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1.
Euro Surveill ; 28(23)2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233468

ABSTRACT

BackgroundIn 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) accelerated development of European-level severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) surveillance.AimWe aimed to establish SARI surveillance in one Irish hospital as part of a European network E-SARI-NET.MethodsWe used routine emergency department records to identify cases in one adult acute hospital. The SARI case definition was adapted from the ECDC clinical criteria for a possible COVID-19 case. Clinical data were collected using an online questionnaire. Cases were tested for SARS-CoV-2, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), including whole genome sequencing (WGS) on SARS-CoV-2 RNA-positive samples and viral characterisation/sequencing on influenza RNA-positive samples. Descriptive analysis was conducted for SARI cases hospitalised between July 2021 and April 2022.ResultsOverall, we identified 437 SARI cases, the incidence ranged from two to 28 cases per week (0.7-9.2/100,000 hospital catchment population). Of 431 cases tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, 226 (52%) were positive. Of 349 (80%) cases tested for influenza and RSV RNA, 15 (4.3%) were positive for influenza and eight (2.3%) for RSV. Using WGS, we identified Delta- and Omicron-dominant periods. The resource-intensive nature of manual clinical data collection, specimen management and laboratory supply shortages for influenza and RSV testing were challenging.ConclusionWe successfully established SARI surveillance as part of E-SARI-NET. Expansion to additional sentinel sites is planned following formal evaluation of the existing system. SARI surveillance requires multidisciplinary collaboration, automated data collection where possible, and dedicated personnel resources, including for specimen management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Pneumonia , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Respiratory Tract Infections , Adult , Humans , Infant , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Ireland/epidemiology , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sentinel Surveillance , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Hospitals , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology
2.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1166574, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239034

ABSTRACT

Background: Dysregulated immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are thought to underlie the progression of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to severe disease. We sought to determine whether early host immune-related gene expression could predict clinical progression to severe disease. Methods: We analysed the expression of 579 immunological genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells taken early after symptom onset using the NanoString nCounter and compared SARS-CoV-2 negative controls with SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects with mild (SARS+ Mild) and Moderate/Severe disease to evaluate disease outcomes. Biobanked plasma samples were also assessed for type I (IFN-α2a and IFN-ß), type II (IFN-γ) and type III (IFN-λ1) interferons (IFNs) as well as 10 additional cytokines using multiplex immunoassays. Results: We identified 19 significantly deregulated genes in 62 SARS-CoV-2 positive subject samples within 5 days of symptom onset and 58 SARS-CoV-2 negative controls and found that type I interferon (IFN) signalling (MX1, IRF7, IFITM1, IFI35, STAT2, IRF4, PML, BST2, STAT1) and genes encoding proinflammatory cytokines (TNF, TNFSF4, PTGS2 and IL1B) were upregulated in both SARS+ groups. Moreover, we found that FCER1, involved in mast cell activation, was upregulated in the SARS+ Mild group but significantly downregulated in the SARS+ Moderate/Severe group. In both SARS+ groups we discovered elevated interferon type I IFN-α2a, type II IFN and type III IFN λ1 plasma levels together with higher IL-10 and IL-6. These results indicate that those with moderate or severe disease are characterised by deficiencies in a mast cell response together with IFN hyper-responsiveness, suggesting that early host antiviral immune responses could be a cause and not a consequence of severe COVID-19. Conclusions: This study suggests that early host immune responses linking defects in mast cell activation with host interferon responses correlates with more severe outcomes in COVID-19. Further characterisation of this pathway could help inform better treatment for vulnerable individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Mast Cells , Cell Line , Cytokines , OX40 Ligand
3.
J Crohns Colitis ; 2023 Apr 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2257395

