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1.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 150(4): 796-805, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991092

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may result in a severe pneumonia associated with elevation of blood inflammatory parameters, reminiscent of cytokine storm syndrome. Steroidal anti-inflammatory therapies have shown efficacy in reducing mortality in critically ill patients; however, the mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 triggers such an extensive inflammation remain unexplained. OBJECTIVES: To dissect the mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2-associated inflammation in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we studied the role of IL-1ß, a pivotal cytokine driving inflammatory phenotypes, whose maturation and secretion are regulated by inflammasomes. METHODS: We analyzed nod-like receptor protein 3 pathway activation by means of confocal microscopy, plasma cytokine measurement, cytokine secretion following in vitro stimulation of blood circulating monocytes, and whole-blood RNA sequencing. The role of open reading frame 3a SARS-CoV-2 protein was assessed by confocal microscopy analysis following nucleofection of a monocytic cell line. RESULTS: We found that circulating monocytes from patients with COVID-19 display ASC (adaptor molecule apoptotic speck like protein-containing a CARD) specks that colocalize with nod-like receptor protein 3 inflammasome and spontaneously secrete IL-1ß in vitro. This spontaneous activation reverts following patient's treatment with the IL-1 receptor antagonist anakinra. Transfection of a monocytic cell line with cDNA coding for the ORF3a SARS-CoV-2 protein resulted in ASC speck formation. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide further evidence that IL-1ß targeting could represent an effective strategy in this disease and suggest a mechanistic explanation for the strong inflammatory manifestations associated with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Inflammasomes , Anti-Inflammatory Agents , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokines/metabolism , DNA, Complementary , Humans , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/therapeutic use , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , NLR Proteins , Receptors, Interleukin-1 , SARS-CoV-2
2.
J Clin Med ; 10(22)2021 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512410

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Italy was the first western country to face an uncontrolled outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The epidemic began in March 2020 within a context characterised by a general lack of knowledge about the disease. The first scientific evidence emerged months later, leading to treatment changes. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of these changes. METHODS: Data from a hospital in Genoa, Italy, were analysed. Patients deceased from SARS-CoV-2 infection were selected. Data were compared by dividing patients into two cohorts: "phase A" (March-May 2020) and "phase B" (October-December 2020). RESULTS: A total of 5142 patients were admitted. There were 274 SARS-CoV-2-related deaths (162 phase A and 112 phase B). No differences were observed in terms of demographics, presentation, or comorbidities. A significant increase was recorded in corticosteroid use. Mortality was 33.36% during phase A, falling to 21.71% during phase B. When subdividing the trend during the two phases by age, we found a difference in people aged 65-74 years. CONCLUSIONS: There is scarce evidence regarding treatment for SARS-CoV-2 (especially for severe infection). However, treatment changes improved the prognosis for people under the age of 75. The prognosis for older people remains poor, despite the improvements achieved.

3.
J Neurovirol ; 27(4): 662-665, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338290

ABSTRACT

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a peripheral nervous system disease caused by an immune-mediated inflammatory mechanism, usually triggered by a previous infectious process or vaccine; its typical presentation is a rapid and progressive bilateral limb hyposthenia, associated with sensory deficits and reduction or absence of osteotendinous reflexes. However, also autonomic nervous system can be involved with heart rate fluctuations, blood pressure instability, pupillary dysfunction, and urinary retention. Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, GBS has been reported among neurological complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection, although etiopathological mechanisms still have to be clearly defined. We report the case of a 79-year-old man with multiple comorbidities, including diabetes, who was affected by SARS-CoV-2 interstitial pneumonia and developed dysautonomic symptoms after 10 days of hospitalization. A neurological evaluation was performed, and GBS was considered as a possible cause of the clinical manifestations. This hypothesis was confirmed by electrophysiological study and further supported, ex-juvantibus, by the satisfactory response to immunoglobulin treatment. In our opinion, this case of pure dysautonomic presentation of GBS in a SARS-CoV-2 positive patient is relevant because it suggests to consider GBS upon SARS-CoV-2 infection even if the symptoms have uncommon characteristics (e.g., pure vegetative manifestations) and if there are confounding factors which could lead to a misdiagnosis (e.g., old age, SARS-CoV-2 infection consequences and diabetes).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/diagnosis , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/virology , Primary Dysautonomias/virology , Aged , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/complications , Humans , Male , Primary Dysautonomias/etiology , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 147(4): 1217-1225, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1111670

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: IL-1 plays a pivotal role in the inflammatory response during cytokine storm syndromes. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to analyze the efficacy and safety of early anti-inflammatory treatment (AIT) with intravenous anakinra with or without glucocorticoids in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia. METHODS: We performed a retrospective single-center cohort study of patients admitted for COVID-19 pneumonia from February 26 to April 29, 2020, to assess the efficacy of early AIT with intravenous anakinra (100 mg every 8 hours for 3 days, with tapering) alone or in combination with a glucocorticoid (intravenous methylprednisolone, 1-2 mg/kg daily, with tapering). The standard of care (SOC) treatment was hydroxychloroquine and/or azithromycin with or without antivirals and anticoagulants. Late rescue AIT with anakinra or tocilizumab was also evaluated. Treatment effect on overall survival was assessed by a propensity score-adjusted Cox model. RESULTS: A total of 128 patients were analyzed; 63 patients received early AIT (30 received anakinra alone and 33 received anakinra plus a glucocorticoid) at admission, and 65 patients did not receive early AIT and were used as controls; of the latter 65 patients, 44 received the SOC treatment alone and 21 received the SOC treatment plus late rescue AIT. After adjustment for all the unbalanced baseline covariates, early AIT reduced the hazard of mortality by 74% (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 0.26; P < .001). The effect was similar in patients receiving anakinra alone (adjusted HR = 0.28; P = .04) and anakinra plus a glucocorticoid (adjusted HR = 0.33; P = .07). Late rescue treatment did not show a significant advantage over SOC treatment alone (adjusted HR = 0.82; P = .70). CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests, on a larger series of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, the potential efficacy and safety of the early use of high doses of intravenous anakinra with or without glucocorticoids.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Glucocorticoids/administration & dosage , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cohort Studies , Disease Progression , Drug Administration Schedule , Female , Humans , Injections, Intravenous , Italy/epidemiology , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Male , Methylprednisolone/administration & dosage , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome
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