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1.
Cell Rep ; 37(13): 110169, 2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616407

ABSTRACT

The importance of pre-existing immune responses to seasonal endemic coronaviruses (HCoVs) for the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the course of COVID-19 is the subject of an ongoing scientific debate. Recent studies postulate that immune responses to previous HCoV infections can either have a slightly protective or no effect on SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and, consequently, be neglected for COVID-19 risk stratification. Challenging this notion, we provide evidence that pre-existing, anti-nucleocapsid antibodies against endemic α-coronaviruses and S2 domain-specific anti-spike antibodies against ß-coronavirus HCoV-OC43 are elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic donors. This finding is particularly pronounced in males and in critically ill patients. Longitudinal evaluation reveals that antibody cross-reactivity or polyclonal stimulation by SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to be confounders. Thus, specific pre-existing immunity to seasonal coronaviruses may increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and predispose individuals to an adverse COVID-19 outcome, guiding risk management and supporting the development of universal coronavirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Germany , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Seasons , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
2.
Cell reports ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1565013

ABSTRACT

Wratil et al. find specific antibody responses against seasonal human coronaviruses, which cause the common cold, to be elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic blood donors. This specific immunity is likely pre-existing in patients and increases their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and severity of COVID-19.

3.
Euro Surveill ; 26(43)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547185

ABSTRACT

BackgroundIn the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, viral genomes are available at unprecedented speed, but spatio-temporal bias in genome sequence sampling precludes phylogeographical inference without additional contextual data.AimWe applied genomic epidemiology to trace SARS-CoV-2 spread on an international, national and local level, to illustrate how transmission chains can be resolved to the level of a single event and single person using integrated sequence data and spatio-temporal metadata.MethodsWe investigated 289 COVID-19 cases at a university hospital in Munich, Germany, between 29 February and 27 May 2020. Using the ARTIC protocol, we obtained near full-length viral genomes from 174 SARS-CoV-2-positive respiratory samples. Phylogenetic analyses using the Auspice software were employed in combination with anamnestic reporting of travel history, interpersonal interactions and perceived high-risk exposures among patients and healthcare workers to characterise cluster outbreaks and establish likely scenarios and timelines of transmission.ResultsWe identified multiple independent introductions in the Munich Metropolitan Region during the first weeks of the first pandemic wave, mainly by travellers returning from popular skiing areas in the Alps. In these early weeks, the rate of presumable hospital-acquired infections among patients and in particular healthcare workers was high (9.6% and 54%, respectively) and we illustrated how transmission chains can be dissected at high resolution combining virus sequences and spatio-temporal networks of human interactions.ConclusionsEarly spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe was catalysed by superspreading events and regional hotspots during the winter holiday season. Genomic epidemiology can be employed to trace viral spread and inform effective containment strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Extracell Vesicles ; 10(14): e12173, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544291

ABSTRACT

Infection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with thromboinflammation, involving thrombotic and inflammatory responses, in many COVID-19 patients. In addition, immune dysfunction occurs in patients characterised by T cell exhaustion and severe lymphopenia. We investigated the distribution of phosphatidylserine (PS), a marker of dying cells, activated platelets and platelet-derived microparticles (PMP), during the clinical course of COVID-19. We found an unexpectedly high amount of blood cells loaded with PS+ PMPs for weeks after the initial COVID-19 diagnosis. Elevated frequencies of PS+ PMP+ PBMCs correlated strongly with increasing disease severity. As a marker, PS outperformed established laboratory markers for inflammation, leucocyte composition and coagulation, currently used for COVID-19 clinical scoring. PS+ PMPs preferentially bound to CD8+ T cells with gene expression signatures of proliferating effector rather than memory T cells. As PS+ PMPs carried programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), they may affect T cell expansion or function. Our data provide a novel marker for disease severity and show that PS, which can trigger the blood coagulation cascade, the complement system, and inflammation, resides on activated immune cells. Therefore, PS may serve as a beacon to attract thromboinflammatory processes towards lymphocytes and cause immune dysfunction in COVID-19.

