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3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329901

ABSTRACT

Background: Establishing the optimal treatment for COVID-19 patients remains challenging. Specifically, immunocompromised and pre-diseased patients are at high risk for severe disease course and face limited therapeutic options. Convalescent plasma has been considered as therapeutic approach, but reliable data are lacking, especially for high-risk patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 55 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with high risk for disease progression, primarily due to immunosuppression from cancer, solid organ transplantation, autoimmune disease, dialysis. A matched-pairs analysis (1:4) was performed with 220 patients from the Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-infected Patients (LEOSS) who were treated or not treated with convalescent plasma. Results: Both cohorts, had high mortality (UKD 41.8%, LEOSS 34.1%). A matched-pairs analysis showed no significant effect on mortality. CP administration before the formation of pulmonary infiltrates showed the lowest mortality in both cohorts (10%), whereas mortality in the complicated phase was 27.8%. CP administration during the critical phase revealed the highest mortality;UKD 60.9%, LEOSS 48.3%. Conclusion: In our cohort of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients with severe comorbidities CP did not significantly reduce mortality in a retrospective matched pairs analysis. However, our data supports the concept that a reduction in mortality is achievable when CP is administered early.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318089

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) is associated with a wide clinical spectrum of skin manifestations, including chilblain‐like, urticarial, vesicular and vasculitic lesions. Recently, delayed skin reactions following mRNA vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 have been reported. The exact pathomechanisms underlying these skin lesions remain unknown. Here, we describe eleven cases of delayed skin reactions after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination with the mRNA-1273 vaccine, discuss their transient and benign clinical courses and consider their potential pathomechanisms based on histopathological analyses. We conclude that further investigations to characterize the precise molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this rare phenomenon are warranted.

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310496

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, the pandemic infection caused by SARS-CoV-2, may take highly variable clinical courses, ranging from symptom-free and pauci-symptomatic to fatal disease. The goal of the current study was to assess the association of COVID-19 clinical courses controlled by patients’ adaptive immune responses without progression to severe disease with patients’ Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genetics, the presence or absence of near-loss-of-function delta 32 deletion mutant of C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5) and AB0 blood group antigens. We further analyzed the association of these immunogenetic background characteristics with patients’ humoral antiviral immune response patterns, assessed longitudinally. The study enrolled 157 convalescent adult patients followed up for up to 250 days. Univariate HLA analyses identified putatively protective HLA alleles (HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01, with a trend for DRB1*03:01) associated with reduced durations of disease and decreased (rather than increased) total anti-S IgG levels providing virus neutralizing capacity comparable to non-carriers. Conversely, analyses also identified HLA alleles (HLA class II DQB1*03:2 und HLA class I B*15:01) not associated with such benefit in the patient cohort of this study. Hierarchical testing by Cox regression analyses confirmed the significance of the protective effect of the HLA alleles identified (when assessed in composite) in terms of disease duration, whereas AB0 blood group antigen heterozygosity was found to be significantly associated with disease severity (rather than duration) in our cohort. A seeming association of a heterozygous CCR5 delta 32 mutation with prolonged disease duration suggested by univariate analyses was not confirmed by hierarchical multivariate testing.In conclusion, the current study shows that the presence of certain "protective" HLA alleles is of even stronger association with reduced duration of mild and moderate COVID-19 than age or any other potential risk factor assessed. Prospective studies in larger patient populations assessing the impact of HLA genetics on the capacity of mounting protective vaccination responses may be warranted.

6.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327067

ABSTRACT

Background Modification of vaccination strategies is needed to improve the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs). Methods This multicenter observational study aimed to determine antibody kinetics among 60 seropositive KTRs and analyzed the effects of the third vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in 174 previously seronegative KTRs. We investigated whether mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) dose reduction by 25-50% prior the third vaccination influences vaccination success. Results 18 of 60 (30%) seropositive KTRs became seronegative in the serological assay within six months. Loss of antibodies was predicted by low initial antibody levels (≤206.8 BAU/ml), older age, and impaired graft function. A third vaccination in previously seronegative KTRs induced seroconversion in 56 of 174 (32.1%) KTRs with median antibody levels 119 (76–353) BAU/ml and median neutralizing capacity titer of 1:10 (0– 1:40). Multivariate logistic regression revealed that initial antibody levels (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.09–1.76), graft function (OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.01–0.39), time after transplantation (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02–1.07) and MMF trough levels (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.21–0.88) correlated with seroconversion, p<0.05. After controlling for these confounders, the effect of MMF dose reduction was calculated using propensity score matching. KTRs in the MMF reduction group had significantly lower MMF serum concentrations prior to the third vaccination and were more likely to develop antibody levels ≥35.2 BAU/ml than their matched KTRs (p=0.02). Conclusions Temporary reduction in MMF dose might be a promising approach to improve the immune response in KTRs.

