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1.
Palliat Med ; 36(4): 708-716, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765308

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the onset of the SARS CoV2 pandemic, protective and isolation measures had a strong impact on the care and support provided to seriously ill and dying people at the end-of-life. AIM: Exploring bereaved relatives' experiences of end-of-life care during the SARS-CoV2 pandemic. DESIGN: Qualitative interview study with bereaved relatives. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-two relatives of patients who died during the pandemic, regardless of infection with SARS-CoV2. RESULTS: Three core categories were identified: needs, burden and best practice. Relatives wished for a contact person responsible for providing information on the medical and mental condition of their family members. The lack of information, of support by others and physical closeness due to the visiting restrictions, as well as not being able to say goodbye, were felt as burdens and led to emotional distress. However, case-by-case decisions were made and creative ways of staying in touch were experienced positively. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the strong need for closeness when a family member was dying could not be met due to the pandemic. This led to suffering that can be prevented. Visits need to be facilitated by making considered decisions on a case-by-case basis. For easy communication with relatives, approaches should be made by healthcare professionals and support for virtual communication should be offered. Furthermore, the results of the study can help to implement or develop ideas to enable dignified farewells even during pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Family , Humans , Prisons , Qualitative Research , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322700

ABSTRACT

Innate immunity triggers responsible for viral control or hyperinflammation in COVID- 19 are largely unknown. Here we show that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein primes inflammasome activation and interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β) secretion in macrophages derived from COVID-19 patients but not in macrophages from healthy SARS-CoV-2 naïve controls. Chemical NLRP3 inhibition blocks spike protein-induced IL-1β secretion ex vivo . These findings can accelerate research on COVID-19 vaccine design and drug treatment.

4.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 998, 2021 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435242

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, protection measures, as well as visiting restrictions, had a severe impact on seriously ill and dying patients and their relatives. The study aims to describe the experiences of bereaved relatives of patients who died during the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, regardless of whether patients were infected with SARS-CoV2 or not. As part of this, experiences related to patients' end-of-life care, saying goodbye, visiting restrictions and communication with the healthcare team were assessed. METHODS: An open observational post-bereavement online survey with free text options was conducted with 81 bereaved relatives from people who died during the pandemic in Germany, with and without SARS-CoV2 diagnosis. RESULTS: 67/81 of the bereaved relatives were female, with a mean age of 57.2 years. 50/81 decedents were women, with a mean age of 82.4 years. The main underlying diseases causing death were cardiovascular diseases or cancer. Only 7/81 of the patients were infected with SARS-CoV2. 58/81 of the relatives felt burdened by the visiting restrictions and 60/81 suffered from pandemic-related stress. 10 of the patients died alone due to visiting restrictions. The burden for relatives in the hospital setting was higher compared to relatives of patients who died at home. 45/81 and 44/81 relatives respectively reported that physicians and nurses had time to discuss the patient's condition. Nevertheless, relatives reported a lack of proactive communication from the healthcare professionals. CONCLUSIONS: Visits of relatives play a major role in the care of the dying and have an impact on the bereavement of relatives. Visits must be facilitated, allowing physical contact. Additionally, virtual contact with the patients and open, empathetic communication on the part of healthcare professionals is needed. TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00023552).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Terminal Care , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(30): e26720, 2021 Jul 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405082

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Isolation of confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases is essential but, as symptoms of COVID-19 are non-specific and test results not immediately available, case identification at admission remains challenging. To inform optimization of triage algorithms, patient flow and patient care, we analyzed characteristics of patients admitted to an isolation ward, both severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2) positive patients and patients in which initial suspicion was not confirmed after appropriate testing.Data from patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 treated in an isolation unit were analyzed retrospectively. Symptoms, comorbidities and clinical findings were analyzed descriptively and associations between patient characteristics and final SARS-CoV-2 status were assessed using univariate regression.Eighty three patients (49 SARS-CoV-2 negative and 34 positive) were included in the final analysis. Of initially suspected COVID-19 cases, 59% proved to be SARS-CoV-2-negative. These patients had more comorbidities (Charlson Comorbidity Index median 5(interquartile range [IQR] 2.5, 7) vs 2.7(IQR 1, 4)), and higher proportion of active malignancy than patients with confirmed COVID-19 (47% vs 15%; P = .004), while immunosuppression was frequent in both patient groups (20% vs 21%; P = .984). Of SARS-CoV-2 negative patients, 31% were diagnosed with non-infectious diseases.A high proportion of patients (59%) triaged to the isolation unit were tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Of these, many suffered from active malignancy (47%) and were immunosuppressed (20%). Non-infectious diseases were diagnosed in 31%, highlighting the need for appropriate patient flow, timely expert medical care including evaluation for differential diagnostics while providing isolation and ruling out of COVID-19 in these patients with complex underlying diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/therapy , Patient Isolation , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bias , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
6.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(30): e26720, 2021 Jul 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345776

