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1.
Front Immunol ; 13:871592, 2022.
Article in English | PubMed | ID: covidwho-1809407

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: CD163, a haptoglobin-hemoglobin scavenger receptor mostly expressed by monocytes and macrophages, is involved in the regulation of inflammatory processes. Following proteolytic cleavage after pro-inflammatory stimulation, CD163 is shed from the cell surface and its soluble form in plasma, sCD163, is a biomarker of monocyte/macrophage lineage activation.The assessment of sCD163 plasmatic levels in an early stage of the disease could have clinical utility in predicting the severity of COVID-19 pneumonia. The use of tocilizumab (monoclonal antibody anti-IL-6 receptor) in COVID-19 patients reduces lethality rate at 30 days. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of tocilizumab on sCD163 plasmatic levels in a cohort of COVID-19 patients. METHODS: In COVID-19 patients, on hospital admission (T0), after 7 days from hospitalization (T7) and after 45 days from discharge (T45) sCD163 plasmatic levels were evaluated, along with other laboratory parameters. COVID-19 patients were stratified into tocilizumab (TCZ) and non-tocilizumab (non-TCZ) groups. TCZ group was further divided into responder (R) and non-responder (NR) groups. Patients who died or required mechanical ventilation were defined as NR. As control group, healthy donors (HD) were enrolled. RESULTS: Seventy COVID-19 patients and 47 HD were enrolled. At T0, sCD163 plasmatic levels were higher in COVID-19 patients compared to HD (p<0.0001) and the longitudinal evaluation showed a reduction in sCD163 plasmatic levels at T7 compared to T0 (p=0.0211). At T0, both TCZ and non-TCZ groups showed higher sCD163 plasmatic levels compared to HD (p<0.0001 and p=0.0147, respectively). At T7, the longitudinal evaluation showed a significant reduction in sCD163 plasmatic levels (p=0.0030) only in the TCZ group, reaching levels comparable to those of HD. Conversely, not statistically significance in non-TCZ group was observed and, at T7, a statistically significance was found comparing non-TCZ group to HD (p=0.0019). At T0, R and NR groups showed not statistically significance in sCD163 plasmatic levels and both groups showed higher levels compared to HD (p=0.0001 and p=0.0340, respectively). The longitudinal evaluation showed significant reductions in both groups (R: p=0.0356;NR: p=0.0273) independently of the outcome. After 45 days of follow-up sCD163 plasmatic levels remain stable. CONCLUSION: sCD163 plasmatic levels are increased in COVID-19 pneumonia and is efficiently down-regulated by tocilizumab treatment regardless of the clinical outcome.

2.
New Microbiol ; 45(1):62-72, 2022.
Article in English | PubMed | ID: covidwho-1782123

ABSTRACT

Convalescent plasma (CP) therapy might be effective in patients with haematological malignanciesand B-cell depletion. We report a single-centre experience of COVID-19 patients with non-Hodgkinlymphoma and absence of B-cells as a consequence of anti-CD20 therapy successfully treated withCP from October 2020 to May 2021. CP was given in the presence of pneumonia with respiratoryfailure despite standard treatment and consisted of three infusions on an alternate-day basis. A reviewof the current literature on this topic was also performed. Six patients were identified (medianage 59.5 years (range 50-73)). The last anti-CD20 drug administration occurred 60 days before infection(range 0-360). CP was administered after a median of 51 days (range 9-120) from SARS-CoV-2diagnosis, with an early improvement in all but one subject. We suggest a possible clinical benefitof convalescent CP treatment in COVID-19 patients with haematological malignancies and B-celldepletion having persistent/recurrent pneumonia.

