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International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases ; 26(Supplement 1):337.0, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2236175


Background: Disseminated infections such as tuberculosis are known to result in a systemic inflammatory response leading to thrombosis, with increasing reported cases of thrombotic event being observed in patients infected with covid-19. This is the first reported case on co-infection with COVID-19 pneumonia and disseminated tuberculosis causing catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome (CAPS). Method(s): The report highlighted the challenges in the diagnosis and management which include the use of corticosteroid in setting of systemic infections. Another diagnostic dilemma was to explain the cause of myositis by tuberculous or autoimmune. Case Presentation: We report a 26-year- old man with HbE trait thalassemia who reported unintentional weight loss, night sweats for 1 month prior to the diagnosis of covid-19 infection on 10th March 2022. Seven days later, he was hospitalized for suspected perforated appendix. Computed tomography (CT) abdomen revealed hepatosplenomegaly, prostatitis, seminal vesiculitis. Multiple matted abdominal lymph nodes were not amenable for biopsy. Soon, he appeared toxic, dyspneic required non-invasive ventilation with bilateral parotitis. He had raised erythrocyte sedimentation (ESR) 52 mm/hour, C-reactive protein (CRP) 221 mg/dl, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) 730U/L. Direct Coomb's antibody was positive but did not have any form of haemolysis. Complement 3 (0.45 g/L) and complement 4 (0.1 g/L) levels were low. Serum IgG4, procalcitonin, anti-nuclear antibody, cultures and virology were negative. Sputum for acid fast bacilli (AFB) was positive on Auramine O stain but the Ziehl-Nelson (ZN) stain and tuberculous PCR (GeneXpert) were negative. Diagnosis of disseminated tuberculosis was made but his abdominal pain persisted despite being on anti-tuberculous therapy (ATT), and he had new evidence of splenic infarct. CT angiogram also revealed celiac trunk and superior mesenteric artery thrombosis. Antiphospholipid (aPL) test was positive for lupus anticoagulant, beta 2 glycoprotein 1 and anti-cardiolipin antibodies. Therapeutic anticoagulation and plasma exchange were initiated for probable CAPS followed by intravenous immunoglobulin and corticosteroid. Thereafter, the patient developed severe bilateral pelvic girdle pain with evidence of myositis on the MRI (Figure 2). Serum creatine kinase was never elevated. Anti-PL- 7 and anti Ro-52 were borderline elevated. He recovered well and ambulant before discharged home. Conclusion(s): Our case highlight the complexicity of presentation of CAPS who manifested as multiple arterial thrombosis. The diagnosis of disseminated tuberculosis relied strongly on microbiological, imaging and clinical presentation as histopathological evidence was not feasible. Management challenges were deciding on corticosteroid in disseminated infection and the need for confirmation of persistent positive aPL test and to monitor myositis symptom to help guide decision making. (Figure Presented).

International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases ; 26(Supplement 1):132.0, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2229293


Background: Covid-19 infection has caused a global pandemic in the recent years and although initially it was considered mainly a respiratory ailment it has proven over time to cause a constellation of complications across various systems such as hematological, immune, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and neurological. Method(s): We report a case of a lupus patient with Covid-19 infection who presented initially with fever and gum bleeding with a negative dengue serology and negative HIV serology. Result(s): A 45-year- old lady with a 30-year history of SLE was admitted to our hospital with Covid 19 infection. She had relatively stable disease over the past few years but was admitted to the hospital with complaints of fever, gum bleeding and shortness of breath with no chest x-ray changes. Her oxygen saturations were 95% under room air and her vital signs were stable. Laboratory examinations revealed raised white cell count (11.63) with neutrophilia and elevated C-reactive protein (2.84mg/dl). Her platelet count was low at 113 when compared to her baseline of 549. An urgent peripheral blood film showed an incidental finding of Stomato-ovalocytosis with mild anaemia however there was no features of haemolysis. She was initially treated as acquired Immune thrombocytopenia provoked by Covid-19 infection and was started on IV hydrocortisone. She had a lack of response as evident of a further decline in her platelet counts and the following day, she developed rapid decline in her renal function wherein her creatinine increased from 83 to 207. An urgent ultrasound doppler of the kidneys to rule out acute renal vein thrombosis was organised however it showed normal patent renal vessels. Peripheral blood films were repeated which showed minimal schistocytes and the diagnosis was clinched with the Adamst13 activity levels being less than 0.2%. She was started on 20g IVIG per day with plasma exchange however succumbed to the illness. Conclusion(s): The diagnosis of TTP classically involves the recognition of the pentad of fever, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, acute renal failure, and neurological abnormalities however 60% of patients do not fulfil the pentad. It is essential to recognize that Covid-19 is an acquired cause of TTP, and a high index of suspicion must be maintained for early treatment institution.