5.
Infection ; 2021 Oct 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1491465

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To investigate the expression of the receptor protein ACE-2 alongside the urinary tract, urinary shedding and urinary stability of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. METHODS: Immunohistochemical staining was performed on tissue from urological surgery of 10 patients. Further, patients treated for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at specialized care-units of a university hospital were assessed for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urinary samples via PCR, disease severity (WHO score), inflammatory response of patients. Finally, the stability of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urine was analyzed. RESULTS: High ACE-2 expression (3/3) was observed in the tubules of the kidney and prostate glands, moderate expression in urothelial cells of the bladder (0-2/3) and no expression in kidney glomeruli, muscularis of the bladder and stroma of the prostate (0/3). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 5/199 urine samples from 64 patients. Viral RNA was detected in the first urinary sample of sequential samples. Viral RNA load from other specimen as nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) or endotracheal aspirates revealed higher levels than from urine. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urine was not associated with impaired WHO score (median 5, range 3-8 vs median 4, range 1-8, p = 0.314), peak white blood cell count (median 24.1 × 1000/ml, range 5.19-48.1 versus median 11.9 × 1000/ml, range 2.9-60.3, p = 0.307), peak CRP (median 20.7 mg/dl, 4.2-40.2 versus median 11.9 mg/dl, range 0.1-51.9, p = 0.316) or peak IL-6 levels (median: 1442 ng/ml, range 26.7-3918 versus median 140 ng/ml, range 3.0-11,041, p = 0.099). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was stable under different storage conditions and after freeze-thaw cycles. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the urine of COVID-19 patients occurs infrequently. The viral RNA load and dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding suggest no relevant route of transmission through the urinary tract.

6.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(10): e1009742, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456098

ABSTRACT

Disease manifestations in COVID-19 range from mild to severe illness associated with a dysregulated innate immune response. Alterations in function and regeneration of dendritic cells (DCs) and monocytes may contribute to immunopathology and influence adaptive immune responses in COVID-19 patients. We analyzed circulating DC and monocyte subsets in 65 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with mild/moderate or severe disease from acute illness to recovery and in healthy controls. Persisting reduction of all DC subpopulations was accompanied by an expansion of proliferating Lineage-HLADR+ cells lacking DC markers. Increased frequency of CD163+ CD14+ cells within the recently discovered DC3 subpopulation in patients with more severe disease was associated with systemic inflammation, activated T follicular helper cells, and antibody-secreting cells. Persistent downregulation of CD86 and upregulation of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) in conventional DCs (cDC2 and DC3) and classical monocytes associated with a reduced capacity to stimulate naïve CD4+ T cells correlated with disease severity. Long-lasting depletion and functional impairment of DCs and monocytes may have consequences for susceptibility to secondary infections and therapy of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Regeneration/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antigens, CD/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Dendritic Cells/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/pathology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/immunology
7.
JCI Insight ; 6(18)2021 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435144

ABSTRACT

Neutrophils provide a critical line of defense in immune responses to various pathogens, inflicting self-damage upon transition to a hyperactivated, procoagulant state. Recent work has highlighted proinflammatory neutrophil phenotypes contributing to lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we use state-of-the art mass spectrometry-based proteomics and transcriptomic and correlative analyses as well as functional in vitro and in vivo studies to dissect how neutrophils contribute to the progression to severe COVID-19. We identify a reinforcing loop of both systemic and neutrophil intrinsic IL-8 (CXCL8/IL-8) dysregulation, which initiates and perpetuates neutrophil-driven immunopathology. This positive feedback loop of systemic and neutrophil autocrine IL-8 production leads to an activated, prothrombotic neutrophil phenotype characterized by degranulation and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. In severe COVID-19, neutrophils directly initiate the coagulation and complement cascade, highlighting a link to the immunothrombotic state observed in these patients. Targeting the IL-8-CXCR-1/-2 axis interferes with this vicious cycle and attenuates neutrophil activation, degranulation, NETosis, and IL-8 release. Finally, we show that blocking IL-8-like signaling reduces severe acute respiratory distress syndrome of coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein-induced, human ACE2-dependent pulmonary microthrombosis in mice. In summary, our data provide comprehensive insights into the activation mechanisms of neutrophils in COVID-19 and uncover a self-sustaining neutrophil-IL-8 axis as a promising therapeutic target in severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Interleukin-8/metabolism , Lung/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/etiology , Animals , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Lung/pathology , Mice , Neutrophil Activation , Neutrophils/pathology , Phenotype , Thrombosis/pathology
8.
Infection ; 2021 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330430