3.
New Microbiologica ; 44(3):145-154, 2021.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-1717338

ABSTRACT

This retrospective and observational cohort study investigated chest computed tomography (CT) findings, cycle threshold (Ct) values in RT-PCR of SARS-CoV-2 and secondary infection occurrence to predict prognosis in COVID-19 patients. At hospital admission, CT findings and Ct values were collected. Microbiology tests performed after 48 hours from hospitalization were reviewed. According to in-hospital mortality, patients were grouped into non-survivors and survivors. Among 283 patients evaluated, in-hospital mortality rate was 13.8% (39/283). Secondary infection occurrence was 15.2% (43/283). Cut-off values for CT score > 13.5 (AUC = 0.682 p = 0.0009) and for Ct < 23.4 (AUC = 0.749, p < 0.0001) were predictive of death. Super-additive and synergic effects between high CT score plus secondary infection occurrence as well as between high CT score plus low Ct values affecting patient's outcome were observed. Chest CT score and Ct values in RT-PCR of SARS-CoV-2 could have a combination role for severity stratification of COVID-19 patients.

4.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 26(3): 1056-1064, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704589

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) has been identified in China as responsible for viral pneumonia, now called COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019). Patients infected can develop common symptoms like cough and sore throat, and, in severe cases, acute respiratory syndrome and even death. To optimize the available resources, it is necessary to identify in advance the subjects that will develop a more serious illness, therefore requiring intensive care.The neutrophil / lymphocyte ratio (NLR) parameter, resulting from the blood count, could be a significant marker for the diagnosis and management of risk stratification. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective, single-center case-control observational study was conducted. The differential cell count of leukocytes, the NLR and the clinical course of patients hospitalized in intensive care with COVID-19 were analyzed, comparing them with other patients (COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) and healthy individuals selected among workers of the Teaching Hospital Policlinico Umberto I in Rome. RESULTS: 370 patients (145 cases and 225 controls) were included in the case-control study, 211 males (57%) and 159 females (43%). The average age of the population was 63 years (SD 16.35). In the group of cases, out of 145 patients, 57 deaths and 88 survivors were recorded, with a lethality rate of 39.3%. The group of cases has an NLR of 7.83 (SD = 8.07), a much higher value than the control group where an NLR of 2.58 was recorded (SD = 1.93) (p <0.001). The Neutrophils / Lymphocytes ratio may prove to be a diagnostic factor for COVID-19, an NLR> 3.68 revealed an OR 10.84 (95% CI = 6.47 - 18.13) (p <0.005). CONCLUSIONS: The value of NLR considered together with the age variable allows a risk stratification and allows the development of diagnostic and treatment protocols for patients affected by COVID-19. A high neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio suggests worse survival. Risk stratification and management help alleviate the shortage of medical resources and reduce the mortality of critically ill patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Lymphocytes/metabolism , Lymphocytes/virology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Neutrophils/virology , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , Case-Control Studies , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Italy , Leukocyte Count , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index
5.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 44(12): 2675-2684, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504521

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Due to relevant repercussions on reproductive medicine, we aimed to evaluate feasibility of RT-PCR as a detection method of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in seminal fluid. METHODS: A qualitative determination of the RT-PCR assays in semen was performed through different approaches: (1) efficiency of RNA extraction from sperm and seminal plasma was determined using PRM1 and PRM2 mRNA and a heterologous system as control; (2) samples obtained by diluting viral preparation from a SARS-CoV-2 panel (virus cultured in Vero E6 cell lines) were tested; (3) viral presence in different fractions of seminal fluid (whole sample, seminal plasma and post-centrifugation pellet) was evaluated. Semen samples from mild and recovered COVID-19 subjects were collected by patients referring to the Infectious Disease Department of the Policlinico Umberto I Hospital - "Sapienza" University of Rome. Control subjects were recruited at the Laboratory of Seminology-Sperm Bank "Loredana Gandini'' of the same hospital. RESULTS: The control panel using viral preparations diluted in saline and seminal fluid showed the capability to detect viral RNA presence with Ct values depending on the initial viral concentration. All tested semen samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the nasopharyngeal swab result or seminal fluid fraction. CONCLUSION: These preliminary data show that RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing appears to be a feasible method for the molecular diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in seminal fluid, supported by results of the control panel. The ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 in semen is extremely important for reproductive medicine, especially in assisted reproductive technology and sperm cryopreservation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Pathology, Molecular/methods , Semen/virology , Adult , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Male , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reproductive Techniques , Vero Cells
6.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 80(SUPPL 1):903, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1358837

