non-HCWs had a mean (SD) age of 57 (17) years. In the matched cohort, the odds of the primary outcome, mechanical ventilation or death, were not significantly different for HCWs compared with non-HCWs (AOR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.34-1.04). The HCWs were less likely to require admission to an intensive care unit (AOR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.34-0.92) and were also less likely to require an admission of 7 days or longer (AOR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.34-0.83). There were no differences between matched HCWs and non-HCWs in terms of mechanical ventilation (AOR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.37-1.17), death (AOR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.18-1.27), or vasopressor requirements (AOR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.37-1.24). Conclusions and Relevance: In this propensity score-matched multicenter cohort study, HCW status was not associated with poorer outcomes among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and, in fact, was associated with a shorter length of hospitalization and decreased likelihood of intensive care unit admission. Further research is needed to elucidate the proportion of HCW infections acquired in the workplace and to assess whether HCW type is associated with outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Hospitalization , Intensive Care Units , Occupational Exposure , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , North America , Odds Ratio , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vasoconstrictor Agents/therapeutic use , Workplace
8.
medRxiv ; 2020 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955724

ABSTRACT

Given that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a prominent extrapulmonary manifestation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we investigated intestinal infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its effect on disease pathogenesis. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in small intestinal enterocytes by immunofluorescence staining or electron microscopy, in 13 of 15 patients studied. High dimensional analyses of GI tissues revealed low levels of inflammation in general, including active downregulation of key inflammatory genes such as IFNG, CXCL8, CXCL2 and IL1B and reduced frequencies of proinflammatory dendritic cell subsets. To evaluate the clinical significance of these findings, examination of two large, independent cohorts of hospitalized patients in the United States and Europe revealed a significant reduction in disease severity and mortality that was independent of gender, age, and examined co-morbid illnesses. The observed mortality reduction in COVID-19 patients with GI symptoms was associated with reduced levels of key inflammatory proteins including IL-6, CXCL8, IL-17A and CCL28 in circulation but was not associated with significant differences in nasopharyngeal viral loads. These data draw attention to organ-level heterogeneity in disease pathogenesis and highlight the role of the GI tract in attenuating SARS-CoV-2-associated inflammation with related mortality benefit. ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Intestinal infection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with a mild inflammatory response and improved clinical outcomes.

9.
Dig Dis Sci ; 66(8): 2545-2554, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-758086

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly impacted the practice of endoscopy, but characteristics of COVID patients undergoing endoscopy have not been adequately described. AIMS: To compare findings, clinical outcomes, and patient characteristics of endoscopies performed during the pandemic in patients with and without COVID-19. METHODS: This was a retrospective multicenter study of adult endoscopies at six academic hospitals in New York between March 16 and April 30, 2020. Patient and procedure characteristics including age, sex, indication, findings, interventions, and outcomes were compared in patients testing positive, negative, or untested for COVID-19. RESULTS: Six hundred and five endoscopies were performed on 545 patients during the study period. There were 84 (13.9%), 255 (42.2%), and 266 (44.0%) procedures on COVID-positive, negative, and untested patients, respectively. COVID patients were more likely to undergo endoscopy for gastrointestinal bleeding or gastrostomy tube placement, and COVID patients with gastrointestinal bleeding more often required hemostatic interventions on multivariable logistic regression. COVID patients had increased length of stay, intensive care unit admission, and intubation rate. Twenty-seven of 521 patients (5.2%) with no or negative COVID testing prior to endoscopy later tested positive, a median of 13.5 days post-procedure. CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopies in COVID patients were more likely to require interventions, due either to more severe illness or a higher threshold to perform endoscopy. A significant number of patients endoscoped without testing were subsequently found to be COVID-positive. Gastroenterologists in areas affected by the pandemic must adapt to changing patterns of endoscopy practice and ensure pre-endoscopy COVID testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Endoscopy/trends , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/standards , Endoscopy/standards , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome
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