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Isolation of confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases is essential but, as symptoms of COVID-19 are non-specific and test results not immediately available, case identification at admission remains challenging. To inform optimization of triage algorithms, patient flow and patient care, we analyzed characteristics of patients admitted to an isolation ward, both severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2) positive patients and patients in which initial suspicion was not confirmed after appropriate testing.Data from patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 treated in an isolation unit were analyzed retrospectively. Symptoms, comorbidities and clinical findings were analyzed descriptively and associations between patient characteristics and final SARS-CoV-2 status were assessed using univariate regression.Eighty three patients (49 SARS-CoV-2 negative and 34 positive) were included in the final analysis. Of initially suspected COVID-19 cases, 59% proved to be SARS-CoV-2-negative. These patients had more comorbidities (Charlson Comorbidity Index median 5(interquartile range [IQR] 2.5, 7) vs 2.7(IQR 1, 4)), and higher proportion of active malignancy than patients with confirmed COVID-19 (47% vs 15%; P = .004), while immunosuppression was frequent in both patient groups (20% vs 21%; P = .984). Of SARS-CoV-2 negative patients, 31% were diagnosed with non-infectious diseases.A high proportion of patients (59%) triaged to the isolation unit were tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Of these, many suffered from active malignancy (47%) and were immunosuppressed (20%). Non-infectious diseases were diagnosed in 31%, highlighting the need for appropriate patient flow, timely expert medical care including evaluation for differential diagnostics while providing isolation and ruling out of COVID-19 in these patients with complex underlying diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/therapy , Patient Isolation , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bias , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
7.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0254990, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319522

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to identify clinical risk factors for COVID-19 in a German outpatient fever clinic that allow distinction of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients from other patients with flu-like symptoms. METHODS: This is a retrospective, single-centre cohort study. Patients were included visiting the fever clinic from 4th of April 2020 to 15th of May 2020. Symptoms, comorbidities, and socio-demographic factors were recorded in a standardized fashion. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify risk factors of COVID-19, on the bases of those a model discrimination was assessed using area under the receiver operation curves (AUROC). RESULTS: The final analysis included 930 patients, of which 74 (8%) had COVID-19. Anosmia (OR 10.71; CI 6.07-18.9) and ageusia (OR 9.3; CI 5.36-16.12) were strongly associated with COVID-19. High-risk exposure (OR 12.20; CI 6.80-21.90), especially in the same household (OR 4.14; CI 1.28-13.33), was also correlated; the more household members, especially with flu-like symptoms, the higher the risk of COVID-19. Working in an essential workplace was also associated with COVID-19 (OR 2.35; CI 1.40-3.96), whereas smoking was inversely correlated (OR 0.19; CI 0.08-0.44). A model that considered risk factors like anosmia, ageusia, concomitant of symptomatic household members and smoking well discriminated COVID-19 patients from other patients with flu-like symptoms (AUROC 0.84). CONCLUSIONS: We report a set of four readily available clinical parameters that allow the identification of high-risk individuals of COVID-19. Our study will not replace molecular testing but will help guide containment efforts while waiting for test results.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/complications , Fever/complications , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment
8.
Infection ; 50(2): 359-370, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316346

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: While more advanced COVID-19 necessitates medical interventions and hospitalization, patients with mild COVID-19 do not require this. Identifying patients at risk of progressing to advanced COVID-19 might guide treatment decisions, particularly for better prioritizing patients in need for hospitalization. METHODS: We developed a machine learning-based predictor for deriving a clinical score identifying patients with asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 at risk of progressing to advanced COVID-19. Clinical data from SARS-CoV-2 positive patients from the multicenter Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 Infected Patients (LEOSS) were used for discovery (2020-03-16 to 2020-07-14) and validation (data from 2020-07-15 to 2021-02-16). RESULTS: The LEOSS dataset contains 473 baseline patient parameters measured at the first patient contact. After training the predictor model on a training dataset comprising 1233 patients, 20 of the 473 parameters were selected for the predictor model. From the predictor model, we delineated a composite predictive score (SACOV-19, Score for the prediction of an Advanced stage of COVID-19) with eleven variables. In the validation cohort (n = 2264 patients), we observed good prediction performance with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.73 ± 0.01. Besides temperature, age, body mass index and smoking habit, variables indicating pulmonary involvement (respiration rate, oxygen saturation, dyspnea), inflammation (CRP, LDH, lymphocyte counts), and acute kidney injury at diagnosis were identified. For better interpretability, the predictor was translated into a web interface. CONCLUSION: We present a machine learning-based predictor model and a clinical score for identifying patients at risk of developing advanced COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Early Warning Score , Area Under Curve , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Machine Learning , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
9.
EMBO Mol Med ; 13(8): e14150, 2021 08 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1271067

