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2.
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 107, 2021 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412355

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19, the pandemic disease caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2, may take highly variable clinical courses, ranging from symptom-free and pauci-symptomatic to fatal disease. The goal of the current study was to assess the association of COVID-19 clinical courses controlled by patients' adaptive immune responses without progression to severe disease with patients' Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genetics, AB0 blood group antigens, and the presence or absence of near-loss-of-function delta 32 deletion mutant of the C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5). PATIENT AND METHODS: An exploratory observational study including 157 adult COVID-19 convalescent patients was performed with a median follow-up of 250 days. The impact of different HLA genotypes, AB0 blood group antigens, and the CCR5 mutant CD195 were investigated for their role in the clinical course of COVID-19. In addition, this study addressed levels of severity and morbidity of COVID-19. The association of the immunogenetic background parameters were further related to patients' humoral antiviral immune response patterns by longitudinal observation. RESULTS: Univariate HLA analyses identified putatively protective HLA alleles (HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01, with a trend for DRB1*03:01). They were associated with reduced durations of disease instead decreased (rather than increased) total anti-S IgG levels. They had a higher virus neutralizing capacity compared to non-carriers. Conversely, analyses also identified HLA alleles (HLA class II DQB1*03:02 und HLA class I B*15:01) not associated with such benefit in the patient cohort of this study. Hierarchical testing by Cox regression analyses confirmed the significance of the protective effect of the HLA alleles identified (when assessed in composite) in terms of disease duration, whereas AB0 blood group antigen heterozygosity was found to be significantly associated with disease severity (rather than duration) in our cohort. A suggestive association of a heterozygous CCR5 delta 32 mutation status with prolonged disease duration was implied by univariate analyses but could not be confirmed by hierarchical multivariate testing. CONCLUSION: The current study shows that the presence of HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01 is of even stronger association with reduced disease duration in mild and moderate COVID-19 than age or any other potential risk factor assessed. Prospective studies in larger patient populations also including novel SARS-CoV-2 variants will be required to assess the impact of HLA genetics on the capacity of mounting protective vaccination responses in the future.


Subject(s)
ABO Blood-Group System/genetics , COVID-19/etiology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Receptors, CCR5/genetics , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genotype , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Morbidity , Mutation , Severity of Illness Index
4.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 295, 2021 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1362062

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Intensive Care Resources are heavily utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, risk stratification and prediction of SARS-CoV-2 patient clinical outcomes upon ICU admission remain inadequate. This study aimed to develop a machine learning model, based on retrospective & prospective clinical data, to stratify patient risk and predict ICU survival and outcomes. METHODS: A Germany-wide electronic registry was established to pseudonymously collect admission, therapeutic and discharge information of SARS-CoV-2 ICU patients retrospectively and prospectively. Machine learning approaches were evaluated for the accuracy and interpretability of predictions. The Explainable Boosting Machine approach was selected as the most suitable method. Individual, non-linear shape functions for predictive parameters and parameter interactions are reported. RESULTS: 1039 patients were included in the Explainable Boosting Machine model, 596 patients retrospectively collected, and 443 patients prospectively collected. The model for prediction of general ICU outcome was shown to be more reliable to predict "survival". Age, inflammatory and thrombotic activity, and severity of ARDS at ICU admission were shown to be predictive of ICU survival. Patients' age, pulmonary dysfunction and transfer from an external institution were predictors for ECMO therapy. The interaction of patient age with D-dimer levels on admission and creatinine levels with SOFA score without GCS were predictors for renal replacement therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Using Explainable Boosting Machine analysis, we confirmed and weighed previously reported and identified novel predictors for outcome in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Using this strategy, predictive modeling of COVID-19 ICU patient outcomes can be performed overcoming the limitations of linear regression models. Trial registration "ClinicalTrials" (clinicaltrials.gov) under NCT04455451.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Electronic Health Records/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units , Machine Learning , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness/therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Germany , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care
5.
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 87, 2021 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344125

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 infection is a major threat to patients and health care providers around the world. One solution is the vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We performed a comprehensive query of the latest publications on the prevention of viral infections including the recent vaccination program and its side effects. RESULTS: The situation is evolving rapidly and there is no reasonable alternative to population-scale vaccination programs as currently enrolled. CONCLUSION: Therefore, regulatory authorities should consider supplementing their conventional mandate of post-approval pharmacovigilance, which is based on the collection, assessment, and regulatory response to emerging safety findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Informed Consent/standards , Pharmacovigilance , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/standards , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Disclosure , Humans
6.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 8: 100164, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309324

