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1.
Frontiers in pharmacology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1837464

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is effective in preventing severe Covid-19, but efficacy in reducing viral load and transmission wanes over time. In addition, the emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants increases the threat of uncontrolled dissemination and additional antiviral therapies are urgently needed for effective containment. In previous in vitro studies Echinacea purpurea demonstrated strong antiviral activity against enveloped viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we examined the potential of Echinacea purpurea in preventing and treating respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and in particular, SARS-CoV-2 infections. 120 healthy volunteers (m,f, 18—75 years) were randomly assigned to Echinacea prevention or control group without any intervention. After a run-in week, participants went through 3 prevention cycles of 2, 2 and 1 month with daily 2,400 mg Echinacea purpurea extract (Echinaforce®, EF). The prevention cycles were interrupted by breaks of 1 week. Acute respiratory symptoms were treated with 4,000 mg EF for up to 10 days, and their severity assessed via a diary. Naso/oropharyngeal swabs and venous blood samples were routinely collected every month and during acute illnesses for detection and identification of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 via RT-qPCR and serology. Summarized over all phases of prevention, 21 and 29 samples tested positive for any virus in the EF and control group, of which 5 and 14 samples tested SARS-CoV-2 positive (RR = 0.37, Chi-square test, p = 0.03). Overall, 10 and 14 symptomatic episodes occurred, of which 5 and 8 were Covid-19 (RR = 0.70, Chi-square test, p > 0.05). EF treatment when applied during acute episodes significantly reduced the overall virus load by at least 2.12 log10 or approx. 99% (t-test, p < 0.05), the time to virus clearance by 8.0 days for all viruses (Wilcoxon test, p = 0.02) and by 4.8 days for SARS-CoV-2 (p > 0.05) in comparison to control. Finally, EF treatment significantly reduced fever days (1 day vs 11 days, Chi-square test, p = 0.003) but not the overall symptom severity. There were fewer Covid-19 related hospitalizations in the EF treatment group (N = 0 vs N = 2). EF exhibited antiviral effects and reduced the risk of viral RTIs, including SARS-CoV-2. By substantially reducing virus loads in infected subjects, EF offers a supportive addition to existing mandated treatments like vaccinations. Future confirmatory studies are warranted.

2.
Front Allergy ; 2: 668781, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779928

ABSTRACT

The nose provides a route of access to the body for inhalants and fluids. Unsurprisingly it has a strong immune defense system, with involvement of innate (e.g., epithelial barrier, muco- ciliary clearance, nasal secretions with interferons, lysozyme, nitric oxide) and acquired (e.g., secreted immunoglobulins, lymphocytes) arms. The lattice network of dendritic cells surrounding the nostrils allows rapid uptake and sampling of molecules able to negotiate the epithelial barrier. Despite this many respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV2, are initiated through nasal mucosal contact, and the nasal mucosa is a significant "reservoir" for microbes including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis and SARS -CoV-2. This review includes consideration of the augmentation of immune defense by the nasal application of interferons, then the reduction of unnecessary inflammation and infection by alteration of the nasal microbiome. The nasal mucosa and associated lymphoid tissue (nasopharynx-associated lymphoid tissue, NALT) provides an important site for vaccine delivery, with cold-adapted live influenza strains (LAIV), which replicate intranasally, resulting in an immune response without significant clinical symptoms, being the most successful thus far. Finally, the clever intranasal application of antibodies bispecific for allergens and Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (ICAM-1) as a topical treatment for allergic and RV-induced rhinitis is explained.

3.
Allergy ; 2022 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1666277

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Anaphylaxis, which is rare, has been reported after COVID-19 vaccination, but its management is not standardized. METHOD: Members of the European Network for Drug Allergy and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology interested in drug allergy participated in an online questionnaire on pre-vaccination screening and management of allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines, and literature was analysed. RESULTS: No death due to anaphylaxis to COVID-19 vaccines has been confirmed in scientific literature. Potential allergens, polyethylene glycol (PEG), polysorbate and tromethamine are excipients. The authors propose allergy evaluation of persons with the following histories: 1-anaphylaxis to injectable drug or vaccine containing PEG or derivatives; 2-anaphylaxis to oral/topical PEG containing products; 3-recurrent anaphylaxis of unknown cause; 4-suspected or confirmed allergy to any mRNA vaccine; and 5-confirmed allergy to PEG or derivatives. We recommend a prick-to-prick skin test with the left-over solution in the suspected vaccine vial to avoid waste. Prick test panel should include PEG 4000 or 3500, PEG 2000 and polysorbate 80. The value of in vitro test is arguable. CONCLUSIONS: These recommendations will lead to a better knowledge of the management and mechanisms involved in anaphylaxis to COVID-19 vaccines and enable more people with history of allergy to be vaccinated.