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have an attenuated response to initial COVID-19 vaccination. We sought to characterise the impact of IBD and its treatment on responses after third vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: Prospective multicentre observational study of patients with IBD (n=202) and healthy controls (HC, n=92). Serological response to vaccination was assessed by quantification of anti-spike protein (SP) immunoglobulin (Ig)G levels (anti-SPIgG) and in-vitro neutralisation of binding to Angiotensin-Converting-Enzyme (ACE2). Peripheral blood B-cell phenotype populations were assessed by flow cytometry. SARS-CoV-2 antigen specific B-cell responses were assessed in ex-vivo culture. RESULTS: Median anti-SP IgG post-third vaccination in our IBD cohort is significantly lower than HCs (7,862 versus 19,622 AU/mL, p <0.001) as is ACE2 binding inhibition (p <0.001). IBD patients previously infected with COVID-19 (30%) have similar quantitative antibody response as HCs previously infected with COVID-19 (p = 0.12). Lowest anti-SP IgG titres and neutralisation are seen in IBD patients on anti-TNF agents, without prior COVID-19 infection but all IBD patients show attenuated vaccine response compared to HCs. Patients with IBD have reduced memory B-cell populations and attenuated B-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 antigens if not previously infected with COVID-19 (p = 0.01). Higher anti-TNF drug levels and zinc levels < 65ng/ml are associated with significantly lower serologic response. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with IBD have an attenuated response to three doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Physicians should consider patients with higher anti-TNF drug levels and/or zinc deficiency as potentially at higher risk of attenuated response to vaccination.

4.
J Immunol Methods ; 510: 113345, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2004232

ABSTRACT

Measurement of quantitative antibody responses are increasingly important in evaluating the immune response to infection and vaccination. In this study we describe the validation of a quantitative, multiplex serologic assay utilising an electrochemiluminescence platform, which measures IgG against the receptor binding domain (RBD), spike S1 and S2 subunits and nucleocapsid antigens of SARS-CoV-2. The assay displayed a sensitivity ranging from 73 to 91% and specificity from 90 to 96% in detecting previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 depending on antigenic target and time since infection, and this assay highly correlated with commercially available assays. The within-plate coefficient of variation ranged from 3.8-3.9% and the inter-plate coefficient of variation from 11 to 13% for each antigen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
5.
BMC Medical Ethics Vol 22 2021, ArtID 80 ; 22, 2021.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1958263

ABSTRACT

Background: Patients with COVID-19 may feel under pressure to participate in research during the pandemic. Safeguards to protect research participants include ethical guidelines [e.g. Declaration of Helsinki and good clinical practice (GCP)], legislation to protect participants' privacy, research ethics committees (RECs) and informed consent. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) advises researchers to document compliance with these safeguards. Adherence to publication guidelines has been suboptimal in other specialty fields. The aim of this rapid review was to determine whether COVID-19 human research publications report compliance with these ethical safeguards. Methods: A rapid systematic literature review was conducted in MEDLINE using the search term 'COVID-19'. The search was performed in April 2020 with no start date and repeated to include articles published in November 2020. Filters were 'Full free text available' and 'English Language'. Two reviewers assessed article title, s and full texts. Non-COVID-19 articles and non-clinical studies were excluded. Independent reviewers conducted a second assessment of a random 20% of articles. The outcomes included reporting of compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki and GCP, REC approval, informed consent and participant privacy. Results: The searches yielded 1275 and 1942 articles of which 247 and 717 were deemed eligible, from the April search and November respectively. The majority of journals had editorial policies which purported to comply with ICMJE ethical standards. Reporting of compliance with ethical guidelines was low across all study types but was higher in the November search for case series and observational studies. Reporting of informed consent for case studies and observational studies was higher in the November search, but similar for case series. Overall, participant confidentiality was maintained but some case studies included a combination of details which would have enabled participant identification. Reporting of REC approval was higher in the November search for observational studies. Conclusions: While the majority of journal's editorial policies purported to support the ethical safeguards, many COVID-19 clinical research publications identified in this rapid review lacked documentation of these important safeguards for research participants. In order to promote public trust, ethical declarations should be included consistently. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