ABSTRACT

Background: Antimalarials have been associated with QT prolongation in COVID19 patients but are generally safe in patients with rheumatologic disease. Objectives: Aim of the study was to compare the prevalence of QTc prolongation between COVID19 and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) patients treated with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Methods: We included consecutive patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by nasopharyngeal swab and patients taking HCQ for SLE. A prolonged QTc was defined as an increase in QTc intervals ≥60 ms (compared with baseline) or as a QTc of ≥500 ms. Results: We enrolled 58 COVID19 patients (median age 70.5 years, IQR 25). HCQ, without or with azithromycin, was given to 26 (44.8%) and 15 patients (25.9%), respectively;17 (29.3%) had not received either drug. The median baseline QTc was 432 (IQR 36) and prolonged QTc was observed in 15 (26%) patients (12 QTc≥500 ms and 3 patients ΔQTc≥60 ms). We didn't find significant differences in QTc prolongation among the three treatment groups. Baseline QTc (OR 111.5) and D-dimer (OR 78.3) were independently associated to QTc prolongation. Compared to the 50 SLE patients (median age of 38.5 years, IQR 22), chronically treated with HCQ, patients with COVID19 showed significantly longer QTc (p < 0.001) (Table 1). Conclusion: This is the first study demonstrating that, differently from COVID19 patients, patients with SLE are not susceptible to HCQ-induced long QT syndrome and arrhythmia. The combined arrhythmogenic effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection and HCQ could account for the excess of QTc prolongation and fatal arrhythmias described in patients with COVID19.

7.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 80(SUPPL 1):902, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1358832

ABSTRACT

Background: Since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL), a known thrombotic risk factor, have been studied in COVID-19 patients, in whom thromboembolic events have been associated with poor prognosis. To date, the pathogenetic role of aPL and the trend over time is still unknown. Objectives: Aim of the study was to investigate whether aPL positivity was correlated with thrombosis in COVID-19 patients and whether it was a transient or persistent. Methods: We included all consecutive COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome from April 1, 2020 to June 7, 2020. In these patients, serum levels of anti-cardiolipin (aCL) IgM, IgG, IgA, anti-β2glycoprotein I (aβ2GPI) IgM, IgG were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Lupus Anticoagulant (LA) was detected with coagulatory tests in patients not in treatment with anticoagulant drugs. Results: Five out of 73 (6.8%) patients resulted positive for aCL IgM, 3 of them also tested positive for aβ2GPI IgM. aCL IgA were tested positive in 14 out of 46 patients (30.4%). Overall 18 patients resulted positive for at least one test. Seven (9.6%) patients developed thrombotic events during hospitalization, 3 of them resulting positive for aPL (Table 1. below). We observed that patients showing double positivity for aCL IgM and aβ2GPI IgM had a likelihood positive ratio of 6.3 for thrombotic events (p=0.012) and a likelihood positive ratio of 4.9 for increased D-dimer levels (p=0.027). aCL IgA, the most prevalent aPL in this cohort, was not associated with thrombosis. Of the 18 aPL positive patients, 5 died, 3 were lost to follow-up, and 10 were tested on a second occasion at least 12 weeks, two patients confirmed positivity without clinical signs suggestive of APS. Conclusion: These results suggest that double positivity for aCL and aβ2GPI IgM increases the risk of thrombosis in COVID-19 patients, unlike aCL IgA. APL positivity may be persistent and it is advisable to monitor it over time.

8.
Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 29(1):68, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1250684

ABSTRACT

Background: A severe SARS-CoV-2 related immunopathology may be the driver cause underlying the deleterious clinical manifestations observed in COVID-19 patients. To identify possible tissue-specific immune responses patterns, a compartmental immunophenotyping analysis of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes and IFN response has been performed in SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Methods: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC) samples were collected from 13 SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects (9 males and 4 females) consecutively admitted to intensive care unit (ICU) of Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University Hospital in Rome (Italy). The frequencies of CD4+, CD8+ T lymphocytes and those expressing immune activation markers (CD38, HLADR), naïve, central memory (CMEM), and effector memory (TEM) T cell subsets were evaluated in both anatomical sites by multiparametric flow cytometry. Gene expression levels of Interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) and the Interferon Stimulated Gene 15 (ISG15) were evaluated in BAL and PBMC by Real-time PCR. Results: Critically SARS-CoV-2 infected patients exhibited a lung compartmentalization of CD8+ T cells (p=0.003), with a lower CD4/CD8 ratio in BAL compared to blood district (p<0.01). However, higher frequencies of CD8+ T cells were recorded in PBMC of female SARS-CoV-2 infected patients (p=0.04) and the same trend was observed in the lung compartment. By contrast, a trend of increasing CD4+ T cells frequencies was observed in BAL samples of male patients, as opposed to blood compartment. Additionally, an increased expression of immune activation markers CD38 and HLADR has been detected in BAL CD8+ T cells (p<0.01) as well as in blood CD4+ T cells (p=0.03). An increased frequency of CD4+ and CD8+ TEM cells has been documented in BAL of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients (p<0.05), as opposed to higher frequencies of CD4+ and CD8+ TCM cells recorded in the blood compartment (p<0.01). Notably, higher levels of ISG15 and IRF7 found in BAL were inversely associated to activated CD8+ T cell frequencies in the lung compartment compared to blood district (ISG15: r=-0.570, p<0.05) (IRF7: r=-0.683, p=0.01). Conclusion: Our findings provide new insight into a distinct T cells profile and IFN genes expression in the lung and in the blood compartment of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients, that might be highly relevant for the clinical course of COVID-19.

9.
Infection ; 49(5): 965-975, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242829

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is known in distinguishing clinical features and outcomes between coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) and influenza (FLU). MATERIALS/METHODS: Retrospective, single-centre study including patients with COVID-19 or FLU pneumonia admitted to the Intensive care Unit (ICU) of Policlinico Umberto I (Rome). Aims were: (1) to assess clinical features and differences of patients with COVID-19 and FLU, (2) to identify clinical and/or laboratory factors associated with FLU or COVID-19 and (3) to evaluate 30-day mortality, bacterial superinfections, thrombotic events and invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in patients with FLU versus COVID-19. RESULTS: Overall, 74 patients were included (19, 25.7%, FLU and 55, 74.3%, COVID-19), median age 67 years (58-76). COVID-19 patients were more male (p = 0.013), with a lower percentage of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) (p = 0.001 and p = 0.037, respectively) than FLU. SOFA score was higher (p = 0.020) and lymphocytes were significantly lower in FLU than in COVID-19 [395.5 vs 770.0 cells/mmc, p = 0.005]. At multivariable analysis, male sex (OR 6.1, p < 0.002), age > 65 years (OR 2.4, p = 0.024) and lymphocyte count > 725 cells/mmc at ICU admission (OR 5.1, p = 0.024) were significantly associated with COVID-19, whereas CKD and COPD were associated with FLU (OR 0.1 and OR 0.16, p = 0.020 and p < 0.001, respectively). No differences in mortality, bacterial superinfections and thrombotic events were observed, whereas IPA was mostly associated with FLU (31.5% vs 3.6%, p = 0.0029). CONCLUSIONS: In critically ill patients, male sex, age > 65 years and lymphocytes > 725 cells/mmc are related to COVID-19. FLU is associated with a significantly higher risk of IPA than COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Aged , Humans , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Intensive Care Units , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation ; 30:30, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209565

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Due to relevant repercussions on reproductive medicine, we aimed to evaluate feasibility of RT-PCR as a detection method of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in seminal fluid. METHODS: A qualitative determination of the RT-PCR assays in semen was performed through different approaches: (1) efficiency of RNA extraction from sperm and seminal plasma was determined using PRM1 and PRM2 mRNA and a heterologous system as control;(2) samples obtained by diluting viral preparation from a SARS-CoV-2 panel (virus cultured in Vero E6 cell lines) were tested;(3) viral presence in different fractions of seminal fluid (whole sample, seminal plasma and post-centrifugation pellet) was evaluated. Semen samples from mild and recovered COVID-19 subjects were collected by patients referring to the Infectious Disease Department of the Policlinico Umberto I Hospital - "Sapienza" University of Rome. Control subjects were recruited at the Laboratory of Seminology-Sperm Bank "Loredana Gandini'' of the same hospital. RESULTS: The control panel using viral preparations diluted in saline and seminal fluid showed the capability to detect viral RNA presence with C<sub>t</sub> values depending on the initial viral concentration. All tested semen samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the nasopharyngeal swab result or seminal fluid fraction. CONCLUSION: These preliminary data show that RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing appears to be a feasible method for the molecular diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in seminal fluid, supported by results of the control panel. The ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 in semen is extremely important for reproductive medicine, especially in assisted reproductive technology and sperm cryopreservation.

