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1.
Panminerva Med ; 2022 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1743139

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To assess the clinical effectiveness of Tocilizumab (TCZ) in moderate-to-severe hospitalized COVID-19 patients and factors associated with clinical response. METHODS: 508 inpatients with moderate-to-severe SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled. TCZ effect in addition to standard medical therapy was evaluated in terms of death during hospital stay. Unadjusted and adjusted risk of mortality for TCZ treated patients versus TCZ untreated ones was estimated using robust Cox regression model. We considered the combination of TCZ and ICU as time-dependent exposure and created a model using duplication method to assess the TCZ effect in very severe COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: TCZ REDUCED DEATH DURING HOSPITAL STAY IN THE UNADJUSTED MODEL (HR 0.54, 95%CI 0.33- 0.88) and also in the adjusted model, although with loss of statistical significance (HR 0.72, 0.43- 1.20). Better effectiveness was observed in patients with low SpO2/FiO2 ratio (HR 0.35, 0.21-0.61 vs 1.61, 0.54-4.82, p<0.05), and, without statistical significance, in patients with high CRP (HR 0.51, 0.30-0.87 vs 0.41, 0.12-1.37, p =NS) and high IL-6 (HR 0.49, 0.29-0.82 vs 1.00, 0.28-3.55, p=NS). TCZ was effective in patients not admitted to ICU, both in the unadjusted (HR 0.33, 0.14-0.74) and in the adjusted (HR 0.39, 0.17-0.91) model but no benefit was observed in critical ICU-admitted patients both in the unadjusted (HR 0.66, 0.37-1.15) and in the adjusted model (HR 0.95, 0.54-1.68). CONCLUSIONS: our real-life study suggests clinical efficacy of TCZ in moderate-to-severe COVID-19 patients but not in end-stage disease. Thus, to enhance TCZ effectiveness, patients should be selected before grave compromise of clinical conditions.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313609

ABSTRACT

Immune modulation is a key therapeutic tool for allergic diseases and asthma. It can be achieved in an antigen-specific way via allergen immunotherapy (AIT) or in endotype-driven approach using biologicals that target the major pathways of the type 2 (T2) immune response: IgE, IL-5 and IL-4/IL-13. COVID-19 vaccine provides an excellent opportunity to tackle the global pandemics and is currently being applied in an accelerated rhythm worldwide. It works as well through immune modulation. Thus, as there is an obvious interference between these treatment modalities recommendations on how they should be applied in sequence are expected. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) gathered an outstanding expert panel under its Research and Outreach Committee (ROC). This expert panel was called to evaluate the evidence and formulate recommendation on the administration of COVID-19 vaccine in patients with allergic diseases and asthma receiving AIT or biologicals. The panel also formulated recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine in association with biologicals targeting the type 1 or type 3 immune response. In formulating recommendations, the panel evaluated the mechanisms of COVID-19 infection, of COVID-19 vaccine, of AIT and of biologicals and considered the data published for other anti-infectious vaccines administered concurrently with AIT or biologicals.

5.
Multidiscip Respir Med ; 15(1): 708, 2020 Jan 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962431

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus called "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2" (SARS-CoV-2) caused an outbreak in December 2019, starting from the Chinese city of Wuhan, in the Hubei province, and rapidly spreading to the rest of the world. Consequently, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) can be characterized as a pandemic. During COVID-19 several immunological alterations have been observed: in plasma of severe patients, inflammatory cytokines are at a much higher concentration ("cytokine storm"). These aspects are associated with pulmonary inflammation and parenchymal infiltrates with an extensive lung tissue damage in COVID-19 patients. To date, clinical evidence and guidelines based on reliable data and randomized clinical trials (RCTs) for the treatment of COVID-19 are lacking. In the absence of definitive management protocols, many treatments are currently being evaluated worldwide. Some of these options were soon abandoned due to ineffectiveness, while others showed promising results. As for ventilatory strategies, at the moment there are still no consistent data published about the different approaches and how they may influence disease progression. What will probably represent the real solution to this pandemic is the identification of a safe and effective vaccine, for which enormous efforts and investments are being put in place. This review will summarize the state-of-the-art of COVID-19 current treatment options and those potentially available in the future, as well as high flow oxygen therapy and non-invasive mechanical ventilation approaches.

