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J Natl Med Assoc ; 114(1): 56-68, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611869


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Recent reports indicate that African Americans have higher mortality rates from SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) compared to Caucasians, with more marked differences in the Midwest region of the US. This study was performed to study differences in COVID-19 related mortality and hospital length of stay (LOS) between African Americans and Caucasians in Midwest setting, and identify factors associated with mortality and LOS. METHODS: Data were collected from the electronic health records (EHR) of patients admitted to hospitals in Midwest region of the US. EHR of 471 COVID-19 patients were reviewed. RESULTS: Approximately 63% were African Americans and 34% Caucasians. One hundred sixteen variables were tested. There was no significant difference in hospital mortality between African Americans and Caucasians (OR 1, 95% CI 0.48-1.94). Older age, Chronic kidney disease, mental status change, mechanical ventilation, vasopressor support, high neutrophil count, elevated AST and ALT, high lung involvement severity score and elevated CRP were associated with mortality in a univariate analysis (P < 0.05). Multivariable modeling indicated that mechanical ventilation was the only factor that predicted mortality (OR 6, 95% CI: 2.94-12.48). The LOS did not differ in African Americans and Caucasians. The use of oxygen via high flow nasal cannula (Survival Estimate 1.6, 95% CI: 1.20-2.26), low estimated glomerular filtration rate (Survival Estimate 1.4, 95% CI: 1.05-1.82) and mechanical ventilation (Survival Estimate 3.5, 95% CI: 2.72-4.37) were predictors of LOS. CONCLUSION: This study performed in Midwest setting in the US showed that race did not affect in-hospital mortality and LOS. Our analysis demonstrated new predictors of LOS.

COVID-19 , African Americans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Hospitalization , Humans , Length of Stay , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
PLoS Pathog ; 16(12): e1009128, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992722


Cytokine storm is suggested as one of the major pathological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection, although the mechanism for initiation of a hyper-inflammatory response, and multi-organ damage from viral infection is poorly understood. In this virus-cell interaction study, we observed that SARS-CoV-2 infection or viral spike protein expression alone inhibited angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor protein expression. The spike protein promoted an angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1) mediated signaling cascade, induced the transcriptional regulatory molecules NF-κB and AP-1/c-Fos via MAPK activation, and increased IL-6 release. SARS-CoV-2 infected patient sera contained elevated levels of IL-6 and soluble IL-6R. Up-regulated AT1 receptor signaling also influenced the release of extracellular soluble IL-6R by the induction of the ADAM-17 protease. Use of the AT1 receptor antagonist, Candesartan cilexetil, resulted in down-regulation of IL-6/soluble IL-6R release in spike expressing cells. Phosphorylation of STAT3 at the Tyr705 residue plays an important role as a transcriptional inducer for SOCS3 and MCP-1 expression. Further study indicated that inhibition of STAT3 Tyr705 phosphorylation in SARS-CoV-2 infected and viral spike protein expressing epithelial cells did not induce SOCS3 and MCP-1 expression. Introduction of culture supernatant from SARS-CoV-2 spike expressing cells on a model human liver endothelial Cell line (TMNK-1), where transmembrane IL-6R is poorly expressed, resulted in the induction of STAT3 Tyr705 phosphorylation as well as MCP-1 expression. In conclusion, our results indicated that the presence of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in epithelial cells promotes IL-6 trans-signaling by activation of the AT1 axis to initiate coordination of a hyper-inflammatory response.

COVID-19/immunology , Interleukin-6/immunology , Receptors, Angiotensin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction/physiology , Transcriptional Activation