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Infection ; 2021 Oct 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1491465


PURPOSE: To investigate the expression of the receptor protein ACE-2 alongside the urinary tract, urinary shedding and urinary stability of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. METHODS: Immunohistochemical staining was performed on tissue from urological surgery of 10 patients. Further, patients treated for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at specialized care-units of a university hospital were assessed for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urinary samples via PCR, disease severity (WHO score), inflammatory response of patients. Finally, the stability of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urine was analyzed. RESULTS: High ACE-2 expression (3/3) was observed in the tubules of the kidney and prostate glands, moderate expression in urothelial cells of the bladder (0-2/3) and no expression in kidney glomeruli, muscularis of the bladder and stroma of the prostate (0/3). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 5/199 urine samples from 64 patients. Viral RNA was detected in the first urinary sample of sequential samples. Viral RNA load from other specimen as nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) or endotracheal aspirates revealed higher levels than from urine. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urine was not associated with impaired WHO score (median 5, range 3-8 vs median 4, range 1-8, p = 0.314), peak white blood cell count (median 24.1 × 1000/ml, range 5.19-48.1 versus median 11.9 × 1000/ml, range 2.9-60.3, p = 0.307), peak CRP (median 20.7 mg/dl, 4.2-40.2 versus median 11.9 mg/dl, range 0.1-51.9, p = 0.316) or peak IL-6 levels (median: 1442 ng/ml, range 26.7-3918 versus median 140 ng/ml, range 3.0-11,041, p = 0.099). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was stable under different storage conditions and after freeze-thaw cycles. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the urine of COVID-19 patients occurs infrequently. The viral RNA load and dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding suggest no relevant route of transmission through the urinary tract.

Clin Transplant ; 34(10): e14027, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615069


Immunosuppression leaves transplanted patients at particular risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The specific features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in immunosuppressed patients are largely unknown and therapeutic experience is lacking. Seven transplanted patients (two liver, three kidneys, one double lung, one heart) admitted to the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich because of COVID-19 and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were included. The clinical course and the clinical findings were extracted from the medical record. The two liver transplant patients and the heart transplant patient had an uncomplicated course and were discharged after 14, 18, and 12 days, respectively. Two kidney transplant recipients were intubated within 48 hours. One kidney and the lung transplant recipients were required to intubate after 10 and 15 days, respectively. Immunosuppression was adapted in five patients, but continued in all patients. Compared to non-transplanted patients at the ICU (n = 19) the inflammatory response was attenuated in transplanted patients, which was proven by decreased IL-6 blood values. This analysis might provide evidence that continuous immunosuppression is safe and probably beneficial since there was no hyperinflammation evident. Although transplanted patients might be more susceptible to an infection with SARS-CoV-2, their clinical course seems to be similar to immunocompetent patients.

COVID-19/immunology , Graft Rejection/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Inflammation/immunology , Organ Transplantation , Postoperative Complications/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Testing , Drug Administration Schedule , Female , Graft Rejection/immunology , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Inflammation/diagnosis , Inflammation/therapy , Inflammation/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Postoperative Complications/diagnosis , Postoperative Complications/therapy , Postoperative Complications/virology , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult