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Microorganisms ; 11(3)2023 Feb 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2248744


Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), first discovered in 2000, serves as an important counterregulatory enzyme to the angiotensin II-mediated vasoconstrictive, pro-inflammatory, and pro-fibrotic actions of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Conversion of angiotensin II to the peptide angiotensin 1-7 (ANG 1-7) exerts protective vasodilatory, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fibrotic actions through interaction with the MasR receptor. There are many important considerations when noting the role of ACE2 in the pathogenesis and sequelae of COVID-19 infection. ACE2, in the role of COVID-19 infection, was recognized early in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic as a cell membrane-bound and soluble binding site for the viral spike protein facilitating entering into tissue cells expressing ACE2, such as the lungs, heart, gut, and kidneys. Mechanisms exist that alter the magnitude of circulating and membrane-bound ACE2 (e.g., SARS-CoV-2 infection, viral variants, patient characteristics, chronic disease states, and the degree of cell surface expression of ACE2) and the influence these mechanisms have on the severity of disease and associated complications (e.g., respiratory failure, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, acute myocarditis, acute kidney injury). Several medications alter the ACE2 receptor expression, but whether these medications can influence the course of the disease and improve outcomes is unclear. In this review, we will discuss what is known about the interrelation of SARS-CoV-2, ACE2 and the factors that may contribute to the variability of its expression and potential contributors to the severity of COVID-19 infection.

Ann Intern Med ; 2022 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2145013


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 standard of care (SOC) evolved rapidly during 2020 and 2021, but its cumulative effect over time is unclear. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether recovery and mortality improved as SOC evolved, using data from ACTT (Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial). DESIGN: ACTT is a series of phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that evaluated COVID-19 therapeutics from February 2020 through May 2021. ACTT-1 compared remdesivir plus SOC to placebo plus SOC, and in ACTT-2 and ACTT-3, remdesivir plus SOC was the control group. This post hoc analysis compared recovery and mortality between these comparable sequential cohorts of patients who received remdesivir plus SOC, adjusting for baseline characteristics with propensity score weighting. The analysis was repeated for participants in ACTT-3 and ACTT-4 who received remdesivir plus dexamethasone plus SOC. Trends in SOC that could explain outcome improvements were analyzed. ( NCT04280705 [ACTT-1], NCT04401579 [ACTT-2], NCT04492475 [ACTT-3], and NCT04640168 [ACTT-4]). SETTING: 94 hospitals in 10 countries (86% U.S. participants). PARTICIPANTS: Adults hospitalized with COVID-19. INTERVENTION: SOC. MEASUREMENTS: 28-day mortality and recovery. RESULTS: Although outcomes were better in ACTT-2 than in ACTT-1, adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were close to 1 (HR for recovery, 1.04 [95% CI, 0.92 to 1.17]; HR for mortality, 0.90 [CI, 0.56 to 1.40]). Comparable patients were less likely to be intubated in ACTT-2 than in ACTT-1 (odds ratio, 0.75 [CI, 0.53 to 0.97]), and hydroxychloroquine use decreased. Outcomes improved from ACTT-2 to ACTT-3 (HR for recovery, 1.43 [CI, 1.24 to 1.64]; HR for mortality, 0.45 [CI, 0.21 to 0.97]). Potential explanatory factors (SOC trends, case surges, and variant trends) were similar between ACTT-2 and ACTT-3, except for increased dexamethasone use (11% to 77%). Outcomes were similar in ACTT-3 and ACTT-4. Antibiotic use decreased gradually across all stages. LIMITATION: Unmeasured confounding. CONCLUSION: Changes in patient composition explained improved outcomes from ACTT-1 to ACTT-2 but not from ACTT-2 to ACTT-3, suggesting improved SOC. These results support excluding nonconcurrent controls from analysis of platform trials in rapidly changing therapeutic areas. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

EClinicalMedicine ; 41: 101139, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433165


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with a hypercoagulable state. Limited data exist informing the relationship between anticoagulation therapy and risk for COVID-19 related hospitalization and mortality. METHODS: We evaluated all patients over the age of 18 diagnosed with COVID-19 in a prospective cohort study from March 4th to August 27th, 2020 among 12 hospitals and 60 clinics of M Health Fairview system (USA). We investigated the relationship between (1) 90-day anticoagulation therapy among outpatients before COVID-19 diagnosis and the risk for hospitalization and mortality and (2) Inpatient anticoagulation therapy and mortality risk. FINDINGS: Of 6195 patients, 598 were immediately hospitalized and 5597 were treated as outpatients. The overall case-fatality rate was 2•8% (n = 175 deaths). Among the patients who were hospitalized, the inpatient mortality was 13%. Among the 5597 COVID-19 patients initially treated as outpatients, 160 (2.9%) were on anticoagulation and 331 were eventually hospitalized (5.9%). In a multivariable analysis, outpatient anticoagulation use was associated with a 43% reduction in risk for hospital admission, HR (95% CI = 0.57, 0.38-0.86), p = 0.007, but was not associated with mortality, HR (95% CI=0.88, 0.50 - 1.52), p = 0.64. Inpatients who were not on anticoagulation (before or after hospitalization) had an increased risk for mortality, HR (95% CI = 2.26, 1.17-4.37), p = 0.015. INTERPRETATION: Outpatients with COVID-19 who were on outpatient anticoagulation at the time of diagnosis experienced a 43% reduced risk of hospitalization. Failure to initiate anticoagulation upon hospitalization or maintaining outpatient anticoagulation in hospitalized COVID-19 patients was associated with increased mortality risk. FUNDING: No funding was obtained for this study.