ABSTRACT

Innate immunity triggers responsible for viral control or hyperinflammation in COVID-19 are largely unknown. Here we show that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S-protein) primes inflammasome formation and release of mature interleukin-1ß (IL-1ß) in macrophages derived from COVID-19 patients but not in macrophages from healthy SARS-CoV-2 naïve individuals. Furthermore, longitudinal analyses reveal robust S-protein-driven inflammasome activation in macrophages isolated from convalescent COVID-19 patients, which correlates with distinct epigenetic and gene expression signatures suggesting innate immune memory after recovery from COVID-19. Importantly, we show that S-protein-driven IL-1ß secretion from patient-derived macrophages requires non-specific monocyte pre-activation in vivo to trigger NLRP3-inflammasome signaling. Our findings reveal that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes profound and long-lived reprogramming of macrophages resulting in augmented immunogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein, a major vaccine antigen and potent driver of adaptive and innate immune signaling.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammasomes , Interleukin-1beta , Macrophages , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(6): 917-929.e4, 2021 06 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213083

ABSTRACT

Understanding antibody-based SARS-CoV-2 immunity is critical for overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and informing vaccination strategies. We evaluated SARS-CoV-2 antibody dynamics over 10 months in 963 individuals who predominantly experienced mild COVID-19. Investigating 2,146 samples, we initially detected SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 94.4% of individuals, with 82% and 79% exhibiting serum and IgG neutralization, respectively. Approximately 3% of individuals demonstrated exceptional SARS-CoV-2 neutralization, with these "elite neutralizers" also possessing SARS-CoV-1 cross-neutralizing IgG. Multivariate statistical modeling revealed age, symptomatic infection, disease severity, and gender as key factors predicting SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing activity. A loss of reactivity to the virus spike protein was observed in 13% of individuals 10 months after infection. Neutralizing activity had half-lives of 14.7 weeks in serum versus 31.4 weeks in purified IgG, indicating a rather long-term IgG antibody response. Our results demonstrate a broad spectrum in the initial SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibody response, with sustained antibodies in most individuals for 10 months after mild COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Young Adult
11.
Int J Infect Dis ; 106: 405-408, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188640

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a post-viral inflammatory vasculopathy of children and adolescents following Covid-19 infection. Since the incidence of SARS-CoV-infections has been increasing in Germany since October 2020, we observe an increasing number of children presenting with MIS-C. DESIGN: We present detailed clinical characteristics of a cohort of nine children with MIS-C admitted to a tertiary PICU at the University Hospital of Cologne between March 2020 and February 2021. RESULTS: The clinical sings and symptoms are largely in line with recent reports. All but one patient had positive SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Latency form infection to MIS-C was 4-6 weeks. Two children presented with unusual findings: A girl had encephalomyelitis and a boy developed MIS-C side to side with acute leukemia. CONCLUSION: MIS-C has been increasing in Germany paralell to SARS-CoV-2 infections. Rarely, unuasual findings may be associated with MIS-C.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/diagnosis , Abnormalities, Multiple , Adolescent , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Cohort Studies , Female , Genetic Diseases, X-Linked/complications , Germany , Hospitalization , Humans , Ichthyosiform Erythroderma, Congenital/complications , Infant , Limb Deformities, Congenital/complications , Male , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/complications , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/therapy
12.
Infection ; 49(1): 63-73, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-812468