8.
Artif Intell Life Sci ; 1: 100020, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588542

ABSTRACT

Despite available vaccinations COVID-19 case numbers around the world are still growing, and effective medications against severe cases are lacking. In this work, we developed a machine learning model which predicts mortality for COVID-19 patients using data from the multi-center 'Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-infected patients' (LEOSS) observational study (>100 active sites in Europe, primarily in Germany), resulting into an AUC of almost 80%. We showed that molecular mechanisms related to dementia, one of the relevant predictors in our model, intersect with those associated to COVID-19. Most notably, among these molecules was tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2), a protein that has been patented as drug target in Alzheimer's Disease but also genetically associated with severe COVID-19 outcomes. We experimentally verified that anti-cancer drugs Sorafenib and Regorafenib showed a clear anti-cytopathic effect in Caco2 and VERO-E6 cells and can thus be regarded as potential treatments against COVID-19. Altogether, our work demonstrates that interpretation of machine learning based risk models can point towards drug targets and new treatment options, which are strongly needed for COVID-19.

9.
ESC Heart Fail ; 8(6): 5568-5571, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1449922

ABSTRACT

Adequate immune response to vaccination remains a challenge in patients after solid organ transplantation. We report a case of a 61-year-old male patient who received a left ventricular assist device as a bridge to transplant therapy. Three months before transplantation, he suffered mild SARS-CoV-2 infection and was successfully discharged thereafter. Eight days before his successful heart transplantation, he received mRNA BNT 162b2 vaccination. Immediately after transplantation, we detected sufficient rise of nucleocapsid and spike antibodies despite immune suppression therapy. We suspect potential booster effects of the previous SARS-CoV-2 infection giving rise to adequate immune response following single vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Transplantation , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunity , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
11.
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 107, 2021 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412355

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19, the pandemic disease caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2, may take highly variable clinical courses, ranging from symptom-free and pauci-symptomatic to fatal disease. The goal of the current study was to assess the association of COVID-19 clinical courses controlled by patients' adaptive immune responses without progression to severe disease with patients' Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genetics, AB0 blood group antigens, and the presence or absence of near-loss-of-function delta 32 deletion mutant of the C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5). PATIENT AND METHODS: An exploratory observational study including 157 adult COVID-19 convalescent patients was performed with a median follow-up of 250 days. The impact of different HLA genotypes, AB0 blood group antigens, and the CCR5 mutant CD195 were investigated for their role in the clinical course of COVID-19. In addition, this study addressed levels of severity and morbidity of COVID-19. The association of the immunogenetic background parameters were further related to patients' humoral antiviral immune response patterns by longitudinal observation. RESULTS: Univariate HLA analyses identified putatively protective HLA alleles (HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01, with a trend for DRB1*03:01). They were associated with reduced durations of disease instead decreased (rather than increased) total anti-S IgG levels. They had a higher virus neutralizing capacity compared to non-carriers. Conversely, analyses also identified HLA alleles (HLA class II DQB1*03:02 und HLA class I B*15:01) not associated with such benefit in the patient cohort of this study. Hierarchical testing by Cox regression analyses confirmed the significance of the protective effect of the HLA alleles identified (when assessed in composite) in terms of disease duration, whereas AB0 blood group antigen heterozygosity was found to be significantly associated with disease severity (rather than duration) in our cohort. A suggestive association of a heterozygous CCR5 delta 32 mutation status with prolonged disease duration was implied by univariate analyses but could not be confirmed by hierarchical multivariate testing. CONCLUSION: The current study shows that the presence of HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01 is of even stronger association with reduced disease duration in mild and moderate COVID-19 than age or any other potential risk factor assessed. Prospective studies in larger patient populations also including novel SARS-CoV-2 variants will be required to assess the impact of HLA genetics on the capacity of mounting protective vaccination responses in the future.


Subject(s)
ABO Blood-Group System/genetics , COVID-19/etiology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Receptors, CCR5/genetics , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genotype , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Morbidity , Mutation , Severity of Illness Index
12.
Front Immunol ; 12: 645989, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389177

ABSTRACT

We describe the unique disease course and cure of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a patient with SCID and graft failure. In absence of a humoral immune response, viral clearance was only achieved after transfusion of convalescent plasma. This observation underscores the necessity of the humoral immune response for SARS-CoV-2 clearance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severe Combined Immunodeficiency/complications , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Graft Rejection/complications , Graft Rejection/immunology , Graft Rejection/virology , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Severe Combined Immunodeficiency/immunology , Severe Combined Immunodeficiency/virology , Sustained Virologic Response , Viral Load , Virus Replication
14.
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 98, 2021 Aug 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371980

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with a wide clinical spectrum of skin manifestations, including urticarial, vesicular, vasculitic and chilblain-like lesions. Recently, delayed skin reactions have been reported in 1% individuals following mRNA vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. The exact pathophysiology and the risk factors still remain unclear. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 6821 employees and patients were vaccinated at our institutions between February and June 2021. Every patient received two doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine in our hospitals, and reported back in case of any side effects which were collected in our hospital managed database. RESULTS: Eleven of 6821 vaccinated patients (0.16%) developed delayed skin reactions after either the first or second dose of the mRNA-1273 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. Eight of 11 patients (73%) developed a rash after the first dose, while in 3/11 (27%), the rash occurred after the second dose. More females (9/11) were affected. Four of 11 patients required antihistamines, with two needing additional topical steroids. All the cutaneous manifestations resolved within 14 days. None of the skin reactions after the first dose of the vaccine prevented the administration of the second dose. There were no long-term cutaneous sequelae in any of the affected individuals. CONCLUSION: Our data suggests that skin reactions after the use of mRNA-1273 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 are possible, but rare. Further studies need to be done to understand the pathophysiology of these lesions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Dermatitis/etiology , Erythema/etiology , Adult , Aged , Dermatitis/drug therapy , Dermatitis/epidemiology , Erythema/drug therapy , Erythema/epidemiology , Female , Histamine Antagonists/therapeutic use , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Steroids/therapeutic use , Vaccination/adverse effects
15.
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 87, 2021 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344125

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 infection is a major threat to patients and health care providers around the world. One solution is the vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We performed a comprehensive query of the latest publications on the prevention of viral infections including the recent vaccination program and its side effects. RESULTS: The situation is evolving rapidly and there is no reasonable alternative to population-scale vaccination programs as currently enrolled. CONCLUSION: Therefore, regulatory authorities should consider supplementing their conventional mandate of post-approval pharmacovigilance, which is based on the collection, assessment, and regulatory response to emerging safety findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Informed Consent/standards , Pharmacovigilance , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/standards , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Disclosure , Humans
16.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 8: 100164, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309324

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have been introduced as a promising new therapeutic approach against SARS-CoV-2. At present, there is little experience regarding their clinical effects in patient populations underrepresented in clinical trials, e.g. immunocompromised patients. Additionally, it is not well known to what extent SARS-CoV-2 treatment with monoclonal antibodies could trigger the selection of immune escape viral variants. METHODS: After identifying immunocompromised patients with viral rebound under treatment with bamlanivimab, we characterized the SARS-CoV-2-isolates by whole genome sequencing. Viral load measurements and sequence analysis were performed consecutively before and after bamlanivimab administration. FINDINGS: After initial decrease of viral load, viral clearance was not achieved in five of six immunocompromised patients treated with bamlanivimab. Instead, viral replication increased again over the course of the following one to two weeks. In these five patients, the E484K substitution - known to confer immune escape - was detected at the time of viral rebound but not before bamlanivimab treatment. INTERPRETATION: Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 with bamlanivimab in immunocompromised patients results in the rapid development of immune escape variants in a significant proportion of cases. Given that the E484K mutation can hamper natural immunity, the effectiveness of vaccination as well as antibody-based therapies, these findings may have important implications not only for individual treatment decisions but may also pose a risk to general prevention and treatment strategies. FUNDING: All authors are employed and all expenses covered by governmental, federal state, or other publicly funded institutions.

