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EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314876


Background: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 is associated with high mortality. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) are potent immunomodulatory cells. The aim of this study was to determine safety and explore efficacy of Umbilical Cord (UC)-MSC infusions in COVID-19 ARDS.Methods: A double-blind, phase 1/2a, randomized, controlled trial was performed in subjects with ARDS secondary to COVID-19, at a single institution in Miami, Florida, USA. Randomization and stratification by ARDS severity was used to foster balance among groups. Participants received two intravenous infusions of 100x106 UC-MSC, or vehicle, at day 0 and 3. The primary endpoint was safety, defined by occurrence of pre-specified infusion associated adverse events, along with adverse events during 28 day follow-up. All subjects were analyzed under an intention to treat design. Exploratory efficacy endpoints included survival at 28 days and time to recovery.Findings: 24 subjects (12 per group) were recruited between April 25 and July 21 2020. At 28 days post last infusion, patient survival was 91% and 42% in the UC-MSC and Control groups, respectively (p=0.015). No serious adverse events (SAEs) were observed related to UC-MSC infusions. There was no observed difference in number of subjects experiencing infusion-associated adverse events. Treatment unrelated SAEs were reported in 2 and 8 patients in the UC-MSC and Control groups, respectively (p=0.04). UC-MSC treatment was associated with increased SAE-free survival (p=0.008) and decreased time to recovery (p=0.03) compared to controls.Interpretation: UC-MSC infusions in COVID-19 subjects with ARDS were safe and associated with fewer SAEs, compared to control. Further, exploratory efficacy analyses provide preliminary evidence of reduction in mortality and time to recovery. Notwithstanding sample size limitations of this trial, the observed findings strongly support further investigation in a larger trial designed to estimate and test for efficacy.Trial Registration: ( NCT04355728).Funding Statement: The trial was funded by the Barilla Group and Family, The Cure Alliance, the Fondazione Silvio Tronchetti Provera, the Simkins Family Foundation, the North America’s Building Trades Unions, and the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. This publication was supported by the Clinical Translational Research Site Grants Number UL1TR000460 and UL1TR002736 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.Ethics Approval Statement: Ethics Committee Approval by the regulatory and institutional review boards were obtained by the Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB) and UM Human Subject Research Office/Institutional Review Board, in accordance with local institutional requirements.

Sci Total Environ ; 798: 149177, 2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322347


Standardized protocols for wastewater-based surveillance (WBS) for the RNA of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic, are being developed and refined worldwide for early detection of disease outbreaks. We report here on lessons learned from establishing a WBS program for SARS-CoV-2 integrated with a human surveillance program for COVID-19. We have established WBS at three campuses of a university, including student residential dormitories and a hospital that treats COVID-19 patients. Lessons learned from this WBS program address the variability of water quality, new detection technologies, the range of detectable viral loads in wastewater, and the predictive value of integrating environmental and human surveillance data. Data from our WBS program indicated that water quality was statistically different between sewer sampling sites, with more variability observed in wastewater coming from individual buildings compared to clusters of buildings. A new detection technology was developed based upon the use of a novel polymerase called V2G. Detectable levels of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater varied from 102 to 106 genomic copies (gc) per liter of raw wastewater (L). Integration of environmental and human surveillance data indicate that WBS detection of 100 gc/L of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater was associated with a positivity rate of 4% as detected by human surveillance in the wastewater catchment area, though confidence intervals were wide (ß ~ 8.99 ∗ ln(100); 95% CI = 0.90-17.08; p < 0.05). Our data also suggest that early detection of COVID-19 surges based on correlations between viral load in wastewater and human disease incidence could benefit by increasing the wastewater sample collection frequency from weekly to daily. Coupling simpler and faster detection technology with more frequent sampling has the potential to improve the predictive potential of using WBS of SARS-CoV-2 for early detection of the onset of COVID-19.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , Waste Water
Stem Cells Transl Med ; 10(5): 660-673, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1008163


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 is associated with high mortality. Mesenchymal stem cells are known to exert immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and could yield beneficial effects in COVID-19 ARDS. The objective of this study was to determine safety and explore efficacy of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (UC-MSC) infusions in subjects with COVID-19 ARDS. A double-blind, phase 1/2a, randomized, controlled trial was performed. Randomization and stratification by ARDS severity was used to foster balance among groups. All subjects were analyzed under intention to treat design. Twenty-four subjects were randomized 1:1 to either UC-MSC treatment (n = 12) or the control group (n = 12). Subjects in the UC-MSC treatment group received two intravenous infusions (at day 0 and 3) of 100 ± 20 × 106 UC-MSCs; controls received two infusions of vehicle solution. Both groups received best standard of care. Primary endpoint was safety (adverse events [AEs]) within 6 hours; cardiac arrest or death within 24 hours postinfusion). Secondary endpoints included patient survival at 31 days after the first infusion and time to recovery. No difference was observed between groups in infusion-associated AEs. No serious adverse events (SAEs) were observed related to UC-MSC infusions. UC-MSC infusions in COVID-19 ARDS were found to be safe. Inflammatory cytokines were significantly decreased in UC-MSC-treated subjects at day 6. Treatment was associated with significantly improved patient survival (91% vs 42%, P = .015), SAE-free survival (P = .008), and time to recovery (P = .03). UC-MSC infusions are safe and could be beneficial in treating subjects with COVID-19 ARDS.

Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Cytokines/blood , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Male , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Mesenchymal Stem Cells , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome , Umbilical Cord/cytology