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1.
Commun Med (Lond) ; 2: 53, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852524

ABSTRACT

Background: The adaptive immune responses of COVID-19 patients contributes to virus clearance, restoration of health and protection from re-infection. The patterns of and the associated characteristics with longitudinal neutralising antibody (NAb) response following SARS-CoV-2 infection are important in their potential association with the population risks of re-infection. Methods: This is a longitudinal study with blood samples and clinical data collected in adults aged 18 or above following diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. NAb levels were measured by the SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralisation test (sVNT). Anonymous clinical and laboratory data were matched with surveillance data for each subject for enabling analyses and applying latent class mixed models for trajectory delineation. Logistic regression models were performed to compare the characteristics between the identified classes. Results: In 2020-2021, 368 convalescent patients in Hong Kong are tested for NAb. Their seroconversion occur within 3 months in 97% symptomatic patients, the level of which are maintained at 97% after 9 months. The NAb trajectories of 200 symptomatic patients are classified by the initial response and subsequent trend into high-persistent and waning classes in latent class mixed models. High-persistent (15.5%) class patients are older and most have chronic illnesses. Waning class patients (84.5%) are largely young adults who are mildly symptomatic including 2 who serorevert after 10 months. Conclusions: Characteristic sub-class variabilities in clinical pattern are noted especially among patients with waning NAb. The heterogeneity of the NAb trajectory patterns and their clinical association can be important for informing vaccination strategy to prevent re-infection.

2.
Pathogens ; 11(4)2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822431

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 enters the body through inhalation or self-inoculation to mucosal surfaces. The kinetics of the ocular and nasal mucosal-specific-immunoglobulin A(IgA) responses remain under-studied. METHODS: Conjunctival fluid (CF, n = 140) and nasal epithelial lining fluid (NELF, n = 424) obtained by paper strips and plasma (n = 153) were collected longitudinally from SARS-CoV-2 paediatric (n = 34) and adult (n = 47) patients. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein 1(S1)-specific mucosal antibody levels in COVID-19 patients, from hospital admission to six months post-diagnosis, were assessed. RESULTS: The mucosal antibody was IgA-predominant. In the NELF of asymptomatic paediatric patients, S1-specific IgA was induced as early as the first four days post-diagnosis. Their plasma S1-specific IgG levels were higher than in symptomatic patients in the second week after diagnosis. The IgA and IgG levels correlated positively with the surrogate neutralization readout. The detectable NELF "receptor-blocking" S1-specific IgA in the first week after diagnosis correlated with a rapid decline in viral load. CONCLUSIONS: Early and intense nasal S1-specific IgA levels link to a rapid decrease in viral load. Our results provide insights into the role of mucosal immunity in SARS-CoV-2 exposure and protection. There may be a role of NELF IgA in the screening and diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

3.
Clin Exp Ophthalmol ; 50(4): 398-406, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714157

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We investigated the ocular surface disturbances in COVID-19 patients discharged from the hospital. METHODS: One hundred and seventy-nine eyes of 109 healthy participants and 456 eyes of 228 post-COVID-19 patients received comprehensive eye examinations; the latter were interviewed with questionnaires on ocular symptoms before and after COVID-19 diagnosis. Associations of ocular surface manifestations with virological and ophthalmic parameters were evaluated by multivariable mixed linear or logistic regression models. RESULTS: Mean interval between COVID-19 diagnosis and ophthalmic evaluation was 52.23 ± 16.12 days. The severity of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) based on clinical staging was higher in post-COVID-19 than healthy eyes (1.14 ± 0.67 vs. 0.92 ± 0.68, p = 0.002) and so was ocular surface staining score (0.60 ± 0.69 vs. 0.49 ± 0.68, p = 0.044). Patients requiring supplementary oxygen during hospitalisation had shorter tear break-up time (ß -1.63, 95% CI -2.61 to -0.65). Cycle threshold (Ct) value from upper respiratory samples (inversely correlated with viral load) at diagnosis had an OR = 0.91 (95% CI 0.84-0.98) with new ocular surface symptoms 4 weeks after diagnosis. The presence of ocular surface symptoms 1 week prior to COVID-19 diagnosis showed an OR of 20.89 (95% CI 6.35-68.66) of persistent or new ocular symptoms 4 weeks afterward. CONCLUSIONS: MGD and ocular surface staining are more common and severe in post-COVID-19 patients. Patients with higher viral loads have greater risks of ocular surface symptoms. Patients requiring supplementary oxygen are more likely to show tear film instability. Ocular surface evaluation should be considered 1-3 months following hospital discharge for any COVID-19 patient.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dry Eye Syndromes , Eyelid Diseases , Meibomian Gland Dysfunction , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Dry Eye Syndromes/diagnosis , Humans , Meibomian Glands , Oxygen , Tears
4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-325537

