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1.
EBioMedicine ; 86: 104351, 2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2104819

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) can lead to the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In some patients with non-resolvable (NR) COVID-19, lung injury can progress rapidly to the point that lung transplantation is the only viable option for survival. This fatal progression of lung injury involves a rapid fibroproliferative response and takes on average 15 weeks from initial symptom presentation. Little is known about the mechanisms that lead to this fulminant lung fibrosis (FLF) in NR-COVID-19. METHODS: Using a pre-designed unbiased PCR array for fibrotic markers, we analyzed the fibrotic signature in a subset of NR-COVID-19 lungs. We compared the expression profile against control lungs (donor lungs discarded for transplantation), and explanted tissue from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Subsequently, RT-qPCR, Western blots and immunohistochemistry were conducted to validate and localize selected pro-fibrotic targets. A total of 23 NR-COVID-19 lungs were used for RT-qPCR validation. FINDINGS: We revealed a unique fibrotic gene signature in NR-COVID-19 that is dominated by a hyper-expression of pro-fibrotic genes, including collagens and periostin. Our results also show a significantly increased expression of Collagen Triple Helix Repeat Containing 1(CTHRC1) which co-localized in areas rich in alpha smooth muscle expression, denoting myofibroblasts. We also show a significant increase in cytokeratin (KRT) 5 and 8 expressing cells adjacent to fibroblastic areas and in areas of apparent epithelial bronchiolization. INTERPRETATION: Our studies may provide insights into potential cellular mechanisms that lead to a fulminant presentation of lung fibrosis in NR-COVID-19. FUNDING: National Institute of Health (NIH) Grants R01HL154720, R01DK122796, R01DK109574, R01HL133900, and Department of Defense (DoD) Grant W81XWH2110032 to H.K.E. NIH Grants: R01HL138510 and R01HL157100, DoD Grant W81XWH-19-1-0007, and American Heart Association Grant: 18IPA34170220 to H.K.-Q. American Heart Association: 19CDA34660279, American Lung Association: CA-622265, Parker B. Francis Fellowship, 1UL1TR003167-01 and The Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences, McGovern Medical School to X.Y.

2.
Am J Transplant ; 2022 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973539

ABSTRACT

A recent study concluded that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine responses were improved among transplant patients taking mTOR inhibitors (mTORi). This could have profound implications for vaccine strategies in transplant patients; however, limitations in the study design raise concerns about the conclusions. To address this issue more robustly, in a large cohort with appropriate adjustment for confounders, we conducted various regression- and machine learning-based analyses to compare antibody responses by immunosuppressive agents in a national cohort (n = 1037). MMF was associated with significantly lower odds of positive antibody response (aOR = 0.09 0.130.18 ). Consistent with the recent mTORi study, the odds tended to be higher with mTORi (aOR = 1.00 1.452.13 ); however, importantly, this seemingly protective tendency disappeared (aOR = 0.47 0.731.12 ) after adjusting for MMF. We repeated this comparison by combinations of immunosuppression agents. Compared to MMF + tacrolimus, MMF-free regimens were associated with higher odds of positive antibody response (aOR = 2.39 4.267.92 for mTORi+tacrolimus; 2.34 5.5415.32 for mTORi-only; and 6.78 10.2515.93 for tacrolimus-only), whereas MMF-including regimens were not, regardless of mTORi use (aOR = 0.81 1.542.98 for MMF + mTORi; and 0.81 1.512.87 for MMF-only). We repeated these analyses in an independent cohort (n = 512) and found similar results. Our study demonstrates that the recently reported findings were confounded by MMF, and that mTORi is not independently associated with improved vaccine responses.

3.
Am J Transplant ; 22(7): 1884-1892, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956680

ABSTRACT

The development of donor-specific antibodies (DSA) after lung transplantation is common and results in adverse outcomes. In kidney transplantation, Belatacept has been associated with a lower incidence of DSA, but experience with Belatacept in lung transplantation is limited. We conducted a two-center pilot randomized controlled trial of de novo immunosuppression with Belatacept after lung transplantation to assess the feasibility of conducting a pivotal trial. Twenty-seven participants were randomized to Control (Tacrolimus, Mycophenolate Mofetil, and prednisone, n = 14) or Belatacept-based immunosuppression (Tacrolimus, Belatacept, and prednisone until day 89 followed by Belatacept, Mycophenolate Mofetil, and prednisone, n = 13). All participants were treated with rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin for induction immunosuppression. We permanently stopped randomization and treatment with Belatacept after three participants in the Belatacept arm died compared to none in the Control arm. Subsequently, two additional participants in the Belatacept arm died for a total of five deaths compared to none in the Control arm (log rank p = .016). We did not detect a significant difference in DSA development, acute cellular rejection, or infection between the two groups. We conclude that the investigational regimen used in this study is associated with increased mortality after lung transplantation.