ABSTRACT

Background: Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have been introduced as a promising new therapeutic approach against SARS-CoV-2. At present, there is little experience regarding their clinical effects in patient populations underrepresented in clinical trials, e.g. immunocompromised patients. Additionally, it is not well known to what extent SARS-CoV-2 treatment with monoclonal antibodies could trigger the selection of immune escape viral variants. Methods: After identifying immunocompromised patients with viral rebound under treatment with bamlanivimab, we characterized the SARS-CoV-2-isolates by whole genome sequencing. Viral load measurements and sequence analysis were performed consecutively before and after bamlanivimab administration. Findings: After initial decrease of viral load, viral clearance was not achieved in five of six immunocompromised patients treated with bamlanivimab. Instead, viral replication increased again over the course of the following one to two weeks. In these five patients, the E484K substitution - known to confer immune escape - was detected at the time of viral rebound but not before bamlanivimab treatment. Interpretation: Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 with bamlanivimab in immunocompromised patients results in the rapid development of immune escape variants in a significant proportion of cases. Given that the E484K mutation can hamper natural immunity, the effectiveness of vaccination as well as antibody-based therapies, these findings may have important implications not only for individual treatment decisions but may also pose a risk to general prevention and treatment strategies. Funding: All authors are employed and all expenses covered by governmental, federal state, or other publicly funded institutions.