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Evaluation of pulmonary function impairment after COVID-19 in persistently symptomatic and asymptomatic patients of all disease severities and characterisation of risk factors. METHODS: Patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection underwent prospective follow-up with pulmonary function testing and blood gas analysis during steady-state cycle exercise 4 months after acute illness. Pulmonary function impairment (PFI) was defined as reduction below 80% predicted of DLCOcSB, TLC, FVC, or FEV1. Clinical data were analyzed to identify risk factors for impaired pulmonary function. RESULTS: 76 patients were included, hereof 35 outpatients with mild disease and 41 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19. Sixteen patients had critical disease requiring mechanical ventilation, 25 patients had moderate-severe disease. After 4 months, 44 patients reported persisting respiratory symptoms. Significant PFI was prevalent in 40 patients (52.6%) occurring among all disease severities. The most common cause for PFI was reduced DLCOcSB (n = 39, 51.3%), followed by reduced TLC and FVC. The severity of PFI was significantly associated with mechanical ventilation (p < 0.001). Further risk factors for DLCO impairment were COPD (p < 0.001), SARS-CoV-2 antibody-Titer (p = 0.014) and in hospitalized patients CT score. A decrease of paO2 > 3 mmHg during cycle exercise occurred in 1/5 of patients after mild disease course. CONCLUSION: We characterized pulmonary function impairment in asymptomatic and persistently symptomatic patients of different severity groups of COVID-19 and identified further risk factors associated with persistently decreased pulmonary function. Remarkably, gas exchange abnormalities were revealed upon cycle exercise in some patients with mild disease courses and no preexisting pulmonary condition.

9.
Blood ; 138(14): 1269-1277, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317119

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a severe adverse effect of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 COVID-19 vaccine (Vaxzevria) and Janssen Ad26.COV2.S COVID-19 vaccine, and it is associated with unusual thrombosis. VITT is caused by anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4) antibodies activating platelets through their FcγRIIa receptors. Antibodies that activate platelets through FcγRIIa receptors have also been identified in patients with COVID-19. These findings raise concern that vaccination-induced antibodies against anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein cause thrombosis by cross-reacting with PF4. Immunogenic epitopes of PF4 and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein were compared using in silico prediction tools and 3D modeling. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and PF4 share at least 1 similar epitope. Reactivity of purified anti-PF4 antibodies from patients with VITT was tested against recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. However, none of the affinity-purified anti-PF4 antibodies from 14 patients with VITT cross-reacted with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Sera from 222 polymerase chain reaction-confirmed patients with COVID-19 from 5 European centers were tested by PF4-heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and PF4-dependent platelet activation assays. We found anti-PF4 antibodies in sera from 19 (8.6%) of 222 patients with COVID-19. However, only 4 showed weak to moderate platelet activation in the presence of PF4, and none of those patients developed thrombotic complications. Among 10 (4.5%) of 222 patients who had COVID-19 with thrombosis, none showed PF4-dependent platelet-activating antibodies. In conclusion, antibodies against PF4 induced by vaccination do not cross-react with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, indicating that the intended vaccine-induced immune response against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is not the trigger of VITT. PF4-reactive antibodies found in patients with COVID-19 in this study were not associated with thrombotic complications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Cross Reactions/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/etiology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Blood Platelets/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cohort Studies , Epitopes/immunology , Female , Heparin/metabolism , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Young Adult
10.
J Thorac Imaging ; 36(5): 279-285, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263732

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) has been shown to affect the myocardium, resulting in a worse clinical outcome. In this registry study, we aimed to identify differences in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) between COVID-19 and all-cause myocarditis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined CMRI of patients with COVID-19 and elevated high-sensitivity serum troponin levels performed between March 31st and May 5th and compared them to CMRI of patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection with suspected myocarditis in the same time period. For this purpose, we evaluated Lake-Louise Criteria for myocarditis by determining nonischemic myocardial injury via T1-mapping, extracellular volume, late gadolinium enhancement, and myocardial edema (ME) by T2-mapping and fat-saturated T2w imaging (T2Q). RESULTS: A total of 15 of 18 (89%) patients with COVID-19 had abnormal findings. The control group consisted of 18 individuals. There were significantly fewer individuals with COVID-19 who had increased T2 (5 vs. 10; P=0.038) and all-cause ME (7 vs. 15; P=0.015); thus, significantly fewer patients with COVID-19 fulfilled Lake-Louise Criteria (6 vs. 17; P<0.001). In contrast, nonischemic myocardial injury was not significantly different. In the COVID-19 group, indexed end-diastolic volume of the left ventricle showed a significant correlation to the extent of abnormal T1 (R2=0.571; P=0.017) and extracellular volume (R2=0.605; P=0.013) and absolute T1, T2, and T2Q (R2=0.644; P=0.005, R2=0.513; P=0.035 and R2=0.629; P=0.038, respectively); in the control group, only extracellular volume showed a weak correlation (R2=0.490; P=0.046). CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac involvement in COVID-19 seems to show less ME than all-cause myocarditis. Abnormal CMRI markers correlated to left ventricle dilation only in the COVID-19 group. Larger comparative studies are needed to verify our findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine , Myocarditis , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Contrast Media , Diagnosis, Differential , Gadolinium , Humans , Myocarditis/diagnostic imaging , Myocardium , Predictive Value of Tests
11.
Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol ; 278(12): 4855-4861, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1173904