4.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 9(1)2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1627442

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The impact of acute COVID-19 on people with asthma appears complex, being moderated by multiple interacting disease-specific, demographic and environmental factors. Research regarding longer-term effects in this group is limited. We aimed to assess impacts of COVID-19 and predictors of persistent symptoms, in people with asthma. METHODS: Using data from an online UK-wide survey of 4500 people with asthma (median age 50-59 years, 81% female), conducted in October 2020, we undertook a mixed methods analysis of the characteristics and experience of those reporting having had COVID-19. RESULTS: The COVID-19 group (n=471, 10.5%) reported increased inhaler use and worse asthma management, compared with those not reporting COVID-19, but did not differ by gender, ethnicity or household income. Among the COVID-19 group, 56.1% reported having long COVID, 20.2% were 'unsure'. Those with long COVID were more likely than those without long COVID to describe: their breathing as worse or much worse after their initial illness (73.7% vs 34.8%, p<0.001), increased inhaler use (67.8% vs 34.8%, p<0.001) and worse or much worse asthma management (59.6% vs 25.6%, p<0.001). Having long COVID was not associated with age, gender, ethnicity, UK nation or household income.Analysis of free text survey responses identified three key themes: (1) variable COVID-19 severity, duration and recovery; (2) symptom overlap and interaction between COVID-19 and asthma; (3) barriers to accessing healthcare. CONCLUSIONS: Persisting symptoms are common in people with asthma following COVID-19. Measures are needed to ensure appropriate healthcare access including clinical evaluation and investigation, to distinguish between COVID-19 symptoms and asthma.


Subject(s)
Asthma , COVID-19 , Asthma/drug therapy , Asthma/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23741, 2021 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565734

ABSTRACT

The mechanisms explaining excess morbidity and mortality in respiratory infections among males are poorly understood. Innate immune responses are critical in protection against respiratory virus infections. We hypothesised that innate immune responses to respiratory viruses may be deficient in males. We stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 345 participants at age 16 years in a population-based birth cohort with three live respiratory viruses (rhinoviruses A16 and A1, and respiratory syncytial virus) and two viral mimics (R848 and CpG-A, to mimic responses to SARS-CoV-2) and investigated sex differences in interferon (IFN) responses. IFN-α responses to all viruses and stimuli were 1.34-2.06-fold lower in males than females (P = 0.018 - < 0.001). IFN-ß, IFN-γ and IFN-induced chemokines were also deficient in males across all stimuli/viruses. Healthcare records revealed 12.1% of males and 6.6% of females were hospitalized with respiratory infections in infancy (P = 0.017). In conclusion, impaired innate anti-viral immunity in males likely results in high male morbidity and mortality from respiratory virus infections.


Subject(s)
Imidazoles/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/immunology , Picornaviridae Infections/immunology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/immunology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/immunology , Rhinovirus/immunology , Adolescent , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Interferons/immunology , Interferons/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Male , Picornaviridae Infections/mortality , Picornaviridae Infections/virology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/mortality , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/virology , Respiratory Tract Infections/immunology , Respiratory Tract Infections/mortality , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors
6.
Acta Med Acad ; 49(2): 130-143, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1414828

ABSTRACT

In this review, we discuss the latest developments in research pertaining to virus-induced asthma exacerbations and consider recent advances in treatment options. Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that continues to impose a substantial clinical burden worldwide. Asthma exacerbations, characterised by an acute deterioration in respiratory symptoms and airflow obstruction, are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. These episodes are most commonly triggered by respiratory virus infections. The mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of virus-induced exacerbations have been the focus of extensive biomedical research. Developing a robust understanding of the interplay between respiratory viruses and the host immune response will be critical for developing more efficacious, targeted therapies for exacerbations. CONCLUSION: There has been significant recent progress in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying virus-induced airway inflammation in asthma and these advances will underpin the development of future clinical therapies.