7.
Trials ; 22(1): 343, 2021 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232435

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Currently, there are no approved treatments for early disease stages of COVID-19 and few strategies to prevent disease progression after infection with SARS-CoV-2. The objective of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma (CP) or camostat mesylate administered within 72 h of diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in adult individuals with pre-existing risk factors at higher risk of getting seriously ill with COVID-19. Camostat mesylate acts as an inhibitor of the host cell serine protease TMPRSS2 and prevents the virus from entering the cell. CP represents another antiviral strategy in terms of passive immunization. The working hypothesis to be tested in the RES-Q-HR study is that the early use of CP or camostat mesylate reduces the likelihood of disease progression to (modified) WHO stages 4b-8 in SARS-CoV-2-positive adult patients at high risk of moderate or severe COVID-19 progression. TRIAL DESIGN: This study is a 4-arm (parallel group), multicenter, randomized (2:2:1:1 ratio), partly double-blind, controlled trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma (CP) or camostat mesylate with control or placebo in adult patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection and high risk for progression to moderate/severe COVID-19. Superiority of the intervention arms will be tested. PARTICIPANTS: The trial is conducted at 10-15 tertiary care centers in Germany. Individuals aged 18 years or above with ability to provide written informed consent with SARS-CoV-2 infection, confirmed by PCR within 3 days or less before enrolment and the presence of at least one SARS-CoV-2 symptom (such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, fatigue, smell/and or taste disorder, diarrhea, abdominal symptoms, exanthema) and symptom duration of not more than 3 days. Further inclusion criteria comprise: Presence of at least one of the following criteria indicating increased risk for severe COVID-19: Age > 75 years Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and/or pulmonary fibrosis BMI > 40 kg/m2 Age > 65 years with at least one other risk factor (BMI > 35 kg/m2, coronary artery disease (CAD), chronic kidney disease (CKD) with GFR < 60 ml/min but ≥ 30 ml/min, diabetes mellitus, active tumor disease) BMI > 35 kg/m2 with at least one other risk factor (CAD, CKD with GFR < 60 ml/min but ≥ 30 ml/min, diabetes mellitus, active tumor disease) Exclusion criteria: 1. Age < 18 years 2. Unable to give informed consent 3. Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers 4. Previous transfusion reaction or other contraindication to a plasma transfusion 5. Known hypersensitivity to camostat mesylate and/or severe pancreatitis 6. Volume stress due to CP administration would be intolerable 7. Known IgA deficiency 8. Life expectancy < 6 months 9. Duration SARS-CoV-2 typical symptoms > 3 days 10. SARS-CoV-2 PCR detection older than 3 days 11. SARS-CoV-2 associated clinical condition ≥ WHO stage 3 (patients hospitalized for other reasons than COVID-19 may be included if they fulfill all inclusion and none of the exclusion criteria) 12. Previously or currently hospitalized due to SARS-CoV-2 13. Previous antiviral therapy for SARS-CoV-2 14. ALT or AST > 5 x ULN at screening 15. Liver cirrhosis > Child A (patients with Child B/C cirrhosis are excluded from the trial) 16. Chronic kidney disease with GFR < 30 ml/min 17. Concurrent or planned anticancer treatment during trial period 18. Accommodation in an institution due to legal orders (§40(4) AMG). 19. Any psycho-social condition hampering compliance with the study protocol. 20. Evidence of current drug or alcohol abuse 21. Use of other investigational treatment within 5 half-lives of enrolment is prohibited 22. Previous use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 23. Concomitant proven influenza A infection 24. Patients with organ or bone marrow transplant in the three months prior to screening visit INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Participants will be randomized to the following 4 groups: 1) Convalescent plasma (CP), 2 units at screening/baseline visit (day 0) or day 1; CP is defined by the presence of neutralizing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies with titers ≥ 1:160; individuals with body weight ≥ 150 kg will receive a third unit of plasma on day 3 2) Camostat mesylate (200 mg per capsule, one capsule taken each in the morning, afternoon and evening on days 1-7) 3) Standard of care (SOC, control for CP) 4) Placebo (identical in appearance to camostat mesylate capsules, one capsule taken each morning, afternoon and evening on days 1-7; for camostat mesylate control group) Participants will be monitored after screening/baseline on day 3, day 5, day 8, and day 14. On day 28 and day 56, telephone visits and on day 90, another outpatient visit are scheduled. Adverse events and serious adverse events will be monitored and reported until the end of the study. An independent data safety monitoring committee will review trial progression and safety. MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary endpoint of the study is the cumulative number of individuals who progress to or beyond category 4b on the modified WHO COVID-19 ordinal scale (defined as hospitalization with COVID-19 pneumonia and additional oxygen demand via nasal cannula or mask) within 28 days after randomization. RANDOMIZATION: Participants will be randomized using the Alea-Tool ( aleaclinical.com ) in a 2:2:1:1 ratio to the treatment arms (1) CP, (2) camostat mesylate, (3) standard of care (SoC), and (4) placebo matching camostat mesylate. Randomization will be stratified by study center. BLINDING (MASKING): The camostat mesylate treatment arm and the respective placebo will be blinded for participants, caregivers, and those assessing outcomes. The treatment arms convalescent plasma and standard of care will not be blinded and thus are open-labeled, unblinded. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): Overall, n = 994 participants will be randomized to the following groups: n = 331 to convalescent plasma (CP), n = 331 to camostat mesylate, n = 166 to standard of care (SoC), and n = 166 to placebo matching camostat mesylate. TRIAL STATUS: The RES-Q-HR protocol (V04F) was approved on the 18 December 2020 by the local ethics committee and by the regulatory institutions PEI/BfARM on the 2 December 2020. The trial was opened for recruitment on 26 December 2020; the first patient was enrolled on 7 January 2021 and randomized on 8 January 2021. Recruitment shall be completed by June 2021. The current protocol version RES-Q HR V05F is from 4 January 2021, which was approved on the 18 January 2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT Number 2020-004695-18 . Registered on September 29, 2020. ClinicalTrial.gov NCT04681430 . Registered on December 23, 2020, prior to the start of the enrollment (which was opened on December 26, 2020). FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol (V05F) is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Blood Component Transfusion , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Esters , Female , Germany , Guanidines , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mesylates , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Plasma , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Pregnancy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
8.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0248813, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172873

ABSTRACT

Healthcare personnel are at risk to aquire the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We evaluated the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and positive nasopharyngeal reverse transcriptase polymerase-chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests in German intensive care and emergency physicians. Physicians attending intensive care and emergency medicine training courses between June 16th and July 2nd 2020 answered a questionnaire and were screened for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies via automated electrochemiluminiscence immunoassay. We recruited 516 physicans from all parts of Germany, 445/516 (86%) worked in high risk areas, and 379/516 (73%) had treated patients with COVID-19. The overall positive rate was 18/516 (3.5%), 16/18 (89%) had antibodies against SARS-COV-2, another 2 reported previous positive RT-PCR results although antibody testing was negative. Of those positive, 7/18 (39%) were unaware of their infection. A stay abroad was stated by 173/498 (35%), mostly in Europe. 87/516 (17%) reported a febrile respiratory infection after January 1st 2020 which was related to SARS-CoV-2 in 4/87 (4.6%). Contact to COVID-19 positive relatives at home was stated by 22/502 (4.4%). This was the only significant risk factor for Covid-19 infection (Fisher´s exact test, p = 0.0005). N95 masks and eye protection devices were available for 87% and 73%, respectively. A total of 254/502 (51%) had been vaccinated against seasonal influenza. The overall SARS-CoV-2 infection rate of german physicians from intensive care and emergency medicine was low compared to reports from other countries and settings. This finding may be explained by the fact that the German health care system was not overwhelmed by the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19 , Critical Care , Physicians , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies
9.
Front Neurol ; 11: 574004, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-940194