17.
Clin Case Rep ; 9(5): e04068, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242709

ABSTRACT

This case of secondary sclerosing cholangitis (SSC-CIP) emphasizes the need to provide follow-up care for patients that have recovered from COVID-19 in order to understand the complexity of SARS-CoV-2 associated sequela.

18.
Trials ; 22(1): 343, 2021 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232435

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Currently, there are no approved treatments for early disease stages of COVID-19 and few strategies to prevent disease progression after infection with SARS-CoV-2. The objective of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma (CP) or camostat mesylate administered within 72 h of diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in adult individuals with pre-existing risk factors at higher risk of getting seriously ill with COVID-19. Camostat mesylate acts as an inhibitor of the host cell serine protease TMPRSS2 and prevents the virus from entering the cell. CP represents another antiviral strategy in terms of passive immunization. The working hypothesis to be tested in the RES-Q-HR study is that the early use of CP or camostat mesylate reduces the likelihood of disease progression to (modified) WHO stages 4b-8 in SARS-CoV-2-positive adult patients at high risk of moderate or severe COVID-19 progression. TRIAL DESIGN: This study is a 4-arm (parallel group), multicenter, randomized (2:2:1:1 ratio), partly double-blind, controlled trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma (CP) or camostat mesylate with control or placebo in adult patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection and high risk for progression to moderate/severe COVID-19. Superiority of the intervention arms will be tested. PARTICIPANTS: The trial is conducted at 10-15 tertiary care centers in Germany. Individuals aged 18 years or above with ability to provide written informed consent with SARS-CoV-2 infection, confirmed by PCR within 3 days or less before enrolment and the presence of at least one SARS-CoV-2 symptom (such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, fatigue, smell/and or taste disorder, diarrhea, abdominal symptoms, exanthema) and symptom duration of not more than 3 days. Further inclusion criteria comprise: Presence of at least one of the following criteria indicating increased risk for severe COVID-19: Age > 75 years Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and/or pulmonary fibrosis BMI > 40 kg/m2 Age > 65 years with at least one other risk factor (BMI > 35 kg/m2, coronary artery disease (CAD), chronic kidney disease (CKD) with GFR < 60 ml/min but ≥ 30 ml/min, diabetes mellitus, active tumor disease) BMI > 35 kg/m2 with at least one other risk factor (CAD, CKD with GFR < 60 ml/min but ≥ 30 ml/min, diabetes mellitus, active tumor disease) Exclusion criteria: 1. Age < 18 years 2. Unable to give informed consent 3. Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers 4. Previous transfusion reaction or other contraindication to a plasma transfusion 5. Known hypersensitivity to camostat mesylate and/or severe pancreatitis 6. Volume stress due to CP administration would be intolerable 7. Known IgA deficiency 8. Life expectancy < 6 months 9. Duration SARS-CoV-2 typical symptoms > 3 days 10. SARS-CoV-2 PCR detection older than 3 days 11. SARS-CoV-2 associated clinical condition ≥ WHO stage 3 (patients hospitalized for other reasons than COVID-19 may be included if they fulfill all inclusion and none of the exclusion criteria) 12. Previously or currently hospitalized due to SARS-CoV-2 13. Previous antiviral therapy for SARS-CoV-2 14. ALT or AST > 5 x ULN at screening 15. Liver cirrhosis > Child A (patients with Child B/C cirrhosis are excluded from the trial) 16. Chronic kidney disease with GFR < 30 ml/min 17. Concurrent or planned anticancer treatment during trial period 18. Accommodation in an institution due to legal orders (§40(4) AMG). 19. Any psycho-social condition hampering compliance with the study protocol. 20. Evidence of current drug or alcohol abuse 21. Use of other investigational treatment within 5 half-lives of enrolment is prohibited 22. Previous use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 23. Concomitant proven influenza A infection 24. Patients with organ or bone marrow transplant in the three months prior to screening visit INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Participants will be randomized to the following 4 groups: 1) Convalescent plasma (CP), 2 units at screening/baseline visit (day 0) or day 1; CP is defined by the presence of neutralizing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies with titers ≥ 1:160; individuals with body weight ≥ 150 kg will receive a third unit of plasma on day 3 2) Camostat mesylate (200 mg per capsule, one capsule taken each in the morning, afternoon and evening on days 1-7) 3) Standard of care (SOC, control for CP) 4) Placebo (identical in appearance to camostat mesylate capsules, one capsule taken each morning, afternoon and evening on days 1-7; for camostat mesylate control group) Participants will be monitored after screening/baseline on day 3, day 5, day 8, and day 14. On day 28 and day 56, telephone visits and on day 90, another outpatient visit are scheduled. Adverse events and serious adverse events will be monitored and reported until the end of the study. An independent data safety monitoring committee will review trial progression and safety. MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary endpoint of the study is the cumulative number of individuals who progress to or beyond category 4b on the modified WHO COVID-19 ordinal scale (defined as hospitalization with COVID-19 pneumonia and additional oxygen demand via nasal cannula or mask) within 28 days after randomization. RANDOMIZATION: Participants will be randomized using the Alea-Tool ( aleaclinical.com ) in a 2:2:1:1 ratio to the treatment arms (1) CP, (2) camostat mesylate, (3) standard of care (SoC), and (4) placebo matching camostat mesylate. Randomization will be stratified by study center. BLINDING (MASKING): The camostat mesylate treatment arm and the respective placebo will be blinded for participants, caregivers, and those assessing outcomes. The treatment arms convalescent plasma and standard of care will not be blinded and thus are open-labeled, unblinded. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): Overall, n = 994 participants will be randomized to the following groups: n = 331 to convalescent plasma (CP), n = 331 to camostat mesylate, n = 166 to standard of care (SoC), and n = 166 to placebo matching camostat mesylate. TRIAL STATUS: The RES-Q-HR protocol (V04F) was approved on the 18 December 2020 by the local ethics committee and by the regulatory institutions PEI/BfARM on the 2 December 2020. The trial was opened for recruitment on 26 December 2020; the first patient was enrolled on 7 January 2021 and randomized on 8 January 2021. Recruitment shall be completed by June 2021. The current protocol version RES-Q HR V05F is from 4 January 2021, which was approved on the 18 January 2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT Number 2020-004695-18 . Registered on September 29, 2020. ClinicalTrial.gov NCT04681430 . Registered on December 23, 2020, prior to the start of the enrollment (which was opened on December 26, 2020). FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol (V05F) 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)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Blood Component Transfusion , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Esters , Female , Germany , Guanidines , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mesylates , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Plasma , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Pregnancy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
19.
Flugmedizin Tropenmedizin Reisemedizin ; 27(04):163-197, 2020.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-947571