6.
Respir Med ; 176: 106261, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-943576

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Asthma prevalence among COVID-19 patients seems to be surprisingly low. However the clinical profile of COVID-19 asthmatic patients and potential determinants of higher susceptibility/worse outcome have been scarcely investigated. We aimed to describe the prevalence and features of asthmatic patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and to explore the association between their clinical asthma profile and COVID-19 severity. METHODS: Medical records of patients admitted to COVID-Units of six Italian cities major hospitals were reviewed. Demographic and clinical data were analyzed and compared according to the COVID-19 outcome (death/need for ventilation vs discharge at home without requiring invasive procedures). RESULTS: Within the COVID-Units population (n = 2000) asthma prevalence was 2.1%. Among the asthmatics the mean age was 61.1 years and 60% were females. Around half of patients were atopic, blood eosinophilia was normal in most of patients. An asthma exacerbation in the 6 months before the Covid-Unit admittance was reported by 18% of patients. 24% suffered from GINA step 4-5 asthma, and 5% were under biologic treatment. 31% of patients were not on regular treatment and a negligible use of oral steroid was recorded. Within the worse outcome group, a prevalence of males was detected (64 vs 29%, p = 0.026); they suffered from more severe asthma (43 vs 14%, p = 0.040) and were more frequently current or former smokers (62 vs 25%, p = 0.038). CONCLUSIONS: Our report, the first including a large COVID-19 hospitalized Italian population, confirms the low prevalence of asthma. On the other side patients with GINA 4/5 asthma, and those not adequately treated, should be considered at higher risk.


Subject(s)
Asthma/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , Adult , Aged , Asthma/therapy , Asthma/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Allergol Select ; 4: 53-68, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-761024

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the treatment of patients with allergic and atopy-associated diseases has faced major challenges. Recommendations for "social distancing" and the fear of patients becoming infected during a visit to a medical facility have led to a drastic decrease in personal doctor-patient contacts. This affects both acute care and treatment of the chronically ill. The immune response after SARS-CoV-2 infection is so far only insufficiently understood and could be altered in a favorable or unfavorable way by therapy with monoclonal antibodies. There is currently no evidence for an increased risk of a severe COVID-19 course in allergic patients. Many patients are under ongoing therapy with biologicals that inhibit type 2 immune responses via various mechanisms. There is uncertainty about possible immunological interactions and potential risks of these biologicals in the case of an infection with SARS-CoV-2. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A selective literature search was carried out in PubMed, Livivo, and the internet to cover the past 10 years (May 2010 - April 2020). Additionally, the current German-language publications were analyzed. Based on these data, the present position paper provides recommendations for the biological treatment of patients with allergic and atopy-associated diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: In order to maintain in-office consultation services, a safe treatment environment must be created that is adapted to the pandemic situation. To date, there is a lack of reliable study data on the care for patients with complex respiratory, atopic, and allergic diseases in times of an imminent infection risk from SARS-CoV-2. Type-2-dominant immune reactions, as they are frequently seen in allergic patients, could influence various phases of COVID-19, e.g., by slowing down the immune reactions. Theoretically, this could have an unfavorable effect in the early phase of a SARS-Cov-2 infection, but also a positive effect during a cytokine storm in the later phase of severe courses. However, since there is currently no evidence for this, all data from patients treated with a biological directed against type 2 immune reactions who develop COVID-19 should be collected in registries, and their disease courses documented in order to be able to provide experience-based instructions in the future. CONCLUSION: The use of biologicals for the treatment of bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, and spontaneous urticaria should be continued as usual in patients without suspected infection or proven SARS-CoV-2 infection. If available, it is recommended to prefer a formulation for self-application and to offer telemedical monitoring. Treatment should aim at the best possible control of difficult-to-control allergic and atopic diseases using adequate rescue and add-on therapy and should avoid the need for systemic glucocorticosteroids. If SARS-CoV-2 infection is proven or reasonably suspected, the therapy should be determined by weighing the benefits and risks individually for the patient in question, and the patient should be involved in the decision-making. It should be kept in mind that the potential effects of biologicals on the immune response in COVID-19 are currently not known. Telemedical offers are particularly desirable for the acute consultation needs of suitable patients.