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: It has been established that the infection with SARS-CoV-2 may cause an impairment of chemosensory function. However, there is little data on the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on chemosensory function. METHODS: Twenty three SARS-CoV-2-positive patients diagnosed in spring 2020 with subjective hyposmia (out of 57 positive patients, 40.3%) were compared to SARS-CoV-2-positive patients without hyposmia (n = 19) and SARS-CoV-2-negative patients (n = 14). Chemosensory function was assessed by the Brief Smell Identification Test (BSIT), Taste Strips (TS), Visual Analogue Scales (VAS), and the SNOT-22. The initial cohort with hyposmia were also examined at 8 weeks and 6 months after initial examination. RESULTS: There were no differences between the SARS-CoV-2-positive cohort without hyposmia and negative controls in terms of BSIT (8.5 ± 2.6 vs. 10.2 ± 1.8), TS (3.4 ± 0.6 vs. 3.9 ± 0.3) or VAS (2.1 ± 1.3 vs. 1.1 ± 0.5); yet the SNOT-22 was significantly elevated (27.7 ± 11.2 vs. 16.4 ± 10.8). The SARS-CoV-2-positive group with hyposmia performed significantly poorer in BSIT (4.0 ± 1.7 vs. 8.5 ± 2.6/10.2 ± 1.8), TS (2.6 ± 1.3 vs. 3.4 ± 0.6/3.9 ± 0.3), and VAS (7.9 ± 2.2 vs. 2.1 ± 1.3/1.1 ± 0.5) compared to both control groups. At week 8 and month 6 control, six and five patients, respectively, still suffered from subjectively and objectively impaired chemosensory function. The other patients had recovered in both respects. CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 patients with subjectively impaired chemosensory function regularly perform poorly in objective measurements. About 70% of patients suffering from olfactory dysfunction in SARS-CoV-2 quickly recover-the rest still suffers from considerable impairment 6 months after infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell , Taste Disorders
12.
Eur Respir J ; 58(1)2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105685

ABSTRACT

A fraction of COVID-19 patients progress to a severe disease manifestation with respiratory failure and the necessity of mechanical ventilation. Identifying patients at risk is critical for optimised care and early therapeutic interventions. We investigated the dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) shedding relative to disease severity.We analysed nasopharyngeal and tracheal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 in 92 patients with diagnosed COVID-19. Upon admission, standardised nasopharyngeal swab or sputum samples were collected. If patients were mechanically ventilated, endotracheal aspirate samples were additionally obtained. Viral shedding was quantified by real-time PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.45% (41 out of 92) of COVID-19 patients had a severe disease course with the need for mechanical ventilation (severe group). At week 1, the initial viral shedding determined from nasopharyngeal swabs showed no significant difference between nonsevere and severe cases. At week 2, a difference could be observed as the viral shedding remained elevated in severely ill patients. A time-course of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and procalcitonin revealed an even more protracted inflammatory response following the delayed drop of virus shedding load in severely ill patients. A significant proportion (47.8%) of patients showed evidence of prolonged viral shedding (>17 days), which was associated with severe disease courses (73.2%).We report that viral shedding does not differ significantly between severe and nonsevere COVID-19 cases upon admission to the hospital. Elevated SARS-CoV-2 shedding in the second week of hospitalisation, a systemic inflammatory reaction peaking between the second and third week, and prolonged viral shedding are associated with a more severe disease course.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , RNA, Viral , Respiratory System , Severity of Illness Index , Virus Shedding
13.
Infection ; 49(3): 491-500, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1053123