Subject(s)
Anti-Asthmatic Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Asthma/drug therapy , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , Virus Diseases/drug therapy , Adenovirus Infections, Human/drug therapy , Adenovirus Infections, Human/immunology , Adenovirus Infections, Human/physiopathology , Administration, Inhalation , Asthma/immunology , Asthma/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Disease Progression , Humans , Influenza, Human/drug therapy , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/physiopathology , Interferon-beta/therapeutic use , Macrolides/therapeutic use , Omalizumab/therapeutic use , Paramyxoviridae Infections/drug therapy , Paramyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Paramyxoviridae Infections/physiopathology , Picornaviridae Infections/drug therapy , Picornaviridae Infections/immunology , Picornaviridae Infections/physiopathology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/drug therapy , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/immunology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/physiopathology , Respiratory Tract Infections/immunology , Respiratory Tract Infections/physiopathology , Virus Diseases/immunology , Virus Diseases/physiopathology
8.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(7): 699-711, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337033

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Studies of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 have found varying mortality outcomes associated with underlying respiratory conditions and inhaled corticosteroid use. Using data from a national, multicentre, prospective cohort, we aimed to characterise people with COVID-19 admitted to hospital with underlying respiratory disease, assess the level of care received, measure in-hospital mortality, and examine the effect of inhaled corticosteroid use. METHODS: We analysed data from the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study. All patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 across England, Scotland, and Wales between Jan 17 and Aug 3, 2020, were eligible for inclusion in this analysis. Patients with asthma, chronic pulmonary disease, or both, were identified and stratified by age (<16 years, 16-49 years, and ≥50 years). In-hospital mortality was measured by use of multilevel Cox proportional hazards, adjusting for demographics, comorbidities, and medications (inhaled corticosteroids, short-acting ß-agonists [SABAs], and long-acting ß-agonists [LABAs]). Patients with asthma who were taking an inhaled corticosteroid plus LABA plus another maintenance asthma medication were considered to have severe asthma. FINDINGS: 75 463 patients from 258 participating health-care facilities were included in this analysis: 860 patients younger than 16 years (74 [8·6%] with asthma), 8950 patients aged 16-49 years (1867 [20·9%] with asthma), and 65 653 patients aged 50 years and older (5918 [9·0%] with asthma, 10 266 [15·6%] with chronic pulmonary disease, and 2071 [3·2%] with both asthma and chronic pulmonary disease). Patients with asthma were significantly more likely than those without asthma to receive critical care (patients aged 16-49 years: adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1·20 [95% CI 1·05-1·37]; p=0·0080; patients aged ≥50 years: adjusted OR 1·17 [1·08-1·27]; p<0·0001), and patients aged 50 years and older with chronic pulmonary disease (with or without asthma) were significantly less likely than those without a respiratory condition to receive critical care (adjusted OR 0·66 [0·60-0·72] for those without asthma and 0·74 [0·62-0·87] for those with asthma; p<0·0001 for both). In patients aged 16-49 years, only those with severe asthma had a significant increase in mortality compared to those with no asthma (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1·17 [95% CI 0·73-1·86] for those on no asthma therapy, 0·99 [0·61-1·58] for those on SABAs only, 0·94 [0·62-1·43] for those on inhaled corticosteroids only, 1·02 [0·67-1·54] for those on inhaled corticosteroids plus LABAs, and 1·96 [1·25-3·08] for those with severe asthma). Among patients aged 50 years and older, those with chronic pulmonary disease had a significantly increased mortality risk, regardless of inhaled corticosteroid use, compared to patients without an underlying respiratory condition (adjusted HR 1·16 [95% CI 1·12-1·22] for those not on inhaled corticosteroids, and 1·10 [1·04-1·16] for those on inhaled corticosteroids; p<0·0001). Patients aged 50 years and older with severe asthma also had an increased mortality risk compared to those not on asthma therapy (adjusted HR 1·24 [95% CI 1·04-1·49]). In patients aged 50 years and older, inhaled corticosteroid use within 2 weeks of hospital admission was associated with decreased mortality in those with asthma, compared to those without an underlying respiratory condition (adjusted HR 0·86 [95% CI 0·80-0·92]). INTERPRETATION: Underlying respiratory conditions are common in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Regardless of the severity of symptoms at admission and comorbidities, patients with asthma were more likely, and those with chronic pulmonary disease less likely, to receive critical care than patients without an underlying respiratory condition. In patients aged 16 years and older, severe asthma was associated with increased mortality compared to non-severe asthma. In patients aged 50 years and older, inhaled corticosteroid use in those with asthma was associated with lower mortality than in patients without an underlying respiratory condition; patients with chronic pulmonary disease had significantly increased mortality compared to those with no underlying respiratory condition, regardless of inhaled corticosteroid use. Our results suggest that the use of inhaled corticosteroids, within 2 weeks of admission, improves survival for patients aged 50 years and older with asthma, but not for those with chronic pulmonary disease. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research, Medical Research Council, NIHR Health Protection Research Units in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at the University of Liverpool and in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London in partnership with Public Health England.


