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Infez Med ; 29(3): 408-415, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444695


INTRODUCTION: There is the need of a simple but highly reliable score system for stratifying the risk of mortality and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) transfer in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia at the Emergency Room. PURPOSE: In this study, the ability of CURB-65, extended CURB-65, PSI and CALL scores and C-Reactive Protein (CRP) to predict intra-hospital mortality and ICU admission in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia were evaluated. METHODS: During March-May 2020, a retrospective, single-center study including all consecutive adult patients with diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia was conducted. Clinical, laboratory and radiological data as well as CURB-65, expanded CURB-65, PSI and CALL scores were calculated based on data recorded at hospital admission. RESULTS: Overall, 224 patients with documented SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia were included in the study. As for intrahospital mortality (24/224, 11%), PSI performed better than all the other tested scores, which showed lower AUC values (AUC=0.890 for PSI versus AUC=0.885, AUC=0.858 and AUC=0.743 for expanded CURB-65, CURB-65 and CALL scores, respectively). Of note, the addition of hypoalbuminemia to the CURB-65 score increased the prediction value of intra-hospital mortality (AUC=0.905). All the tested scores were less predictive for the need of ICU transfer (26/224, 12%), with the best AUC for extended CURB-65 score (AUC= 0.708). CONCLUSION: The addition of albumin level to the easy-to-calculate CURB-65 score at hospital admission is able to improve the quality of prediction of intra-hospital mortality in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.

Infect Drug Resist ; 14: 3459-3476, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1413063


This review takes into consideration the principal vaccines developed against the SARS-CoV-2 in this unprecedented period of Covid-19 pandemic. We evaluated the mechanism of action of each vaccine as well as the efficacy, the safety and the storage temperature. In addition, the problem of the dose units, the vaccinal strategy, the activity of alternative compounds such as the monoclonal antibodies and especially the issue of the virus variants were also described in detail. Four vaccines are currently used in Italy: Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA BNT162b2 (Comirnaty) (USA), Moderna mRNA 1273 (USA), Astra-Zeneca ChAdOx1-S (recombinant) viral vector adenovirus belonging to Oxford (UK) and Pomezia (Italy), Janssen (two recombinant viral vector adenoviruses) belonging to Johnson & Johnson (USA). The efficacy of Pfizer and Moderna for preventing disease or severe disease results 95-87.5% and 94.5-100%, respectively. The efficacy of Astra-Zeneca and Janssen is about 70% and 65%, respectively; in the case of Janssen, it depends on the geographical area ranging from 72% to 57%. The problem of the administrated doses (one dose, two doses from the same vaccine or from different vaccines, half dose) is also discussed. The vaccination strategy based on the age group remains the simplest, most transparent and fair criterion. This strategy is also based on accelerating the administration of the vaccines, so that as many subjects as possible can be vaccinated quickly for achieving the "herd immunity". The monoclonal antibodies appeared to be a valid solution for the treatment of Covid-19 disease. Two antibodies (bamlanivimab and etesevimab) have just been approved by the FDA. They could also be used for the infection by virus variants which represent a big problem due to their higher transmissibility and virulence and to their lower response to the vaccines.

Front Immunol ; 12: 708149, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337643


Microbial translocation (MT) and intestinal damage (ID) are poorly explored in COVID-19. Aims were to assess whether alteration of gut permeability and cell integrity characterize COVID-19 patients, whether it is more pronounced in severe infections and whether it influences the development of subsequent bloodstream infection (BSI). Furthermore, we looked at the potential predictive role of TM and ID markers on Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission and in-hospital mortality. Over March-July 2020, 45 COVID-19 patients were enrolled. Markers of MT [LPB (Lipopolysacharide Binding Protein) and EndoCab IgM] and ID [I-FABP (Intestinal Fatty Acid Binding Protein)] were evaluated at COVID-19 diagnosis and after 7 days. As a control group, age- and gender-matched healthy donors (HDs) enrolled during the same study period were included. Median age was 66 (56-71) years. Twenty-one (46.6%) were admitted to ICU and mortality was 22% (10/45). Compared to HD, a high degree of MT and ID was observed. ICU patients had higher levels of MT, but not of ID, than non-ICU ones. Likewise, patients with BSI had lower EndoCab IgM than non-BSI. Interestingly, patients with high degree of MT and low ID were likely to be admitted to ICU (AUC 0.822). Patients with COVID-19 exhibited high level of MT, especially subjects admitted to ICU. COVID-19 is associated with gut permeability.

COVID-19/metabolism , Intestinal Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Acute-Phase Proteins/metabolism , Aged , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Carrier Proteins/metabolism , Disease Progression , Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Intestinal Mucosa/pathology , Male , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Prognosis , Survival Analysis , Tight Junctions/metabolism