11.
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract ; 8(8): 2575-2581.e2, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611996

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The early identification of patients at risk of clinical deterioration is of interest considering the timeline of COVID-19 after the onset of symptoms. OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to evaluate the usefulness of testing serum IL-6 and other serological and clinical biomarkers, to predict a short-term negative clinical course of patients with noncritical COVID-19. METHODS: A total of 208 patients with noncritical COVID-19 pneumonia at admission were consecutively enrolled. Clinical and laboratory findings obtained on admission were analyzed by using survival analysis and stepwise logistic regression for variable selection. Three-day worsening as outcome in a logistic model to generate a prognostic score was used. RESULTS: Clinical worsening occurred in 63 patients (16 = died; 39 = transferred to intensive care unit; 8 worsening of respiratory failure). Forty-five of them worsened within 3 days after admission. The risk of clinical worsening was progressively enhanced along with increasing quartiles of IL-6 levels. Multivariate analysis showed that IL-6 (P = .005), C-reactive protein (CRP) (P = .003), and SaO2/FiO2 (P = .014) were the best predictors for clinical deterioration in the first 3 days after admission. The combined score yielded an area under the curve = 0.88 (95% confidence interval: 0.83-0.93). A nomogram predicting the probability of 3-day worsening was generated. The score also showed good performance for 7-day and 14- or 21-day worsening and in predicting death occurring during all the follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Combining IL-6, CRP, and SaO2/FiO2 in a score may help clinicians to identify on admission those patients with COVID-19 who are at high risk for a further 3-day clinical deterioration.


Subject(s)
Clinical Deterioration , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Interleukin-6/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , Biomarkers , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Female , Humans , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Oxygen/blood , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Young Adult
12.
Allergo J ; 29(4): 14-27, 2020.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-606497
13.
Allergy ; 75(11): 2764-2774, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-543161

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2-induced coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic re-shaped doctor-patient interaction and challenged capacities of healthcare systems. It created many issues around the optimal and safest way to treat complex patients with severe allergic disease. A significant number of the patients are on treatment with biologicals, and clinicians face the challenge to provide optimal care during the pandemic. Uncertainty of the potential risks for these patients is related to the fact that the exact sequence of immunological events during SARS-CoV-2 is not known. Severe COVID-19 patients may experience a "cytokine storm" and associated organ damage characterized by an exaggerated release of pro-inflammatory type 1 and type 3 cytokines. These inflammatory responses are potentially counteracted by anti-inflammatory cytokines and type 2 responses. This expert-based EAACI statement aims to provide guidance on the application of biologicals targeting type 2 inflammation in patients with allergic disease. Currently, there is very little evidence for an enhanced risk of patients with allergic diseases to develop severe COVID-19. Studies focusing on severe allergic phenotypes are lacking. At present, noninfected patients on biologicals for the treatment of asthma, atopic dermatitis, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, or chronic spontaneous urticaria should continue their biologicals targeting type 2 inflammation via self-application. In case of an active SARS-CoV-2 infection, biological treatment needs to be stopped until clinical recovery and SARS-CoV-2 negativity is established and treatment with biologicals should be re-initiated. Maintenance of add-on therapy and a constant assessment of disease control, apart from acute management, are demanded.


Subject(s)
Biological Products/immunology , Biological Products/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Hypersensitivity/drug therapy , Hypersensitivity/immunology , Academies and Institutes , Europe , Humans , Hypersensitivity/complications , Pandemics
14.
J Clin Invest ; 130(9): 4694-4703, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-401302

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDCoronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Antiviral immune response is crucial to achieve pathogen clearance; however, in some patients an excessive and aberrant host immune response can lead to an acute respiratory distress syndrome. The comprehension of the mechanisms that regulate pathogen elimination, immunity, and pathology is essential to better characterize disease progression and widen the spectrum of therapeutic options.METHODSWe performed a flow cytometric characterization of immune cell subsets from 30 patients with COVID-19 and correlated these data with clinical outcomes.RESULTSPatients with COVID-19 showed decreased numbers of circulating T, B, and NK cells and exhibited a skewing of CD8+ T cells toward a terminally differentiated/senescent phenotype. In agreement, CD4+ T and CD8+ T, but also NK cells, displayed reduced antiviral cytokine production capability. Moreover, a reduced cytotoxic potential was identified in patients with COVID-19, particularly in those who required intensive care. The latter group of patients also showed increased serum IL-6 levels that inversely correlated to the frequency of granzyme A-expressing NK cells. Off-label treatment with tocilizumab restored the cytotoxic potential of NK cells.CONCLUSIONThe association between IL-6 serum levels and the impairment of cytotoxic activity suggests the possibility that targeting this cytokine may restore antiviral mechanisms.FUNDINGThis study was supported by funds from the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine of University of Florence (the ex-60% fund and the "Excellence Departments 2018-2022 Project") derived from Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (Italy).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic , Interleukin-6/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Critical Care , Cytokines/blood , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Granzymes/blood , Granzymes/immunology , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Immunological , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
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