11.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ; 100(2): 115347, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103819

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate determinants of prolonged viral RNA shedding in hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 positive nasopharyngeal RT-PCR were included in a single-center, retrospective study. Patients were divided in 2 groups according to the timing of viral clearance [≤14 days, "early clearance (EC)" and >14 days, "late clearance (LC)"]. RESULTS: 179 patients were included in the study (101 EC, 78 LC), with median age 62 years. Median time of viral shedding was 14 days (EC/LC 10 and 19 days, respectively, P < 0.0001). Univariate analyses showed that age, male gender, receiving corticosteroids, receiving tocilizumab, ICU admission, low albumin and NLR ratio were associated with late viral clearance. In the multivariable analysis, older age (P = 0.016), albumin level (P = 0.048), corticosteroids (P = 0.021), and tocilizumab (P = 0.015) were significantly associated with late viral clearance. CONCLUSIONS: Age, albumin, tocilizumab and corticosteroid treatment were independently associated with a prolonged SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Virus Shedding , Aged , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Time Factors
13.
Le infezioni in medicina ; 28(4):534-538, 2020.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-970353

ABSTRACT

Since the most frequent symptoms of novel coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) are common in influenza A/B (FLU), predictive models to distinguish between COVID-19 and FLU using standardized non-specific laboratory indicators are needed. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether a recently dynamic nomogram, established in the Chinese population and based on age, lymphocyte percentage and monocyte absolute count, might apply to a different context. We collected data from 299 patients (243 with COVID-19 and 56 with FLU) at Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome. The nomogram included age, lymphocyte percentage and monocyte absolute count to differentiate COVID-19 from FLU. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated for all associations. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to adjust for potential confounding. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Patients with COVID-19 had higher age, lymphocyte percentage and monocyte absolute count than patients with FLU. Although univariate analysis confirmed that age, lymphocyte percentage and monocyte absolute count were associated with COVID-19, only at multivariate analysis was monocyte count statistically significant as a predictive factor of COVID-19. Using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, we found that a monocyte count >0.35x1000/mL showed an AUC of 0.680 (sensitivity 0.992, specificity 0.368). A dynamic nomogram including age, lymphocyte percentage and monocyte absolute count cannot be applied to our context, probably due to differences in demographic characteristics between Italian and Chinese populations. However, our data showed that monocyte absolute count is highly predictive of COVID-19, suggesting its potential role above all in settings where prompt PCR nasopharyngeal testing is lacking.

14.
Infection ; 48(6): 871-877, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680115

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has spread all over the world causing a global pandemic and representing a great medical challenge. Nowadays, there is limited knowledge on the rate of co-infections with other respiratory pathogens, with viral co-infection being the most representative agents. Co-infection with Mycoplasma pneumoniae has been described both in adults and pediatrics whereas only two cases of Chlamydia pneumoniae have been reported in a large US study so far. METHODS: In the present report, we describe a series of seven patients where co-infection with C. pneumoniae (n = 5) or M. pneumoniae (n = 2) and SARS-CoV-2 was detected in a large teaching hospital in Rome. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: An extensive review of the updated literature regarding the co-infection between SARS-CoV-2 and these atypical pathogens is also performed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Chlamydial Pneumonia/diagnosis , Chlamydial Pneumonia/microbiology , Coinfection , Pneumonia, Mycoplasma/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Mycoplasma/microbiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Chlamydial Pneumonia/epidemiology , Chlamydial Pneumonia/therapy , Comorbidity , Disease Management , Female , Hospitals, Teaching , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Mycoplasma/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Mycoplasma/therapy , Retrospective Studies , Rome/epidemiology , Symptom Assessment , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
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