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 81:938-939, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2008904


Background: The impact of immunosuppressants on COVID-19 vaccination response and durability in patients with immune-mediated infammatory diseases (IMID) is yet to be fully characterized. Humoral response may be attenuated in these patients especially those on B cell depleting therapy and higher doses of corticosteroids, but data regarding other immunosuppressants are scarce. Objectives: We aimed to investigate antibody and T cell responses and durability to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines (BNT162b and/or mRNA 1273) in IMID patients on immunomodulatory maintenance therapy other than B-cell depleting therapy and corticosteroids. Methods: This prospective observational cohort study examined the immuno-genicity of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in adult patients with IMIDs (psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, infammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis) with or without maintenance immunosuppressive therapies (anti-TNF, methotrexate/azathioprine [MTX/AZA], anti-TNF + MTX/AZA, anti IL12/23, anti-IL-17, anti-IL23) compared to healthy controls. Automated ELISA for IgGs to spike trimer, spike receptor binding domain (RBD) and the nucleocapsid (NP) and T-cell release of 9 cytokines (IFNg, IL2, IL4, IL17A, TNF) and cytotoxic molecules (sFasL, GzmA, GzmB, Perforinin) in cell culture supernatants following stimulation with spike or NP peptide arrays were conducted at 4 time points: T1=pre vaccination, T2=me-dian 26 days after dose 1, T3=median 16 days after dose 2 and T4=median 106 days after dose 2. Neutralization assays against four SARS-CoV-2 variants (wild type, delta, beta and gamma) were conducted at T3. Results: We followed 150 subjects: 26 healthy controls and 124 IMID patients: 9 untreated, 44 on anti-TNF, 16 on anti-TNF with MTX/AZA, 10 on anti-IL23, 28 on anti-IL12/23, 9 on anti-IL17, 8 on MTX/AZA (Table 1). Most patients mounted antibody and T cell responses with increases from dose 1 to dose 2 (100% sero-conversion at T3) and some decline by T4, with variability within groups. Antibody levels and neutralization efficacy was lower in anti-TNFgroups (anti-TNF, anti-TNF + MTX/AZA) compared to controls and waned by T4 (Figure 1). T cell responses were not consistently different between groups. Pooled data showed a higher antibody response to mRNA-1273 compared to BNT162b. Conclusion: Following 2 doses of mRNA vaccination there is 100% seroconver-sion in IMID patients on maintenance therapy. Antibody levels and neutralization efficacy in anti-TNF group are lower than controls, and wane substantially by 3 months after dose 2. These fndings highlight the need for third dose in patients undergoing treatment with anti-TNF therapy and continued monitoring of immunity in these patient groups, taking into consideration newer variants and additional vaccine doses.

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 81:1517, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2008802