Subject(s)
Asthma/complications , Asthma/mortality , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/complications , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/mortality , Adolescent , Adult , Clinical Protocols , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk Assessment , United Kingdom , World Health Organization , Young Adult
9.
Front Immunol ; 12: 648004, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175544

ABSTRACT

Background: Deficient interferon responses have been proposed as one of the relevant mechanisms prompting severe manifestations of COVID-19. Objective: To evaluate the interferon (IFN)-α levels in a cohort of COVID-19 patients in relation to severity, evolution of the clinical manifestations and immune/inflammatory profile. Methods: This is prospective study recruiting consecutive hospitalized patients with respiratory failure associated with SARS-COV-2 infection and matched controls. After enrollment, patients were assessed every 7 ± 2 days for additional 2 consecutive visits, for a total of 21 days. The severity of the clinical condition was ranked based on the level of respiratory support required. At each time-point blood samples were obtained to assess immune cells and mediators by multiplex immunoassay. Results: Fifty-four COVD-19 and 11 control patients matched for severity were enrolled. At recruitment, lower levels of blood IFN-α were found in COVID-19 patients compared to controls (3.8-fold difference, p < 0.01). Improvements in COVID-19 severity were paralleled by a significant increase of blood IFN-α levels. A significant increase in blood IFN-α was found over the study period in survivors (70% of the study population). A similar trend was found for blood IFN-ß with IFN-ß levels below the threshold of detectability in a substantial proportion of subjects. Significantly higher values of blood lymphocytes and lower levels of IL-10 were found at each time point in patients who survived compared to patients who died. In patients who clinically improved and survived during the study, we found an inverse association between IL-10 and IFN-α levels. Conclusion: The study identifies a blood immune profile defined by deficient IFN-α levels associated with increased IL-10 expression in patients progressing to severe/life threatening COVID-19 conditions, suggesting the involvement of immunological pathways that could be target of pharmacological intervention. Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT04343053.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Interferon-alpha/blood , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index
10.
Front Immunol ; 12: 648004, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154220

ABSTRACT

Background: Deficient interferon responses have been proposed as one of the relevant mechanisms prompting severe manifestations of COVID-19. Objective: To evaluate the interferon (IFN)-α levels in a cohort of COVID-19 patients in relation to severity, evolution of the clinical manifestations and immune/inflammatory profile. Methods: This is prospective study recruiting consecutive hospitalized patients with respiratory failure associated with SARS-COV-2 infection and matched controls. After enrollment, patients were assessed every 7 ± 2 days for additional 2 consecutive visits, for a total of 21 days. The severity of the clinical condition was ranked based on the level of respiratory support required. At each time-point blood samples were obtained to assess immune cells and mediators by multiplex immunoassay. Results: Fifty-four COVD-19 and 11 control patients matched for severity were enrolled. At recruitment, lower levels of blood IFN-α were found in COVID-19 patients compared to controls (3.8-fold difference, p < 0.01). Improvements in COVID-19 severity were paralleled by a significant increase of blood IFN-α levels. A significant increase in blood IFN-α was found over the study period in survivors (70% of the study population). A similar trend was found for blood IFN-ß with IFN-ß levels below the threshold of detectability in a substantial proportion of subjects. Significantly higher values of blood lymphocytes and lower levels of IL-10 were found at each time point in patients who survived compared to patients who died. In patients who clinically improved and survived during the study, we found an inverse association between IL-10 and IFN-α levels. Conclusion: The study identifies a blood immune profile defined by deficient IFN-α levels associated with increased IL-10 expression in patients progressing to severe/life threatening COVID-19 conditions, suggesting the involvement of immunological pathways that could be target of pharmacological intervention. Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT04343053.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Interferon-alpha/blood , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index
11.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 147(2): 510-519.e5, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-872184