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Knowledge regarding patients' clinical condition at severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) detection is sparse. Data in the international, multicenter Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-Infected Patients (LEOSS) cohort study may enhance the understanding of COVID-19. METHODS: Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, enrolled in the LEOSS cohort study between March 16, 2020, and May 14, 2020, were analyzed. Associations between baseline characteristics and clinical stages at diagnosis (uncomplicated vs. complicated) were assessed using logistic regression models. RESULTS: We included 2155 patients, 59.7% (1,287/2,155) were male; the most common age category was 66-85 years (39.6%; 500/2,155). The primary COVID-19 diagnosis was made in 35.0% (755/2,155) during complicated clinical stages. A significant univariate association between age; sex; body mass index; smoking; diabetes; cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological, and kidney diseases; ACE inhibitor therapy; statin intake and an increased risk for complicated clinical stages of COVID-19 at diagnosis was found. Multivariable analysis revealed that advanced age [46-65 years: adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.73, 95% CI 1.25-2.42, p = 0.001; 66-85 years: aOR 1.93, 95% CI 1.36-2.74, p < 0.001; > 85 years: aOR 2.38, 95% CI 1.49-3.81, p < 0.001 vs. individuals aged 26-45 years], male sex (aOR 1.23, 95% CI 1.01-1.50, p = 0.040), cardiovascular disease (aOR 1.37, 95% CI 1.09-1.72, p = 0.007), and diabetes (aOR 1.33, 95% CI 1.04-1.69, p = 0.023) were associated with complicated stages of COVID-19 at diagnosis. CONCLUSION: The LEOSS cohort identified age, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and male sex as risk factors for complicated disease stages at SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, thus confirming previous data. Further data regarding outcomes of the natural course of COVID-19 and the influence of treatment are required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Kidney Diseases/epidemiology , Lung Diseases/epidemiology , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/adverse effects , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis , Cardiovascular Diseases/physiopathology , Cardiovascular Diseases/virology , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Diabetes Mellitus/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus/physiopathology , Diabetes Mellitus/virology , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/adverse effects , Kidney Diseases/diagnosis , Kidney Diseases/physiopathology , Kidney Diseases/virology , Logistic Models , Lung Diseases/diagnosis , Lung Diseases/physiopathology , Lung Diseases/virology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Factors
14.
Viruses ; 12(9)2020 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-789516

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) represents a global health emergency. To improve the understanding of the systemic component of SARS-CoV-2, we investigated if viral load dynamics in plasma and respiratory samples are associated with antibody response and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in plasma samples from 14 (44%) out of 32 patients. RNAemia was detected in 5 out of 6 fatal cases. Peak IgG values were significantly lower in mild/moderate than in severe (0.6 (interquartile range, IQR, 0.4-3.2) vs. 11.8 (IQR, 9.9-13.0), adjusted p = 0.003) or critical cases (11.29 (IQR, 8.3-12.0), adjusted p = 0.042). IgG titers were significantly associated with virus Ct (Cycle threshold) value in plasma and respiratory specimens ((ß = 0.4, 95% CI (confidence interval, 0.2; 0.5), p < 0.001 and ß = 0.5, 95% CI (0.2; 0.6), p = 0.002). A classification as severe or a critical case was additionally inversely associated with Ct values in plasma in comparison to mild/moderate cases (ß = -3.3, 95% CI (-5.8; 0.8), p = 0.024 and ß = -4.4, 95% CI (-7.2; 1.6), p = 0.007, respectively). Based on the present data, our hypothesis is that the early stage of SARS-CoV-2 infection is characterized by a primary RNAemia, as a potential manifestation of a systemic infection. Additionally, the viral load in plasma seems to be associated with a worse disease outcome.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/blood , Aged , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load , Viremia/blood , Viremia/pathology , Viremia/virology
16.
Mycoses ; 63(6): 528-534, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-547397

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to viral infection are at risk for secondary complications like invasive aspergillosis. Our study evaluates coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) associated invasive aspergillosis at a single centre in Cologne, Germany. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of all patients with COVID-19 associated ARDS admitted to the medical or surgical intensive care unit at the University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. RESULTS: COVID-19 associated invasive pulmonary aspergillosis was found in five of 19 consecutive critically ill patients with moderate to severe ARDS. CONCLUSION: Clinicians caring for patients with ARDS due to COVID-19 should consider invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and subject respiratory samples to comprehensive analysis to detect co-infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/complications , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/complications , Aged , Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/chemistry , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Female , Galactose/analogs & derivatives , Germany , Hemorrhage/etiology , Hospitals, Teaching , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Lung Diseases/etiology , Male , Mannans/analysis , Metapneumovirus/isolation & purification , Middle Aged , Nitriles/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Paramyxoviridae Infections/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnostic imaging , Pyridines/therapeutic use , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnostic imaging , Retrospective Studies , Thorax/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Triazoles/therapeutic use , Voriconazole/therapeutic use
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