Background: Axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) is an important cause of infam-matory back pain (IBP). It is under-recognized, leading to signifcant delays in diagnosis. Early recognition and diagnosis are crucial to achieve the best outcomes for patients and in Malaysia, signifcant gaps in the clinical management of axSpA remain. Therefore, we sought to implement a strategy to improve the time to diagnosis and management of axSpA in Malaysia by collaborating and adopting guidance from an international axSpA expert. Objectives: The objectives were to improve disease recognition among healthcare practitioners (HCPs), reducing time to specialist referral and diagnosis whilst improving disease management by developing and implementing a new patient care model called the Spondyloarthritis Accelerated Management (SAM) and measure its effectiveness in 3 Rheumatology centers in Malaysia. Methods: The SAM initiative was developed by the Malaysian SpA Consortium Working Group involving 8 Malaysian rheumatologists from 3 local centers and 1 international axSpA expert from the UK as part of the steering committee. Selections were based on clinical expertise. The frst local alignment meeting on model structure was held in July 2020 with subsequent meetings held to address key barriers to early axSpA diagnosis and timely access to quality care. A care model with feasible key performance indicators (KPIs) was established, adapted and tracked monthly in the 3 rheumatology centers (Figure 1). Referral tools were developed to facilitate early referrals to rheumatologists. These included a QR-coded '3-R' referral guide1 and a patient self-screening tool with a patient self-referral letter all hosted on the Malaysian Society of Rheumatology (MSR) website, educational talks to HCPs and public awareness forums on IBP and axSpA. Data were collected on referral source, duration of referrals, knowledge on IBP in HCPs by surveys and imaging accessibility at baseline and at 1 year after the initiative was launched. Baseline data collected were from August to October 2020 and 1 year data were from November 2020 to November 2021. Results: At 1 year, the SAM initiative showed a 44.4% (Median: 1.33 [IQR 1-1.7] vs 1.92 [IQR 1.6-2.1]) increase in IBP referrals, a reducing trend from 9.5 (IQR 8-11.1) to 5.9 (IQR 5.1-6.8) weeks of waiting time to a frst Rheumatology visit and an increase of 37.2% (34% vs 71%) in IBP patients who were seen at the rheumatology clinic within 6 weeks. All patients with IBP had X-rays (sacroiliac joints or pelvis). MRI requests in X-ray negative patients suspected of axSpA was increased by 13.9% (77.8% vs 91.7%) and waiting time for MRI was reduced by 3.1 weeks (12 vs 8.9 weeks). The IBP knowledge among 224 HCPs improved by 40.6% (45.7% vs 86.3%). The number of patients newly diagnosed with axSpA increased by 40% (Median: 5 [IQR 4-9.5] vs 7 [IQR 6.5-7]) despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusion: The SAM initiative has shown promising initial results in improving referrals of patients with IBP, promoting earlier diagnosis and establishing the importance of having timely access to optimal care. A nationwide implementation is being planned to improve the recognition of the axSpA in Malaysia.

Gastroenterology ; 162(7):S-1006, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1967392


BACKGROUND Little is known about the impact of immunosuppressants on COVID-19 vaccination in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID). Although humoral response may be attenuated in patients using immunomodulators (IMM) and TNFinhibitors (anti-TNF), data regarding cellular response are scarce and conflicting. This study was aimed to identify immune response to COVID-19 vaccination in IMID patients. METHODS A prospective observational multicentre cohort study was conducted to examine the immunogenicity of mRNA vaccines to SARS-CoV-2 in adult IMID patients using immunosuppressive therapy (anti-TNF, IMM, anti-TNF+IMM, anti-IL12/23, anti-IL-17, anti-IL-23) or no therapy as compared to healthy controls (HC). Patient details and vaccination history were recorded. Blood samples were drawn at 3 time points: before, 3-4 weeks after first and 2 weeks after second vaccination. Humoral immune response to S and RBD proteins were assessed by ELISA. Neutralization was tested against 4 variants of SARS-CoV-2 by surrogate neutralization ELISA. Cellular immune responses were determined based on analysis of 9 secreted cytokines and cytotoxic molecules after stimulation of PBMC with S peptide pools. Response to N protein was used to assess SARS-CoV-2 exposure. RESULTS A total of 159 subjects (133 IMID patients and 26 HC) were included in this study (median age 42 years [IQR 30-53], 52% male). Of 133 IMID patients, 87 had inflammatory bowel disease, 23 psoriatic arthritis, 18 psoriasis, 11 ankylosing spondylarthritis and 4 rheumatoid arthritis. Of these, 44 used anti-TNF, 9 IMM, 18 anti-TNF+IMM, 33 anti-IL-12/23, 9 anti-IL-17, 10 anti-IL-23 therapy and 10 no therapy. All subjects received 2 doses of mRNA vaccines (2x Pfizer, 2x Moderna or mixed) between December 2020 and September 2021. The vast majority of subjects had minimal binding antibody and T cell responses to N, indicating they were COVID-19 naïve. After dose 1, anti-TNF group had lower IL-2 vs untreated IMID (p<0.01), and the anti-IL-23 group had lower IFN-g vs HC (p<0.01), though there was wide variation in responses within groups. Following dose 2, median responses between groups were mostly similar, but antibody responses were significantly lower in patients on anti-TNF as compared to HC in subjects that received two doses of Pfizer (p=0.01). Pooled data for all subjects combined show a higher response to Moderna over Pfizer in ELISA, neutralization and T cell readouts, and a lower response for those over 60 years of age after dose 2. Longer follow-up is in process to monitor the durability of these responses over time and after third dose. CONCLUSION Immune responses after 2 doses of mRNA vaccines in immunocompromised IMID patients largely reach the level of that of HC albeit antibody responses in the anti-TNF group are weaker and with wide variability between subjects within some groups