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The mechanisms underlying altered susceptibility and propensity to severe Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease in at-risk groups such as patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are poorly understood. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are widely used in COPD, but the extent to which these therapies protect or expose patients to risk of severe COVID-19 is unknown. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ICSs following pulmonary expression of the SARS-CoV-2 viral entry receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2). METHODS: We evaluated the effect of ICS administration on pulmonary ACE2 expression in vitro in human airway epithelial cell cultures and in vivo in mouse models of ICS administration. Mice deficient in the type I IFN-α/ß receptor (Ifnar1-/-) and administration of exogenous IFN-ß were used to study the functional role of type-I interferon signaling in ACE2 expression. We compared sputum ACE2 expression in patients with COPD stratified according to use or nonuse of ICS. RESULTS: ICS administration attenuated ACE2 expression in mice, an effect that was reversed by exogenous IFN-ß administration, and Ifnar1-/- mice had reduced ACE2 expression, indicating that type I interferon contributes mechanistically to this effect. ICS administration attenuated expression of ACE2 in airway epithelial cell cultures from patients with COPD and in mice with elastase-induced COPD-like changes. Compared with ICS nonusers, patients with COPD who were taking ICSs also had reduced sputum expression of ACE2. CONCLUSION: ICS therapies in COPD reduce expression of the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor ACE2. This effect may thus contribute to altered susceptibility to COVID-19 in patients with COPD.


Subject(s)
Adrenal Cortex Hormones/administration & dosage , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , COVID-19 , Interferon Type I/antagonists & inhibitors , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Administration, Inhalation , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Bronchi/cytology , Cells, Cultured , Disease Susceptibility , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Female , Humans , Interferon Type I/immunology , Lung/drug effects , Lung/immunology , Male , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Middle Aged , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/genetics , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics
13.
Ann Am Thorac Soc ; 17(10): 1186-1194, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-659009

ABSTRACT

The rapid global spread and significant mortality associated with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral infection has spurred an urgent race to find effective treatments. Repurposing existing drugs is a particularly attractive approach as pharmacokinetic and safety data already exist; thus, development can leapfrog straight to clinical trials of efficacy, generating results far more quickly than de novo drug development. This review summarizes the state of play for the principle drugs identified as candidates to be repurposed for treating COVID-19 grouped by broad mechanism of action: antiviral, immune enhancing, and antiinflammatory or immunomodulatory. Patient selection, particularly with regard to disease stage, is likely to be key. To date, only dexamethasone and remdesivir have been shown to be effective, but several other promising candidates are in trials.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Drug Discovery/methods , Drug Repositioning/methods , Humans , Patient Selection , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Allergy ; 75(10): 2503-2541, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597826

ABSTRACT

In December 2019, China reported the first cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This disease, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has developed into a pandemic. To date, it has resulted in ~9 million confirmed cases and caused almost 500 000 related deaths worldwide. Unequivocally, the COVID-19 pandemic is the gravest health and socioeconomic crisis of our time. In this context, numerous questions have emerged in demand of basic scientific information and evidence-based medical advice on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Although the majority of the patients show a very mild, self-limiting viral respiratory disease, many clinical manifestations in severe patients are unique to COVID-19, such as severe lymphopenia and eosinopenia, extensive pneumonia, a "cytokine storm" leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome, endothelitis, thromboembolic complications, and multiorgan failure. The epidemiologic features of COVID-19 are distinctive and have changed throughout the pandemic. Vaccine and drug development studies and clinical trials are rapidly growing at an unprecedented speed. However, basic and clinical research on COVID-19-related topics should be based on more coordinated high-quality studies. This paper answers pressing questions, formulated by young clinicians and scientists, on SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, and allergy, focusing on the following topics: virology, immunology, diagnosis, management of patients with allergic disease and asthma, treatment, clinical trials, drug discovery, vaccine development, and epidemiology. A total of 150 questions were answered by experts in the field providing a comprehensive and practical overview of COVID-19 and allergic disease.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Hypersensitivity/complications , Hypersensitivity/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Humans , Hypersensitivity/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , SARS-CoV-2
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