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1.
The Lancet Respiratory Medicine ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1996826

ABSTRACT

Summary Background Influenza-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (IAPA) and COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) affect about 15% of critically ill patients with influenza or COVID-19, respectively. These viral–fungal coinfections are difficult to diagnose and are associated with increased mortality, but data on their pathophysiology are scarce. We aimed to explore the role of lung epithelial and myeloid innate immunity in patients with IAPA or CAPA. Methods In this observational study, we retrospectively recruited patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, requiring non-invasive or invasive ventilation because of severe influenza or COVID-19, with or without aspergillosis, between Jan 1, 2011, and March 31, 2021, whose bronchoalveolar lavage samples were available at the hospital biobank. Additionally, biobanked in vivo tracheobronchial biopsy samples from patients with IAPA or CAPA and invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis admitted to ICUs requiring invasive ventilation between the same dates were collected from University Hospitals Leuven, Hospital Network Antwerp (Belgium), and Amiens-Picardie University Hospital (France). We did nCounter gene expression analysis of 755 genes linked to myeloid innate immunity and protein analysis of 47 cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors on the bronchoalveolar lavage samples. Gene expression data were used to infer cell fractions by use of CIBERSORTx, to perform hypergeometric enrichment pathway analysis and gene set enrichment analysis, and to calculate pathway module scores for the IL-1β, TNF-α, type I IFN, and type II IFN (IFNγ) pathways. We did RNAScope targeting influenza virus or SARS-CoV-2 RNA and GeoMx spatial transcriptomics on the tracheobronchial biopsy samples. Findings Biobanked bronchoalveolar lavage samples were retrieved from 166 eligible patients, of whom 40 had IAPA, 52 had influenza without aspergillosis, 33 had CAPA, and 41 had COVID-19 without aspergillosis. We did nCounter gene expression analysis on bronchoalveolar lavage samples from 134 patients, protein analysis on samples from 162 patients, and both types of analysis on samples from 130 patients. We performed RNAScope and spatial transcriptomics on the tracheobronchial biopsy samples from two patients with IAPA plus invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis and two patients with CAPA plus invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis. We observed a downregulation of genes associated with antifungal effector functions in patients with IAPA and, to a lesser extent, in patients with CAPA. We found a downregulated expression of several genes encoding proteins with functions in the opsonisation, recognition, and killing of conidia in patients with IAPA versus influenza only and in patients with CAPA versus COVID-19 only. Several genes related to LC3-associated phagocytosis, autophagy, or both were differentially expressed. Patients with CAPA had significantly lower neutrophil cell fractions than did patients with COVID-19 only. Patients with IAPA or CAPA had downregulated IFNγ signalling compared with patients with influenza only or COVID-19 only, respectively. The concentrations of several fibrosis-related growth factors were significantly elevated in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from patients with IAPA versus influenza only and from patients with CAPA versus COVID-19 only. In one patient with CAPA, we visualised an active or very recent SARS-CoV-2 infection disrupting the epithelial barrier, facilitating tissue-invasive aspergillosis. Interpretation Our results reveal a three-level breach in antifungal immunity in IAPA and CAPA, affecting the integrity of the epithelial barrier, the capacity to phagocytise and kill Aspergillus spores, and the ability to destroy Aspergillus hyphae, which is mainly mediated by neutrophils. The potential of adjuvant IFNγ in the treatment of IAPA and CAPA should be investigated. Funding Research Foundation Flanders, Coronafonds, the Max Planck Society, the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, the European Regional Development Fund, “la Caixa” Foundation, and Horizon 2020.

2.
J Fungi (Basel) ; 8(1)2021 Dec 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637486

ABSTRACT

Influenza-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (IAPA) is a global recognized superinfection in critically ill influenza patients. Baloxavir marboxil, a cap-dependent endonuclease inhibitor, is a newly approved anti-influenza therapeutic. Although the benefits as a treatment for influenza are clear, its efficacy against an influenza-A. fumigatus co-infection has yet to be determined. We investigated the therapeutic effect of baloxavir marboxil in a murine model for IAPA. Immunocompetent mice received intranasal instillation of influenza A followed by orotracheal inoculation with Aspergillus fumigatus 4 days later. Administration of baloxavir marboxil or sham was started at day 0, day 2 or day 4. Mice were monitored daily for overall health status, lung pathology with micro-computed tomography (µCT) and fungal burden with bioluminescence imaging (BLI). In vivo imaging was supplemented with virological, mycological and biochemical endpoint investigations. We observed an improved body weight, survival and viral clearance in baloxavir marboxil treated mice. µCT showed less pulmonary lesions and bronchial dilation after influenza and after Aspergillus co-infection in a treatment-dependent pattern. Furthermore, baloxavir marboxil was associated with effective inhibition of fungal invasion. Hence, our results provide evidence that baloxavir marboxil mitigates severe influenza thereby decreasing the susceptibility to a lethal invasive Aspergillus superinfection.