7.
Trials ; 23(1): 534, 2022 Jun 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1905665

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has exposed the disproportionate effects of pandemics on frontline workers and the ethical imperative to provide effective prophylaxis. We present a model for a pragmatic randomised controlled trial (RCT) that utilises Bayesian methods to rapidly determine the efficacy or futility of a prophylactic agent. METHODS: We initially planned to undertake a multicentre, phase III, parallel-group, open-label RCT, to determine if hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) taken once a week was effective in preventing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in healthcare workers (HCW) aged ≥ 18 years in New Zealand (NZ) and Ireland. Participants were to be randomised 2:1 to either HCQ (800 mg stat then 400 mg weekly) or no prophylaxis. The primary endpoint was time to Nucleic Acid Amplification Test-proven SARS-CoV-2 infection. Secondary outcome variables included mortality, hospitalisation, intensive care unit admissions and length of mechanical ventilation. The trial had no fixed sample size or duration of intervention. Bayesian adaptive analyses were planned to occur fortnightly, commencing with a weakly informative prior for the no prophylaxis group hazard rate and a moderately informative prior on the intervention log hazard ratio centred on 'no effect'. Stopping for expected success would be executed if the intervention had a greater than 0.975 posterior probability of reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection by more than 10%. Final success would be declared if, after completion of 8 weeks of follow-up (reflecting the long half-life of HCQ), the prophylaxis had at least a 0.95 posterior probability of reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection by more than 10%. Futility would be declared if HCQ was shown to have less than a 0.10 posterior probability of reducing acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 infection by more than 20%. DISCUSSION: This study did not begin recruitment due to the marked reduction in COVID-19 cases in NZ and concerns regarding the efficacy and risks of HCQ treatment in COVID-19. Nonetheless, the model presented can be easily adapted for other potential prophylactic agents and pathogens, and pre-established collaborative models like this should be shared and incorporated into future pandemic preparedness planning. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The decision not to proceed with the study was made before trial registration occurred.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(4): ofac060, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1795134

ABSTRACT

Background: We aimed to describe the clinical presentation of individuals presenting with prolonged recovery from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), known as long COVID. Methods: This was an analysis within a multicenter, prospective cohort study of individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and persistent symptoms >4 weeks from onset of acute symptoms. We performed a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) on the most common self-reported symptoms and hierarchical clustering on the results of the MCA to identify symptom clusters. Results: Two hundred thirty-three individuals were included in the analysis; the median age of the cohort was 43 (interquartile range [IQR], 36-54) years, 74% were women, and 77.3% reported a mild initial illness. MCA and hierarchical clustering revealed 3 clusters. Cluster 1 had predominantly pain symptoms with a higher proportion of joint pain, myalgia, and headache; cluster 2 had a preponderance of cardiovascular symptoms with prominent chest pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations; and cluster 3 had significantly fewer symptoms than the other clusters (2 [IQR, 2-3] symptoms per individual in cluster 3 vs 6 [IQR, 5-7] and 4 [IQR, 3-5] in clusters 1 and 2, respectively; P < .001). Clusters 1 and 2 had greater functional impairment, demonstrated by significantly longer work absence, higher dyspnea scores, and lower scores in SF-36 domains of general health, physical functioning, and role limitation due to physical functioning and social functioning. Conclusions: Clusters of symptoms are evident in long COVID patients that are associated with functional impairments and may point to distinct underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease.

10.
J Crohns Colitis ; 16(9): 1354-1362, 2022 Sep 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692236

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Evidence suggests patients with inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] receiving TNF antagonists have attenuated response to vaccination against COVID-19. We sought to determine the impact of IBD and of various medications for treatment of IBD on antibody responses to vaccination against COVID-19. METHODS: Patients with IBD [n = 270] and healthy controls [HC, n = 116] were recruited prospectively, and quantitative antibody responses were assessed following COVID-19 vaccination. The impact of IBD and of medications for treatment of IBD on vaccine response rates was investigated. RESULTS: Of HC, 100% seroconverted following complete vaccination with two vaccine doses; 2% of patients with IBD failed to seroconvert. Median anti-spike protein [SP] immunoglobulin [Ig]G levels following complete vaccination in our IBD cohort was significantly lower than among HC [2613 AU/mL versus 6871 AU/mL, p ≤0.001]. A diagnosis of IBD was independently associated with lower anti-SP IgG levels [ß coefficient -0.2, p = 0.001]. Use of mRNA vaccines was independently associated with higher anti-SP IgG levels [ß coefficient 0.25, p ≤0.001]. Patients with IBD receiving TNF inhibitors had significantly lower anti-SP IgG levels [2445 AU/mL] than IBD patients not receiving TNF inhibitors [3868 AU/mL, p ≤0.001]. Patients with IBD not receiving TNF inhibitors still showed attenuated responses compared with HC [3868 AU/mL versus 8747 AU/mL, p = 0.001]. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with IBD have attenuated serological responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Use of anti-TNF therapy negatively affects anti-SP IgG levels further. Patients who do not seroconvert following vaccination are a particularly vulnerable cohort. Impaired responses to vaccination in our study highlight the importance of booster vaccination programmes for patients with IBD.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases , Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/therapeutic use , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Vaccination , Vaccines/therapeutic use
11.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0253090, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430522