ABSTRACT

Objective: The affection of both the peripheral (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS) by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been assumed to play a direct role in the respiratory failure of patients with Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) through affection of medullary cardiorespiratory centers resulting in neurological complications and sequelae. Methods: We used a multimodal electrophysiological approach combined with neuropsychological investigations to study functional alteration of both the PNS and CNS in four patients with severe COVID-19. Results: We found electrophysiological evidence for affection of both the PNS and CNS, and particularly affection of brain stem function. Furthermore, our neuropsychological investigations provide evidence of marked impairment of cognition independent of delirium, and outlasting the duration of acute infection with SARS-CoV-2. Conclusion: This case series provides first direct electrophysiological evidence for functional brain stem involvement in COVID-19 patients without evident morphological changes supporting the notion of the brain stem contributing to respiratory failure and thus promoting severe courses of the disease. Moreover, sustained neuropsychological sequelae in these patients may be of particular psychosocial and possibly also economic relevance for society.

10.
Ann Intensive Care ; 10(1): 132, 2020 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-887502

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. Despite treatment being in line with current guidelines, mortality remains high in those with septic shock. Intravenous immunoglobulins represent a promising therapy to modulate both the pro- and anti-inflammatory processes and can contribute to the elimination of pathogens. In this context, there is evidence of the benefits of immunoglobulin M (IgM)- and immunoglobulin A (IgA)-enriched immunoglobulin therapy for sepsis. This manuscript aims to summarize current relevant data to provide expert opinions on best practice for the use of an IgM- and IgA-enriched immunoglobulin (Pentaglobin) in adult patients with sepsis. MAIN TEXT: Sepsis patients with hyperinflammation and patients with immunosuppression may benefit most from treatment with IgM- and IgA-enriched immunoglobulin (Pentaglobin). Patients with hyperinflammation present with phenotypes that manifest throughout the body, whilst the clinical characteristics of immunosuppression are less clear. Potential biomarkers for hyperinflammation include elevated procalcitonin, interleukin-6, endotoxin activity and C-reactive protein, although thresholds for these are not well-defined. Convenient biomarkers for identifying patients in a stage of immune-paralysis are still matter of debate, though human leukocyte antigen-antigen D related expression on monocytes, lymphocyte count and viral reactivation have been proposed. The timing of treatment is potentially more critical for treatment efficacy in patients with hyperinflammation compared with patients who are in an immunosuppressed stage. Due to the lack of evidence, definitive dosage recommendations for either population cannot be made, though we suggest that patients with hyperinflammation should receive an initial bolus at a rate of up to 0.6 mL (30 mg)/kg/h for 6 h followed by a continuous maintenance rate of 0.2 mL (10 mg)/kg/hour for ≥ 72 h (total dose ≥ 0.9 g/kg). For immunosuppressed patients, dosage is more conservative (0.2 mL [10 mg]/kg/h) for ≥ 72 h, without an initial bolus (total dose ≥ 0.72 g/kg). CONCLUSIONS: Two distinct populations that may benefit most from Pentaglobin therapy are described in this review. However, further clinical evidence is required to strengthen support for the recommendations given here regarding timing, duration and dosage of treatment.