ABSTRACT

Gegenwartig werden vielfach die Regelungen zur Eindammung der SARS-CoV-2-Pandemie wieder zuruckgenommen, auch mit dem Wunsch, Urlaubsreisen als Wirtschaftsfaktor wiederzubeleben. Dabei werden Kreuzfahrten besonders kritisch beurteilt, was die Gefahrdung von Passagieren und Crew durch COVID-19 angeht. Das liegt zum einen an der relativen Enge der Unterbringung und Versorgung an Bord, zum anderen an dem unglucklichen Beispiel der Diamond Princess", der ab 03.02.2020 in Yokohama/Japan trotz COVID-19-Fallen an Bord keine Evakuierung samtlicher Passagiere gestattet wurde .

20.
Front Neurol ; 11: 574004, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-940194

ABSTRACT

Objective: The affection of both the peripheral (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS) by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been assumed to play a direct role in the respiratory failure of patients with Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) through affection of medullary cardiorespiratory centers resulting in neurological complications and sequelae. Methods: We used a multimodal electrophysiological approach combined with neuropsychological investigations to study functional alteration of both the PNS and CNS in four patients with severe COVID-19. Results: We found electrophysiological evidence for affection of both the PNS and CNS, and particularly affection of brain stem function. Furthermore, our neuropsychological investigations provide evidence of marked impairment of cognition independent of delirium, and outlasting the duration of acute infection with SARS-CoV-2. Conclusion: This case series provides first direct electrophysiological evidence for functional brain stem involvement in COVID-19 patients without evident morphological changes supporting the notion of the brain stem contributing to respiratory failure and thus promoting severe courses of the disease. Moreover, sustained neuropsychological sequelae in these patients may be of particular psychosocial and possibly also economic relevance for society.

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