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Background Population-based data on SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy and assessment of passive immunity to the neonate, is lacking. We profiled the maternal and fetal response using a combination of viral RNA from naso-pharyngeal swabs and serological assessment of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: This multicentre prospective observational study was conducted between March 24th and August 31st 2020. Two independent cohorts were established, a symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 cohort and a cohort of asymptomatic pregnant women attending two of the largest maternity hospitals in Europe. Symptomatic women were invited to provide a serum sample to assess antibody responses. Asymptomatic pregnant women provided a nasopharyngeal swab and serum sample. RT-PCR for viral RNA was performed using the Cobas SARS-CoV-2 6800 platform (Roche). Umbilical cord bloods were obtained at delivery. Maternal and fetal serological response was measured using both the Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay (Roche), Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG Assay and the IgM Architect assay. Informed written consent was obtained from all participants. RESULTS: Ten of twenty three symptomatic women had SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected on nasopharyngeal swabs. Five (5/23, 21.7%) demonstrated serological evidence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies and seven (30.4%, 7/23) were positive for IgM antibodies. In the asymptomatic cohort, the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in RNA was 0.16% (1/608). IgG SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected in 1·67% (10/598, 95% CI 0·8%-3·1%) and IgM in 3·51% (21/598, 95% CI 2·3-5·5%). Nine women had repeat testing post the baseline test. Four (4/9, 44%) remained IgM positive and one remained IgG positive. 3 IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detectable in cord bloods from babies born to five seropositive women who delivered during the study. The mean gestation at serological test was 34 weeks. The mean time between maternal serologic positivity and detection in umbilical cord samples was 28 days. CONCLUSION: Using two independent serological assays, we present a comprehensive illustration of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy, and show a low prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV2. Transplacental migration of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was identified in cord blood of women who demonstrated antenatal anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, raising the possibility of passive immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Delivery, Obstetric , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Female , Fetal Blood/metabolism , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Pregnancy , Prospective Studies
12.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 642318, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405413

ABSTRACT

Objective: We aimed to use SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests to assess the asymptomatic seroprevalence of individuals in high-risk hospital cohorts who's previous COVID-19 exposure is unknown; staff, and patients requiring haemodialysis or chemotherapy after the first wave. Methods: In a single Center, study participants had five SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests done simultaneously; one rapid diagnostic test (RDT) (Superbio Colloidal Gold IgM/IgG), and four laboratory tests (Roche Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG [RE], Abbott Architect i2000SR IgG [AAr], Abbott Alinity IgG [AAl], and Abbott Architect IgM CMIA). To determine seroprevalence, only positive test results on laboratory assay were considered true positives. Results: There were 157 participants, of whom 103 (65.6%) were female with a median age of 50 years (range 19-90). The IgG component of the RDT showed a high number of false positives (n = 18), was inferior to the laboratory assays (p < 0.001 RDT vs. AAl/AAr, p < 0.001 RDT vs. RE), and had reduced specificity (85.5% vs. AAl/AAr, 87.2% vs. RE). Sero-concordance was 97.5% between IgG laboratory assays (RE vs. AAl/AAr). Specificity of the IgM component of the RDT compared to Abbott IgM CMIA was 95.4%. Ten participants had positivity in at least one laboratory assay, seven (9.9%) of which were seen in HCWs. Two (4.1%) hematology/oncology (H/O) patients and a single (2.7%) haemodialysis (HD) were asymptomatically seropositive. Asymptomatic seroprevalence of HCWs compared to patients was not significant (p = 0.105). Conclusion: HCWs (9.9%) had higher, although non-significant asymptomatic seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies compared to high-risk patients (H/O 4.1%, HD 2.7%). An IgM/IgG rapid diagnostic test was inferior to laboratory assays. Sero-concordance of 97.5% was found between IgG laboratory assays, RE vs. AAl/AAr.