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: SARS-COV-2 infection can develop into a multi-organ disease. Although pathophysiological mechanisms of COVID-19-associated myocardial injury have been studied throughout the pandemic course in 2019, its morphological characterisation is still unclear. With this study, we aimed to characterise echocardiographic patterns of ventricular function in patients with COVID-19-associated myocardial injury. METHODS: We prospectively assessed 32 patients hospitalised with COVID-19 and presence or absence of elevated high sensitive troponin T (hsTNT+ vs. hsTNT-) by comprehensive three-dimensional (3D) and strain echocardiography. RESULTS: A minority (34.3%) of patients had normal ventricular function, whereas 65.7% had left and/or right ventricular dysfunction defined by impaired left and/or right ventricular ejection fraction and strain measurements. Concomitant biventricular dysfunction was common in hsTNT+ patients. We observed impaired left ventricular (LV) global longitudinal strain (GLS) in patients with myocardial injury (-13.9% vs. -17.7% for hsTNT+ vs. hsTNT-, p = 0.005) but preserved LV ejection fraction (52% vs. 59%, p = 0.074). Further, in these patients, right ventricular (RV) systolic function was impaired with lower RV ejection fraction (40% vs. 49%, p = 0.001) and reduced RV free wall strain (-18.5% vs. -28.3%, p = 0.003). Myocardial dysfunction partially recovered in hsTNT + patients after 52 days of follow-up. In particular, LV-GLS and RV-FWS significantly improved from baseline to follow-up (LV-GLS: -13.9% to -16.5%, p = 0.013; RV-FWS: -18.5% to -22.3%, p = 0.037). CONCLUSION: In patients with COVID-19-associated myocardial injury, comprehensive 3D and strain echocardiography revealed LV dysfunction by GLS and RV dysfunction, which partially resolved at 2-month follow-up. TRIAL REGISTRATION: COVID-19 Registry of the LMU University Hospital Munich (CORKUM), WHO trial ID DRKS00021225.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Ventricular Dysfunction/physiopathology , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/pathology , Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Heart Ventricles/diagnostic imaging , Heart Ventricles/pathology , Heart Ventricles/physiopathology , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke Volume , Troponin T/blood , Ventricular Dysfunction/diagnostic imaging , Ventricular Dysfunction/etiology , Ventricular Dysfunction/pathology
14.
Circ Cardiovasc Imaging ; 14(1): e012220, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1035201

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Myocardial injury, defined by elevated troponin levels, is associated with adverse outcome in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The frequency of cardiac injury remains highly uncertain and confounded in current publications; myocarditis is one of several mechanisms that have been proposed. METHODS: We prospectively assessed patients with myocardial injury hospitalized for COVID-19 using transthoracic echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, and endomyocardial biopsy. RESULTS: Eighteen patients with COVID-19 and myocardial injury were included in this study. Echocardiography revealed normal to mildly reduced left ventricular ejection fraction of 52.5% (46.5%-60.5%) but moderately to severely reduced left ventricular global longitudinal strain of -11.2% (-7.6% to -15.1%). Cardiac magnetic resonance showed any myocardial tissue injury defined by elevated T1, extracellular volume, or late gadolinium enhancement with a nonischemic pattern in 16 patients (83.3%). Seven patients (38.9%) demonstrated myocardial edema in addition to tissue injury fulfilling the Lake-Louise criteria for myocarditis. Combining cardiac magnetic resonance with speckle tracking echocardiography demonstrated functional or morphological cardiac changes in 100% of investigated patients. Endomyocardial biopsy was conducted in 5 patients and revealed enhanced macrophage numbers in all 5 patients in addition to lymphocytic myocarditis in 1 patient. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detected in any biopsy by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Finally, follow-up measurements of left ventricular global longitudinal strain revealed significant improvement after a median of 52.0 days (-11.2% [-9.2% to -14.7%] versus -15.6% [-12.5% to -19.6%] at follow-up; P=0.041). CONCLUSIONS: In this small cohort of COVID-19 patients with elevated troponin levels, myocardial injury was evidenced by reduced echocardiographic left ventricular strain, myocarditis patterns on cardiac magnetic resonance, and enhanced macrophage numbers but not predominantly lymphocytic myocarditis in endomyocardial biopsies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Myocarditis/etiology , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocardium/pathology , Aged , Biopsy , COVID-19/blood , Cohort Studies , Echocardiography/methods , Female , Germany , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Myocarditis/diagnostic imaging , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Troponin/blood
15.
J Thromb Haemost ; 19(2): 574-581, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939789