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the enveloped RNA virus SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from faecal samples and active viral replication was reported in human intestinal cells. The human gut also harbors an enormous amount of resident viruses (collectively known as the virome) that play a role in regulating host immunity and disease pathophysiology. Understanding gut virome perturbation that underlies SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity is an unmet need. Methods: : We enrolled 98 COVID-19 patients with varying disease severity (3 asymptomatic, 53 mild, 34 moderate, 5 severe, 3 critical) and 78 non-COVID-19 controls matched for gender and co-morbidities. All subjects had faecal specimens sampled at inclusion. Blood specimens were collected for COVID-19 patients at admission to test for inflammatory markers and white cell counts. Among COVID-19 cases, 37 (38%) patients had serial faecal samples collected 2 to 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until after discharge. Using shotgun metagenomics sequencing, we sequenced and profiled the faecal RNA and DNA virome. We investigated alterations and longitudinal dynamics of the gut virome in association with disease severity and blood parameters. Results: : Patients with COVID-19 showed underrepresentation of Pepper mild mottle virus (RNA virus) and multiple bacteriophage lineages (DNA viruses) and enrichment of environment-derived eukaryotic DNA viruses in faecal samples, compared to non-COVID-19 subjects. Such gut virome alterations persisted up to 30 days after disease resolution. Faecal virome in SARS-CoV-2 infection harboured more stress-, inflammation- and virulence-associated gene encoding capacities including those pertaining to bacteriophage integration, DNA repair, and metabolism and virulence associated with their bacterial host. Baseline fecal abundance of 10 virus species (1 RNA virus, Pepper chlorotic spot virus, and 9 DNA virus species) inversely correlated with disease COVID-19 severity. These viruses inversely correlated with blood levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, white cells and neutrophils. Among the 10 COVID-19 severity-associated DNA virus species, 4 showed inverse correlation with age;5 showed persistent lower abundance both during disease course and after disease resolution relative to non-COVID-19 subjects. Conclusions: Both enteric RNA and DNA virome in COVID-19 patients were different from non-COVID-19 subjects, which persisted after disease resolution of COVID-19. Gut virome may calibrate host immunity and regulate severity to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our observation that gut viruses inversely correlated with both severity of COVID-19 and host age may partly explain that older subjects are prone to severe and worse COVID-19 outcomes. Altogether our data highlight the importance of human gut virome in severity and potentially therapeutics of COVID-19.

5.
Gastroenterology ; 162(2): 548-561.e4, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475507

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with altered gut microbiota composition. Phylogenetic groups of gut bacteria involved in the metabolism of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were depleted in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. We aimed to characterize a functional profile of the gut microbiome in patients with COVID-19 before and after disease resolution. METHODS: We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing on fecal samples from 66 antibiotics-naïve patients with COVID-19 and 70 non-COVID-19 controls. Serial fecal samples were collected (at up to 6 times points) during hospitalization and beyond 1 month after discharge. We assessed gut microbial pathways in association with disease severity and blood inflammatory markers. We also determined changes of microbial functions in fecal samples before and after disease resolution and validated these functions using targeted analysis of fecal metabolites. RESULTS: Compared with non-COVID-19 controls, patients with COVID-19 with severe/critical illness showed significant alterations in gut microbiome functionality (P < .001), characterized by impaired capacity of gut microbiome for SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis and enhanced capacity for urea production. Impaired SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis in gut microbiome persisted beyond 30 days after recovery in patients with COVID-19. Targeted analysis of fecal metabolites showed significantly lower fecal concentrations of SCFAs and L-isoleucine in patients with COVID-19 before and after disease resolution. Lack of SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis significantly correlated with disease severity and increased plasma concentrations of CXCL-10, NT- proB-type natriuretic peptide, and C-reactive protein (all P < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Gut microbiome of patients with COVID-19 displayed impaired capacity for SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis that persisted even after disease resolution. These 2 microbial functions correlated with host immune response underscoring the importance of gut microbial functions in SARS-CoV-2 infection pathogenesis and outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/microbiology , Fatty Acids, Volatile/biosynthesis , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Immunity/physiology , Isoleucine/biosynthesis , Adult , Biomarkers/blood , Case-Control Studies , Feces/microbiology , Female , Humans , Male , Metagenomics , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
7.
Microbiome ; 9(1): 91, 2021 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183579

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the enveloped RNA virus SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from fecal samples, and active viral replication was reported in human intestinal cells. The human gut also harbors an enormous amount of resident viruses (collectively known as the virome) that play a role in regulating host immunity and disease pathophysiology. Understanding gut virome perturbation that underlies SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity is an unmet need. METHODS: We enrolled 98 COVID-19 patients with varying disease severity (3 asymptomatic, 53 mild, 34 moderate, 5 severe, 3 critical) and 78 non-COVID-19 controls matched for gender and co-morbidities. All subjects had fecal specimens sampled at inclusion. Blood specimens were collected for COVID-19 patients at admission to test for inflammatory markers and white cell counts. Among COVID-19 cases, 37 (38%) patients had serial fecal samples collected 2 to 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until after discharge. Using shotgun metagenomics sequencing, we sequenced and profiled the fecal RNA and DNA virome. We investigated alterations and longitudinal dynamics of the gut virome in association with disease severity and blood parameters. RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 showed underrepresentation of Pepper mild mottle virus (RNA virus) and multiple bacteriophage lineages (DNA viruses) and enrichment of environment-derived eukaryotic DNA viruses in fecal samples, compared to non-COVID-19 subjects. Such gut virome alterations persisted up to 30 days after disease resolution. Fecal virome in SARS-CoV-2 infection harbored more stress-, inflammation-, and virulence-associated gene encoding capacities including those pertaining to bacteriophage integration, DNA repair, and metabolism and virulence associated with their bacterial host. Baseline fecal abundance of 10 virus species (1 RNA virus, pepper chlorotic spot virus, and 9 DNA virus species) inversely correlated with disease COVID-19 severity. These viruses inversely correlated with blood levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, white cells, and neutrophils. Among the 10 COVID-19 severity-associated DNA virus species, 4 showed inverse correlation with age; 5 showed persistent lower abundance both during disease course and after disease resolution relative to non-COVID-19 subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Both enteric RNA and DNA virome in COVID-19 patients were different from non-COVID-19 subjects, which persisted after disease resolution of COVID-19. Gut virome may calibrate host immunity and regulate severity to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our observation that gut viruses inversely correlated with both severity of COVID-19 and host age may partly explain that older subjects are prone to severe and worse COVID-19 outcomes. Altogether, our data highlight the importance of human gut virome in severity and potentially therapeutics of COVID-19. Video Abstract.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Child, Preschool , DNA , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Humans , RNA , SARS-CoV-2 , Virome
9.
Gastroenterology ; 159(4): 1302-1310.e5, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-621434

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects intestinal cells, and might affect the intestinal microbiota. We investigated changes in the fecal fungal microbiomes (mycobiome) of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection during hospitalization and on recovery. METHODS: We performed deep shotgun metagenomic sequencing analysis of fecal samples from 30 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, from February 5 through May 12, 2020. Fecal samples were collected 2 to 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until discharge. We compared fecal mycobiome compositions of patients with COVID-19 with those from 9 subjects with community-acquired pneumonia and 30 healthy individuals (controls). We assessed fecal mycobiome profiles throughout time of hospitalization until clearance of SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal samples. RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 had significant alterations in their fecal mycobiomes compared with controls, characterized by enrichment of Candia albicans and a highly heterogeneous mycobiome configuration, at time of hospitalization. Although fecal mycobiomes of 22 patients with COVID-19 did not differ significantly from those of controls during times of hospitalization, 8 of 30 patients with COVID-19 had continued significant differences in fecal mycobiome composition, through the last sample collected. The diversity of the fecal mycobiome of the last sample collected from patients with COVID-19 was 2.5-fold higher than that of controls (P < .05). Samples collected at all timepoints from patients with COVID-19 had increased proportions of opportunistic fungal pathogens, Candida albicans, Candida auris, and Aspergillus flavus compared with controls. Two respiratory-associated fungal pathogens, A. flavus and Aspergillus niger, were detected in fecal samples from a subset of patients with COVID-19, even after clearance of SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal samples and resolution of respiratory symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: In a pilot study, we found heterogeneous configurations of the fecal mycobiome, with enrichment of fungal pathogens from the genera Candida and Aspergillus, during hospitalization of 30 patients with COVID-19 compared with controls. Unstable gut mycobiomes and prolonged dysbiosis persisted in a subset of patients with COVID-19 up to 12 days after nasopharyngeal clearance of SARS-CoV-2. Studies are needed to determine whether alterations in intestinal fungi contribute to or result from SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the effects of these changes in disease progression.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/microbiology , Feces/microbiology , Fungi/isolation & purification , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Mycobiome , Pneumonia, Viral/microbiology , Adult , Aged , Aspergillus flavus/genetics , Aspergillus flavus/isolation & purification , Aspergillus niger/genetics , Aspergillus niger/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Candida/genetics , Candida/isolation & purification , Candida albicans/genetics , Candida albicans/isolation & purification , Case-Control Studies , Community-Acquired Infections/microbiology , DNA, Fungal/analysis , Female , Fungi/genetics , Humans , Male , Metagenomics , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Pneumonia/microbiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Young Adult
10.
Gastroenterology ; 159(3): 944-955.e8, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-324569