11.
Strahlenther Onkol ; 196(12): 1068-1079, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-754691

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: COVID-19 infection has manifested as a major threat to both patients and healthcare providers around the world. Radiation oncology institutions (ROI) deliver a major component of cancer treatment, with protocols that might span over several weeks, with the result of increasing susceptibility to COVID-19 infection and presenting with a more severe clinical course when compared with the general population. The aim of this manuscript is to investigate the impact of ROI protocols and performance on daily practice in the high-risk cancer patients during this pandemic. METHODS: We addressed the incidence of positive COVID-19 cases in both patients and health care workers (HCW), in addition to the protective measures adopted in ROIs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland using a specific questionnaire. RESULTS: The results of the questionnaire showed that a noteworthy number of ROIs were able to complete treatment in SARS-CoV­2 positive cancer patients, with only a short interruption. The ROIs reported a significant decrease in patient volume that was not impacted by the circumambient disease incidence, the type of ROI or the occurrence of positive cases. Of the ROIs 16.5% also reported infected HCWs. About half of the ROIs (50.5%) adopted a screening program for patients whereas only 23.3% also screened their HCWs. The range of protective measures included the creation of working groups, instituting home office work and protection with face masks. Regarding the therapeutic options offered, curative procedures were performed with either unchanged or moderately decreased schedules, whereas palliative or benign radiotherapy procedures were more often shortened. Most ROIs postponed or cancelled radiation treatment for benign indications (88.1%). The occurrence of SARS-CoV­2 infections did not affect the treatment options for curative procedures. Non-university-based ROIs seemed to be more willing to change their treatment options for curative and palliative cases than university-based ROIs. CONCLUSION: Most ROIs reported a deep impact of SARS-CoV­2 infections on their work routine. Modification and prioritization of treatment regimens and the application of protective measures preserved a well-functioning radiation oncology service and patient care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Pandemics , Personnel, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Appointments and Schedules , Austria/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Comorbidity , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals, Community , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control/organization & administration , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Masks/supply & distribution , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Palliative Care/statistics & numerical data , Procedures and Techniques Utilization , Risk , Surveys and Questionnaires , Switzerland/epidemiology , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Teleworking/statistics & numerical data
12.
Eur J Med Res ; 25(1): 32, 2020 Aug 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-713821

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The German government has made it mandatory to wear respiratory masks covering mouth and nose (MNC) as an effective strategy to fight SARS-CoV-2 infections. In many countries, this directive has been extended on shopping malls or public transportation. The aim of this paper is to critically analyze the statutory regulation to wear protective masks during the COVID-19 crisis from a medical standpoint. METHODS: We performed an extensive query of the most recent publications addressing the prevention of viral infections including the use of face masks in the community as a method to prevent the spread of the infection. We addressed the issues of practicability, professional use, and acceptability based on the community and the environment where the user resided. RESULTS: Upon our critical review of the available literature, we found only weak evidence for wearing a face mask as an efficient hygienic tool to prevent the spread of a viral infection. However, the use of MNC seems to be linked to relevant protection during close contact scenarios by limiting pathogen-containing aerosol and liquid droplet dissemination. Importantly, we found evidence for significant respiratory compromise in patients with severe obstructive pulmonary disease, secondary to the development of hypercapnia. This could also happen in patients with lung infections, with or without SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSION: Epidemiologists currently emphasize that wearing MNC will effectively interrupt airborne infections in the community. The government and the politicians have followed these recommendations and used them to both advise and, in some cases, mandate the general population to wear MNC in public locations. Overall, the results seem to suggest that there are some clinically relevant scenarios where the use of MNC necessitates more defined recommendations. Our critical evaluation of the literature both highlights the protective effects of certain types of face masks in defined risk groups, and emphasizes their potential risks.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/methods , Respiratory Protective Devices/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Equipment and Supplies Utilization/legislation & jurisprudence , Equipment and Supplies Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Masks/adverse effects , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/legislation & jurisprudence , Respiratory Protective Devices/adverse effects
13.
Trials ; 21(1): 577, 2020 Jun 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-613556