14.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(8): ofab122, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352255

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although reports suggest that most individuals with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) develop detectable antibodies postinfection, the kinetics, durability, and relative differences between immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses beyond the first few weeks after symptom onset remain poorly understood. METHODS: Within a large, well-phenotyped, diverse, prospective cohort of subjects with and without severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed infection and historical controls derived from cohorts with high prevalence of viral coinfections and samples taken during prior flu seasons, we measured SARS-CoV-2 serological responses (both IgG and IgM) using commercially available assays. We calculated sensitivity, specificity, and relationship with disease severity and mapped the kinetics of antibody responses over time using generalized additive models. RESULTS: We analyzed 1001 samples from 752 subjects, 327 with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (29.7% with severe disease) spanning a period of 90 days from symptom onset. Sensitivity was lower (44.1%-47.1%) early (<10 days) after symptom onset but increased to >80% after 10 days. IgM positivity increased earlier than IgG-targeted assays, but positivity peaked between days 32 and 38 post-onset of symptoms and declined thereafter, a dynamic that was confirmed when antibody levels were analyzed, with a more rapid decline observed with IgM. Early (<10 days) IgM but not IgG levels were significantly higher in those who subsequently developed severe disease (signal/cutoff 4.20 [0.75-17.93] vs 1.07 [0.21-5.46]; P = .048). CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that postinfectious antibody responses in those with confirmed COVID-19 begin to decline relatively early postinfection and suggests a potential role for higher IgM levels early in infection in the prediction of subsequent disease severity.

15.
JAC Antimicrob Resist ; 3(2): dlab085, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294742

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A high proportion of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 receive antibiotics despite evidence to show low levels of true bacterial coinfection. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study examining antibiotic prescribing patterns of 300 patients sequentially diagnosed with COVID-19. Patients were grouped into 3 sub-cohorts: Group 1 received no antibiotics, Group 2 received antibiotics for microbiologically confirmed infections and Group 3 was empirically treated with antibiotics for pneumonia. The primary aim was to identify factors that influenced prescription and continuation of antibiotics in Group 3. Secondary aims were to examine differences in outcomes between groups. RESULTS: In total, 292 patients were included (63 Group 1, 35 Group 2, 194 Group 3), median age was 60 years (IQR 44-76) and the majority were ethnically Irish (62%). The median duration of antibiotics was 7 days (IQR 5-10). In Group 3, factors associated with prescription IV antibiotics on admission were raised C-reactive protein (CRP) (P = 0.024), increased age (P = 0.023), higher quick SOFA (P = 0.016) score and fever >37.5 °C (P = 0.011). Factors associated with duration of antibiotic course were duration of hypoxia (P < 0.001) and maximum respiratory support requirement (P = 0.013). Twenty-one patients in Group 3 had one or more antibiotic escalation events, most (n = 139) had no escalation or de-escalation of therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Duration of hypoxia and need for respiratory support may have acted as surrogate measures of improvement where usual response measures (CRP, neutrophilia, culture clearance) were absent. Continuous review of antibiotic prescriptions should be at the forefront of clinical management of hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