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects gastrointestinal tissues, little is known about the roles of gut commensal microbes in susceptibility to and severity of infection. We investigated changes in fecal microbiomes of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection during hospitalization and associations with severity and fecal shedding of virus. METHODS: We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing analyses of fecal samples from 15 patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, from February 5 through March 17, 2020. Fecal samples were collected 2 or 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until discharge; disease was categorized as mild (no radiographic evidence of pneumonia), moderate (pneumonia was present), severe (respiratory rate ≥30/min, or oxygen saturation ≤93% when breathing ambient air), or critical (respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation, shock, or organ failure requiring intensive care). We compared microbiome data with those from 6 subjects with community-acquired pneumonia and 15 healthy individuals (controls). We assessed gut microbiome profiles in association with disease severity and changes in fecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 had significant alterations in fecal microbiomes compared with controls, characterized by enrichment of opportunistic pathogens and depletion of beneficial commensals, at time of hospitalization and at all timepoints during hospitalization. Depleted symbionts and gut dysbiosis persisted even after clearance of SARS-CoV-2 (determined from throat swabs) and resolution of respiratory symptoms. The baseline abundance of Coprobacillus, Clostridium ramosum, and Clostridium hathewayi correlated with COVID-19 severity; there was an inverse correlation between abundance of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (an anti-inflammatory bacterium) and disease severity. Over the course of hospitalization, Bacteroides dorei, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bacteroides massiliensis, and Bacteroides ovatus, which downregulate expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in murine gut, correlated inversely with SARS-CoV-2 load in fecal samples from patients. CONCLUSIONS: In a pilot study of 15 patients with COVID-19, we found persistent alterations in the fecal microbiome during the time of hospitalization, compared with controls. Fecal microbiota alterations were associated with fecal levels of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 severity. Strategies to alter the intestinal microbiota might reduce disease severity.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/microbiology , Dysbiosis/virology , Feces/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/microbiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Female , Gastrointestinal Tract/microbiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Lancet Respir Med ; 8(7): 717-725, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-276408

ABSTRACT

Global health care is experiencing an unprecedented surge in the number of critically ill patients who require mechanical ventilation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The requirement for relatively long periods of ventilation in those who survive means that many are considered for tracheostomy to free patients from ventilatory support and maximise scarce resources. COVID-19 provides unique challenges for tracheostomy care: health-care workers need to safely undertake tracheostomy procedures and manage patients afterwards, minimising risks of nosocomial transmission and compromises in the quality of care. Conflicting recommendations exist about case selection, the timing and performance of tracheostomy, and the subsequent management of patients. In response, we convened an international working group of individuals with relevant expertise in tracheostomy. We did a literature and internet search for reports of research pertaining to tracheostomy during the COVID-19 pandemic, supplemented by sources comprising statements and guidance on tracheostomy care. By synthesising early experiences from countries that have managed a surge in patient numbers, emerging virological data, and international, multidisciplinary expert opinion, we aim to provide consensus guidelines and recommendations on the conduct and management of tracheostomy during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Internationality , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Tracheostomy/methods , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Critical Care/methods , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
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