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Approximately 8 - 10 % of COVID-19 patients present with a serious clinical course and need for hospitalization, 8% of hospitalized patients need ICU-treatment. Currently, no causal therapy is available and treatment is purely supportive. The main reason for death in critically ill patients is acute respiratory failure. However, in a number of patients a severe hyperinflammatory response with excessively elevated proinflammatory cytokines causes vasoplegic shock resistant to vasopressor therapy. A new polystyrene-based hemoadsorber (CytoSorb®, Cytosorbents Inc., New Jersey, USA) has been shown to adsorb effectively cytokines and other middle molecular weight toxins this way reducing their blood concentrations. This has been routinely used in clinical practice in the EU for other conditions where a cytokine storm occurs and an observational study has just been completed on COVID-19 patients. We hypothesized that the extracorporeal elimination of cytokines in critically ill COVID-19 patients with suspected hyperinflammation and shock may stabilize hemodynamics and improve outcome. The primary endpoint is time until resolution of vasoplegic shock, which is a well implemented, clinically relevant endpoint in critical care studies. TRIAL DESIGN: Phase IIb, multicenter, prospective, open-label, randomized, 1:1 parallel group pilot study comparing the additional use of "CytoSorb" to standard of care without "CytoSorb". PARTICIPANTS: Patients are recruited from the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) of 7 participating centers in Germany (approximately 10 ICUs). All patients aged 18- 80 with positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for SARS-CoV-2, a C-reactive protein (CRP) ≥ 100 mg/l, a Procalcitonin (PCT) < 2 ng/l, and suspected cytokine storm defined via a vasoplegic shock (Norepinephrine > 0.2 µg/min/kg to achieve a Mean Arterial Pressure ≥ 65mmHg). Patients are included irrespective of indication for renal replacement therapy. Suspected or proven bacterial cause for vasoplegic shock is a contraindication. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Within 24 hours after meeting the inclusion criteria patients will be randomized to receive either standard of care or standard of care and additional "CytoSorb" therapy via a shaldon catheter for 3-7 days. Filter exchange is done every 24 hours. If patients receive antibiotics, an additional dose of antibiotics is administered after each change of "CytoSorb" filter in order to prevent underdosing due to "CytoSorb" treatment. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary outcome is time to resolution of vasoplegic shock (defined as no need for vasopressors for at least 8 hours in order to sustain a MAP ≥ 65mmHg) in days. Secondary outcomes are 7 day mortality after fulfilling the inclusion criteria, mortality until hospital discharge, Interleukin-6 (IL-6) measurement on day 1 and 3, need for mechanical ventilation, duration of mechanical ventilation, duration of ICU-stay, catecholamine dose on day 1/2/3 after start of "CytoSorb" and acute kidney injury. RANDOMIZATION: An electronic randomization will be performed using the study software secuTrial® administered by the Clinical Study Center (CSC) of the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. Randomization is done in blocks by 4 stratified by including center. BLINDING (MASKING): The trial will be non-blinded for the clinicians and patients. The statistician will receive a blinded data set, so that all analyses will be conducted blinded. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): As this is a pilot study with the goal to examine the feasibility of the study design as well as the intervention effect, no formal sample size calculation was conducted. A total number of approximately 80-100 patients is planned (40-50 patients per group). Safety assessment is done after the inclusion of each 10 patients per randomization group. TRIAL STATUS: Please see the study protocol version from April 24 2020. Recruitment of patients is still pending. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered on April 27 2020 in the German Registry of Clinical Trials (DRKS) under the number DRKS00021447. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Hemadsorption , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Critical Illness , Cytokines/isolation & purification , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
14.
Eur J Med Res ; 25(1): 23, 2020 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-612270

ABSTRACT

In the human population, social contacts are a key for transmission of bacteria and viruses. The use of face masks seems to be critical to prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 for the period, in which therapeutic interventions are lacking. In this review, we describe the history of masks from the middle age to modern times.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/methods , History of Medicine , Masks/history , Communicable Disease Control/instrumentation , History, 17th Century , History, 18th Century , History, 19th Century , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , Masks/standards , Respiratory Protective Devices/history , Respiratory Protective Devices/standards
15.
Euro Surveill ; 25(22)2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-525969

ABSTRACT

We whole-genome sequenced 55 SARS-CoV-2 isolates from Germany to investigate SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in 2020 in the Heinsberg district and Düsseldorf. While the genetic structure of the Heinsberg outbreak indicates a clonal origin, reflecting superspreading dynamics from mid-February during the carnival season, distinct viral strains were circulating in Düsseldorf in March, reflecting the city's international links. Limited detection of Heinsberg strains in the Düsseldorf area despite geographical proximity may reflect efficient containment and contact-tracing efforts.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Genome, Viral/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Eur J Med Res ; 25(1): 16, 2020 May 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-270845

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of the corona virus pandemic is an existential problem for many people in numerous countries. So far, there is no effective vaccine protection or proven therapy available against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In this review, we describe the role of passive immunization in times of the corona virus. Passive immunization could be a bridging technology to improve the immune defense of critically ill patients until better approaches with effective medications are available.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Immunization, Passive , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , Humans , Immunization, Passive/trends , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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