16.
Trials ; 21(1): 758, 2020 Sep 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745011

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Tocilizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody which targets and inhibits interleukin-6 (IL-6) and has demonstrated efficacy in treating diseases associated with hyper-inflammation. Data are suggestive of tocilizumab as a potential treatment for patients with COVID-19 infection. The aim of this study is to determine the safety and efficacy of standard dose versus low dose tocilizumab in adults with severe, non-critical, PCR-confirmed COVID-19 infection with evidence of progressive decline in respiratory function and evolving systemic inflammation on time to intubation, non-invasive ventilation and/or all-cause mortality. TRIAL DESIGN: This trial is a phase 2, open label, two-stage, multicentre, randomised trial. PARTICIPANTS: Adult subjects with severe, non-critical, PCR-confirmed COVID-19 infection with evidence of progressive decline in respiratory function and evolving systemic inflammation requiring admission to hospital at St. Vincent's University Hospital and Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. Inclusion criteria Aged 18 years or older. Confirmed SARS-CoV2 infection (as defined by positive PCR). Evidence of hyper inflammatory state as evidenced by at least three of the following: Documented temperature >38°C in the past 48 hours, IL6 >40 pg/ml, or in its absence D-dimer >1.5 µgFEU /ml, Elevated CRP (>100mg/L) and/or a three-fold increase since presentation, Elevated ferritin X5 ULN, Elevated LDH (above the ULN), Elevated fibrinogen (above the ULN). Pulmonary infiltrates on chest imaging. Moderate to severe respiratory failure as defined by PaO2/FiO2≤300mmHg. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Intervention for participants in this trial is SOC plus Tocilizumab compared to SOC alone (comparator). For Stage 1, following randomisation, subjects will receive either (Arm 1) SOC alone or (Arm 2) SOC plus Tocilizumab (standard single dose - 8mg/kg, infused over 60 minutes. Once stage 1 has fully recruited, subsequent participants will be enrolled directly into Stage 2 and receive either (Arm 1) SOC plus Tocilizumab (standard single dose - 8mg/kg, infused over 60 minutes or (Arm 2) SOC plus Tocilizumab (standard single dose - 4mg/kg, infused over 60 minutes). MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary endpoint for this study is the time to a composite primary endpoint of progression to intubation and ventilation, non-invasive ventilation or death within 28 days post randomisation. RANDOMISATION: Eligible patients will be randomised (1:1) using a central register. Randomisation will be performed through an interactive, web-based electronic data capturing database. In stage 1, eligible participants will be randomised (1:1) to (Arm 1) SOC alone or to (Arm 2) SOC with single dose (8mg/kg, maximum 800mg) intravenous tocilizumab infused over 60 minutes. In stage 2, eligible participants will be randomised (1:1) to receive either (Arm 1) single, standard dose (8mg/kg, maximum 800mg) intravenous tocilizumab infused over 60 minutes or (Arm 2) reduced dose (4mg/kg, maximum 800mg) intravenous tocilizumab infused over 60 minutes. BLINDING: This study is open label. The study will not be blinded to investigators, subjects, or medical or nursing staff. The trial statistician will be blinded for data analysis and will be kept unaware of treatment group assignments. To facilitate this, the randomisation schedule will be drawn up by an independent statistician and objective criteria were defined for the primary outcome to minimize potential bias. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED: In stage 1, 90 subjects will be randomised 1:1, 45 to SOC and 45 subjects to SOC plus Tocilizumab (8mg/kg, infused over 60 minutes). In stage 2, sample size calculation for the dose evaluation stage will use data generated from stage 1 using the same primary endpoint as in stage 1. TRIAL STATUS: The COVIRL002 trial (Protocol version 1.4, 13th May 2020) commenced in May 2020 at St. Vincent's University Hospital and Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. Recruitment is proceeding with the aim to achieve the target sample size on or before April 2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: COVIRL002 was registered 25 June 2020 under EudraCT number: 2020-001767-86 and Protocol identification: UCDCRC/20/02. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol for COVIRL002 is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2).


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/adverse effects , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Progression , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Intubation, Intratracheal , Ireland , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , COVID-19 Drug Treatment
17.
HRB Open Res ; 3:22-22, 2020.
Article | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-732657

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus, designated SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for a global pandemic in 2020. Public interest in this disease has led to the publication of thousands of articles in the medical literature in a very short timeframe. It is imperative that medical research into COVID-19 is conducted quickly and safely, and that due reference is given to the ethical considerations enshrined in the ICH GCP guidelines, according to the Declaration of Helsinki. In order to review the reporting of ethical considerations in these papers, we hereby propose a protocol for a systematic review of COVID-19 papers up to April 14 th 2020. The search criteria proposed for the review are based upon what would be a reasonable search conducted by a lay member of the public with access to PubMed.gov. It is proposed to publish the findings of the review with a summary of the institutional Research Ethics Committee response to the challenges of reviewing and approving clinical research proposals in the time of a pandemic.

18.
HRB Open Res ; 3: 22, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-729778

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus, designated SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for a global pandemic in 2020. Public interest in this disease has led to the publication of thousands of articles in the medical literature in a very short timeframe. It is imperative that medical research into COVID-19 is conducted quickly and safely, and that due reference is given to the ethical considerations enshrined in the ICH GCP guidelines, according to the Declaration of Helsinki. In order to review the reporting of ethical considerations in these papers, we hereby propose a protocol for a systematic review of COVID-19 papers up to April 14 th 2020. The search criteria proposed for the review are based upon what would be a reasonable search conducted by a lay member of the public with access to PubMed.gov. Institutional Research Ethics Committees (RECs) face significant challenges in providing thorough and timely ethical review during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is proposed to publish the findings of this rapid review along with a summary of an institutional REC response to the challenges of reviewing and approving clinical research proposals in the time of a pandemic.

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