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can lead to severe pneumonia, but also thrombotic complications and non-pulmonary organ failure. Recent studies suggest intravascular neutrophil activation and subsequent immune cell-triggered immunothrombosis as a central pathomechanism linking the heterogenous clinical picture of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We sought to study whether immunothrombosis is a pathognomonic factor in COVID-19 or a general feature of (viral) pneumonia, as well as to better understand its upstream regulation. APPROACH AND RESULTS: By comparing histopathological specimens of SARS-CoV-2 with influenza-affected lungs, we show that vascular neutrophil recruitment, NETosis, and subsequent immunothrombosis are typical features of severe COVID-19, but less prominent in influenza pneumonia. Activated neutrophils were typically found in physical association with monocytes. To explore this further, we combined clinical data of COVID-19 cases with comprehensive immune cell phenotyping and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid scRNA-seq data. We show that a HLADRlow CD9low monocyte population expands in severe COVID-19, which releases neutrophil chemokines in the lungs, and might in turn explain neutrophil expansion and pulmonary recruitment in the late stages of severe COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Our data underline an innate immune cell axis causing vascular inflammation and immunothrombosis in severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Influenza, Human/immunology , Lung/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Thrombosis/immunology , Vasculitis/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Diagnosis, Differential , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Neutrophils/virology , Predictive Value of Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thrombosis/virology , Vasculitis/virology
16.
Circulation ; 142(12): 1176-1189, 2020 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696368

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 infection causes severe pneumonia (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]), but the mechanisms of subsequent respiratory failure and complicating renal and myocardial involvement are poorly understood. In addition, a systemic prothrombotic phenotype has been reported in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: A total of 62 subjects were included in our study (n=38 patients with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 and n=24 non-COVID-19 controls). We performed histopathologic assessment of autopsy cases, surface marker-based phenotyping of neutrophils and platelets, and functional assays for platelet, neutrophil functions, and coagulation tests, as well. RESULTS: We provide evidence that organ involvement and prothrombotic features in COVID-19 are linked by immunothrombosis. We show that, in COVID-19, inflammatory microvascular thrombi are present in the lung, kidney, and heart, containing neutrophil extracellular traps associated with platelets and fibrin. Patients with COVID-19 also present with neutrophil-platelet aggregates and a distinct neutrophil and platelet activation pattern in blood, which changes with disease severity. Whereas cases of intermediate severity show an exhausted platelet and hyporeactive neutrophil phenotype, patients severely affected with COVID-19 are characterized by excessive platelet and neutrophil activation in comparison with healthy controls and non-COVID-19 pneumonia. Dysregulated immunothrombosis in severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 pneumonia is linked to both acute respiratory distress syndrome and systemic hypercoagulability. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data point to immunothrombotic dysregulation as a key marker of disease severity in COVID-19. Further work is necessary to determine the role of immunothrombosis in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Blood Coagulation Disorders/diagnosis , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , Blood Platelets/cytology , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Blood Platelets/pathology , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Humans , Kidney/pathology , Lung/pathology , Neutrophils/cytology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Neutrophils/pathology , Pandemics , Phenotype , Platelet Activation , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/diagnosis
17.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 146(1): 128-136.e4, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-526034

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can manifest as a viral-induced hyperinflammation with multiorgan involvement. Such patients often experience rapid deterioration and need for mechanical ventilation. Currently, no prospectively validated biomarker of impending respiratory failure is available. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to identify and prospectively validate biomarkers that allow the identification of patients in need of impending mechanical ventilation. METHODS: Patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized from February 29 to April 9, 2020, were analyzed for baseline clinical and laboratory findings at admission and during the disease. Data from 89 evaluable patients were available for the purpose of analysis comprising an initial evaluation cohort (n = 40) followed by a temporally separated validation cohort (n = 49). RESULTS: We identified markers of inflammation, lactate dehydrogenase, and creatinine as the variables most predictive of respiratory failure in the evaluation cohort. Maximal IL-6 level before intubation showed the strongest association with the need for mechanical ventilation, followed by maximal CRP level. The respective AUC values for IL-6 and CRP levels in the evaluation cohort were 0.97 and 0.86, and they were similar in the validation cohort (0.90 and 0.83, respectively). The calculated optimal cutoff values during the course of disease from the evaluation cohort (IL-6 level > 80 pg/mL and CRP level > 97 mg/L) both correctly classified 80% of patients in the validation cohort regarding their risk of respiratory failure. CONCLUSION: The maximal level of IL-6, followed by CRP level, was highly predictive of the need for mechanical ventilation. This suggests the possibility of using IL-6 or CRP level to guide escalation of treatment in patients with COVID-19-related hyperinflammatory syndrome.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Respiration, Artificial , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/blood , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
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