Subject(s)
Lung Transplantation , Tacrolimus , Abatacept/therapeutic use , Antilymphocyte Serum/therapeutic use , Graft Rejection/drug therapy , Graft Rejection/etiology , Graft Rejection/prevention & control , Graft Survival , Humans , Immunosuppression Therapy , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Lung Transplantation/adverse effects , Mycophenolic Acid/therapeutic use , Pilot Projects , Prednisone
4.
Transplantation ; 106(10): e452-e460, 2022 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1948635

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) are less likely to mount an antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines. Understanding risk factors for impaired vaccine response can guide strategies for antibody testing and additional vaccine dose recommendations. METHODS: Using a nationwide observational cohort of 1031 SOTRs, we created a machine learning model to explore, identify, rank, and quantify the association of 19 clinical factors with antibody responses to 2 doses of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines. External validation of the model was performed using a cohort of 512 SOTRs at Houston Methodist Hospital. RESULTS: Mycophenolate mofetil use, a shorter time since transplant, and older age were the strongest predictors of a negative antibody response, collectively contributing to 76% of the model's prediction performance. Other clinical factors, including transplanted organ, vaccine type (mRNA-1273 versus BNT162b2), sex, race, and other immunosuppressants, showed comparatively weaker associations with an antibody response. This model showed moderate prediction performance, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.79 in our cohort and 0.67 in the external validation cohort. An online calculator based on our prediction model is available at http://transplantmodels.com/covidvaccine/ . CONCLUSIONS: Our machine learning model helps understand which transplant patients need closer follow-up and additional doses of vaccine to achieve protective immunity. The online calculator based on this model can be incorporated into transplant providers' practice to facilitate patient-centric, precision risk stratification and inform vaccination strategies among SOTRs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Transplant Recipients , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Machine Learning , Mycophenolic Acid , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
5.
Open forum infectious diseases ; 8(11), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1837213

ABSTRACT

Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to spread globally and cause significant morbidity and mortality. Antispike protein monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy has been shown to prevent progression to severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The objective of this study was to report the outcomes of high-risk, SARS-CoV-2-positive patients infused with 1 of the 3 mAb therapies available through Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Methods A total of 4328 SARS-CoV-2-positive patients who satisfied EUA criteria for eligibility for receiving mAb therapy were infused with bamlanivimab or the combination therapies bamlanivimab-etesevimab or casirivimab-imdevimab from November 22, 2020, to May 31, 2021, at 6 infusion clinics and multiple emergency departments within the 8 Houston Methodist Hospitals in Houston, Texas. The primary outcome of hospital admission within 14 and 28 days postinfusion was assessed relative to a propensity score–matched cohort, matched based on age, race/ethnicity, median income by zip code, body mass index, comorbidities, and positive polymerase chain reaction date. Secondary outcomes included intensive care unit admission and mortality. Results A total of 2879 infused patients and matched controls were included in the analysis, including 1718 patients infused with bamlanivimab, 346 patients infused with bamlanivimab-etesevimab, and 815 patients infused with casirivimab-imdevimab. Hospital admission and mortality rates were significantly decreased overall in mAb-infused patients relative to matched controls. Among the infused cohort, those who received casirivimab-imdevimab had a significantly decreased rate of admission relative to the other 2 mAb therapy groups (adjusted risk ratio,0.51;P=.001). Conclusions Treatment with bamlanivimab, bamlanivimab-etesevimab, or casirivimab-imdevimab significantly decreased the number of patients who progressed to severe COVID-19 disease and required hospitalization.

6.
Transplant Direct ; 8(1): e1257, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575969

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data about vaccine efficacy in solid organ transplant patients are limited. We previously reported our initial observation of a 6.2% immunogenicity rate in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) after administration of 1 dose of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mRNA vaccine. We sought to report our observations of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody in KTRs after 2 doses of the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine. METHODS: We identified 105 KTRs who received 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccine per availability and had anti-SARS-CoV-2 labs obtained at least 2 wk following administration of the second dose. Antibody testing was performed using 3 clinically validated qualitative and semiquantitative assays. RESULTS: KTRs had a 36.2% antibody response rate, whereas an age ≥68 years and a longer time from transplant were factors associated with antibody response. CONCLUSIONS: The low antibody response in KTRs may be associated with the immunosuppressive state. More data are needed to evaluate if KTRs may require higher vaccine doses or an additional booster dose to increase their ability to mount an immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

9.
Transplantation ; 104(11): 2208-2214, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006285

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)] poses unique challenges for immunosuppressed patients. Solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients comprise a large proportion of this group, yet there is limited knowledge about the presentation, clinical course, and immunosuppression management of this novel infection among heart, lung, liver, pancreas, and kidney transplant recipients. METHODS: We present 21 SOT recipients diagnosed with COVID-19 between January 1, 2020 and April 22, 2020 at a US high-volume transplant center. Diagnostic workup, clinical course, immunosuppression/antiviral management, and immediate outcomes are described. RESULTS: Twenty-one (15.9%) of 132 symptomatic patients tested were positive. Mean age at diagnosis was 54.8 ± 10.9 y. Median time from transplant was 5.58 y (interquartile range 2.25, 7.33). Median follow-up was 18 d (interquartile range 13, 30). Fourteen patients required inpatient management, with 7 (50%) placed in the intensive care unit (ICU). All transplant types were represented. Nearly 43% exhibited GI symptoms. Over half (56.2%) presented with elevated serum creatinine suggestive of acute kidney injury. The majority of patients (5/7) with concomitant infections at baseline required the ICU. Eighty percent received hydroxychloroquine ± azithromycin. Ten received toclizumab and/or ribavirin; 1 received remdesivir. Antimetabolites ± calcineurin inhibitors were held or reduced. Over half of hospitalized patients (8/14) were discharged home. Only 1 mortality (4.8%) to date, in a critically ill heart/kidney patient who had been in the ICU before diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 positive SOT at our institution had favorable short-term outcomes. Those with concomitant infections had more severe illness. More data will be available to evaluate long-term outcomes and disease impact on graft function.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Immunocompromised Host , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Transplant Recipients , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Transplantation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Texas
10.
SSRN; 2020.
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-1902

ABSTRACT

Background: Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) is known to bind to and protect the Alveolar Type Icell by blocking replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, upre

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