3.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(11): 2892-2898, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551452

ABSTRACT

We performed an observational study to investigate intensive care unit incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of coronavirus disease-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA). We found 10%-15% CAPA incidence among 823 patients in 2 cohorts. Several factors were independently associated with CAPA in 1 cohort and mortality rates were 43%-52%.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Cohort Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
4.
JCI Insight ; 7(1)2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523122

ABSTRACT

Neutrophils are recognized as important circulating effector cells in the pathophysiology of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, their role within the inflamed lungs is incompletely understood. Here, we collected bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids and parallel blood samples of critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation and compared BAL fluid parameters with those of mechanically ventilated patients with influenza, as a non-COVID-19 viral pneumonia cohort. Compared with those of patients with influenza, BAL fluids of patients with COVID-19 contained increased numbers of hyperactivated degranulating neutrophils and elevated concentrations of the cytokines IL-1ß, IL-1RA, IL-17A, TNF-α, and G-CSF; the chemokines CCL7, CXCL1, CXCL8, CXCL11, and CXCL12α; and the protease inhibitors elafin, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 1. In contrast, α-1 antitrypsin levels and net proteolytic activity were comparable in COVID-19 and influenza BAL fluids. During antibiotic treatment for bacterial coinfections, increased BAL fluid levels of several activating and chemotactic factors for monocytes, lymphocytes, and NK cells were detected in patients with COVID-19 whereas concentrations tended to decrease in patients with influenza, highlighting the persistent immunological response to coinfections in COVID-19. Finally, the high proteolytic activity in COVID-19 lungs suggests considering protease inhibitors as a treatment option.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Infections , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , COVID-19 , Coinfection , Influenza, Human , Adult , Aged , Bacterial Infections/complications , Bacterial Infections/immunology , Bacterial Infections/metabolism , Bacterial Infections/pathology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/chemistry , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Coinfection/immunology , Coinfection/metabolism , Coinfection/pathology , Cytokines/analysis , Female , Humans , Inflammation , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/pathology , Lung/immunology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged
5.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(4): e1271, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525427

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Emerging evidence of dysregulation of the myeloid cell compartment urges investigations on neutrophil characteristics in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We isolated neutrophils from the blood of COVID-19 patients receiving general ward care and from patients hospitalised at intensive care units (ICUs) to explore the kinetics of circulating neutrophils and factors important for neutrophil migration and activation. METHODS: Multicolour flow cytometry was exploited for the analysis of neutrophil differentiation and activation markers. Multiplex and ELISA technologies were used for the quantification of protease, protease inhibitor, chemokine and cytokine concentrations in plasma. Neutrophil polarisation responses were evaluated microscopically. Gelatinolytic and metalloproteinase activity in plasma was determined using a fluorogenic substrate. Co-culturing healthy donor neutrophils with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) allowed us to investigate viral replication in neutrophils. RESULTS: Upon ICU admission, patients displayed high plasma concentrations of granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and the chemokine CXCL8, accompanied by emergency myelopoiesis as illustrated by high levels of circulating CD10-, immature neutrophils with reduced CXCR2 and C5aR expression. Neutrophil elastase and non-metalloproteinase-derived gelatinolytic activity were increased in plasma from ICU patients. Significantly higher levels of circulating tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) in patients at ICU admission yielded decreased total MMP proteolytic activity in blood. COVID-19 neutrophils were hyper-responsive to CXCL8 and CXCL12 in shape change assays. Finally, SARS-CoV-2 failed to replicate inside human neutrophils. CONCLUSION: Our study provides detailed insights into the kinetics of neutrophil phenotype and function in severe COVID-19 patients, and supports the concept of an increased neutrophil activation state in the circulation.

6.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(11): 2892-2898, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406813

ABSTRACT

We performed an observational study to investigate intensive care unit incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of coronavirus disease-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA). We found 10%-15% CAPA incidence among 823 patients in 2 cohorts. Several factors were independently associated with CAPA in 1 cohort and mortality rates were 43%-52%.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Cohort Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
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