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EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306387


Background: and Purpose: Acute lung injury (ALI), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pulmonary fibrosis remain major causes of morbidity, mortality and healthcare burden in the critically ill patient. There is an urgent medical need for identifying factors of susceptibility and prognosis and for designing new therapeutic tools for treating these disorders. Here, we evaluate the capacity of the immunomodulatory neuropeptide cortistatin to regulate pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis in vivo. Experimental Approach: ALI/ARDS and pulmonary fibrosis were induced experimentally in wild-type and cortistatin-deficient mice by pulmonary infusion of the bacterial endotoxin LPS or the chemotherapeutic drug bleomycin, and the histopathological signs, pulmonary leukocyte infiltration and cytokines and fibrotic markers were evaluated. Key Results: Partially-deficient mice in cortistatin showed exacerbated pulmonary damage, pulmonary inflammation, alveolar oedema and fibrosis, and subsequent increased respiratory failure and mortality when challenged to LPS or bleomycin, even at low doses. Treatment with cortistatin reversed these aggravated phenotypes and protected from progression to severe ARDS and fibrosis after high-exposition to both injury agents. Moreover, cortistatin-deficient pulmonary macrophages and fibroblasts showed exaggerated ex vivo inflammatory and fibrotic responses. The anti-fibrotic protective effect of cortistatin was also observed in experimental scleroderma, in which lack of cortistatin predisposes to develop more severe dermal lesions and associated pulmonary fibrosis. Conclusion and Implications: We identify to cortistatin as an endogenous break of pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis. Deficiency in cortistatin could be a marker of poor-prognosis in inflammatory/fibrotic pulmonary disorders. Cortistatin-based therapies emerge as attractive candidates to treat severe ALI/ARDS, including SARS-Cov-2-associated ARDS.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21251212


Data from adult studies how that COVID-19 is more severe in men than women. However, no data are available for the pediatric population. For this reason, we performed this study aiming to understand if sex influenced disease severity and outcomes in a large cohort of latin-american children with COVID-19 and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C). We found that a higher percentage of male children developed MIS-C (8.9% vs 5% in females) and died (1.2% and 0.4% in females), although on multivariate adjusted analyses the only statistically significant difference was found in need of hospitalization, with females less frequently admitted compared with boys (25.6% vs 35.4%). This data are preliminary and need further independent studies to better assess the role of sex.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20243568


BackgroundTo date, there are no comprehensive data on antibiotic use in children with COVID-19 and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C). MethodsMulticenter cohort study from 5 Latin American countries. Children 17 years of age or younger with microbiologically confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection or fulfilling MIS-C definition were included. Antibiotic prescriptions were collected and factors associated with their use were calculated. Findings990 children were included, with a median age of 3 years (interquartile range 1-9). Of these, 69 (7.0%) were diagnosed with MIS-C. The prevalence of antibiotic use was 24.5% (n = 243). MIS-C with (OR = 45.48) or without (OR = 10.35) cardiac involvement, provision of intensive care (OR = 9.60), need for hospital care (OR = 6.87), pneumonia and/or ARDS detected through chest X-rays (OR = 4.40), administration of systemic corticosteroids (OR = 4.39), oxygen support, mechanical ventilation or CPAP (OR = 2.21), pyrexia (OR = 1.84), and female sex (OR = 1.50) were independently associated with increased use of antibiotics. On the contrary, lower respiratory tract infections without radiologic evidence of pneumonia/ARDS and not requiring respiratory support (OR = 0.34) were independently associated with decreased use of antibiotics. There was significant variation in antibiotic use across the hospitals. ConclusionsOur study showed a relatively high rate of antibiotic prescriptions in children with COVID-19 and in particular in those with severe disease or MIS-C. Importantly, we found a significant variation in reasons for prescriptions of antibiotics and type of chosen therapies, as well in hospital practices, highlighting current uncertainties and lack of guidelines for the recognition of bacterial infections in children with COVID-19. Prospective studies are needed to provide better evidence on the recognition and management of bacterial infections in COVID-19 children. What is knownCOVID-19 may worsen antibiotic prescription practices What this newCOVID-19 and MIS-C children frequently received antibiotics There was a wide variation in antibiotic prescriptions among institutions, highlighting the lack of practicle guidelines in the use of antibiotics in children with COVID-19