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2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 4801, 2022 03 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751764

ABSTRACT

Ubiquitous microthromboses in the pulmonary vasculature play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Excess of Willebrand factor (vWf) with intravascular multimer formation was identified as a key driver of this finding. Plasma exchange (PLEX) might be a therapeutic option to restore the disbalance between vWf and ADAMTS13. We report the effects of PLEX on vWf, ADAMTS13, inflammatory cytokines and parameters of ventilation. We investigated 25 patients, who were on mechanical ventilation for COVID-19 pneumonia with ARDS at two German university hospitals. All patients received PLEX as an ultima ratio measure for refractory ARDS. VWf antigen (vWf:Ag), ADAMTS13 activity, a cytokine panel mirroring the inflammatory situation and clinical parameters were assessed before and after three to six PLEX therapies with fresh frozen plasma. Before the PLEX sequence there was an excessive release of vWf:Ag (425.4 ± 167.5%) and mildly reduced ADAMTS13 activity (49.7 ± 23.3%). After the PLEX series, there was a significant increase of ADAMTS13 activity to 62.4 ± 17.7% (p = 0.029) and a significant decrease of vWf:Ag to 336.1 ± 138.2% (p = 0.041) resulting in a 63% improvement of the ADAMT13/vWf:Ag ratio from 14.5 ± 10.0 to 23.7 ± 14.6, p = 0.024. Comparison of parameters before and after individual PLEX sessions (n = 35) revealed a mean reduction of vWf from 387.8 ± 165.1 to 213.2 ± 62.3% (p = 0.001) and an increase of ADAMTS13 activity from 60.4 ± 20.1 to 70.5 ± 14.0% (p = 0.001). Parallelly, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and interleukin-18 decreased significantly (p = 0.034 each). Along the PLEX sequence lactate dehydrogenase (p = 0.001), C-reactive protein (p = 0.001), and positive end expiratory pressure (p = 0.01) significantly decreased accompanied by an improvement of Horovitz index (p = 0.001). PLEX restores the disbalance between ADAMTS13 and vWf:Ag, a driver of immunothrombosis. Moreover, it reduces the inflammatory state and is associated with a benefit of ventilation parameters. These findings render a further rationale to regard PLEX as a therapeutic option in severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Plasma Exchange , von Willebrand Factor , ADAMTS13 Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Illness/therapy , Humans , Inflammation/therapy , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism
3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330287

ABSTRACT

Background: Post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection have commonly been described after COVID-19, but few population-based studies have examined symptoms six to 12 months after acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and their associations with general health recovery and working capacity. Methods: This population-based retrospective cohort study in four geographically defined regions in southern Germany included persons aged 18-65 years with PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between October 2020 and March 2021. Symptom frequencies (six to 12 months after versus before acute infection, expressed as prevalence differences [PD] and ratios [PR]), symptom severity and clustering, risk factors and associations with general health recovery, and working capacity were analysed. Findings: Among a total of 11,710 subjects (mean age 44.1 years, 59.8% females, 3.5% previously admitted with COVID-19, mean follow-up time 8.5 months) the most prevalent symptoms with PDs >20% and PRs >5% were rapid physical exhaustion, shortness of breath, concentration difficulties, chronic fatigue, memory disturbance, and altered sense of smell. Female sex and severity of the initial infection were the main risk factors. Prevalence rates, however, appeared substantial among both men and women who had a mild course of acute infection, and PCS considerably affected also younger subjects. Fatigue (PD 37.2%) and neurocognitive impairment (PD 31.3%) as symptom clusters contributed most to reduced health recovery and working capacity, but chest symptoms, anxiety/depression, headache/dizziness and pain syndromes were also prevalent and relevant for working capacity, with some differences according to sex and age. When considering new symptoms with at least moderate impairment of daily life and ≤80% recovered general health or working capacity, the overall estimate for post-COVID syndrome was 28.5% (age- and sex-standardised rate 26.5%). Interpretation The burden of self-reported post-acute symptoms and possible sequelae, notably fatigue and neurocognitive impairment, remains considerable six to 12 months after acute infection even among young and middle-aged adults after mild acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, and impacts general health and working capacity.

4.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(4): ofac063, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740950

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused sudden, severe strain to healthcare systems. Better outpatient management is required to save lives, manage resources effectively, and prepare for future pandemics. Methods: The Coronataxi digital early warning (CDEW) system deployed in Rhein-Neckar County and Heidelberg, Germany is an outpatient care system consisting of remote digital monitoring via a mobile application, a medical doctor dashboard, and medical care delivery to COVID-19 patients in home quarantine when indicated. Patients reported their symptoms, temperature, breathing rate, oxygen saturation, and pulse via the app. This single-center cohort study compared outcomes of the population with and without using the CDEW system. The primary outcome was mortality; the secondary outcomes were hospitalization, duration of hospitalization, intensive care therapy, and mechanical ventilation. Results: Mortality rate was 3- to 4-fold lower and hospitalization rate was higher in the CDEW cohort (459 patients) compared with the cohort without CDEW in the same test area and other regions (Mannheim, Karlsruhe town, Karlsruhe district, and Germany), (mortality rate: 0.65% [95% confidence interval {CI}, .13%-1.90%] versus 2.16%, 2.32%, 2.48%, 2.82% and 2.76%, respectively, P < .05 for all; hospitalization rate: 14.81% [95% CI, 11.69%-18.40%] versus 6.89%, 6.93%, 6.59%, 6.15%, and 7.22%, respectively, P < .001 for all). The median duration of hospitalization in the CDEW cohort was significantly lower compared with a national sentinel cohort (6 days [interquartile range {IQR}, 4-9.75 days] versus 10 days [IQR, 5-19 days]; Z = -3.156; P = .002). A total of 1.96% patients needed intensive care and 1.09% were mechanically ventilated. Conclusions: The CDEW system significantly reduced COVID-19 mortality and duration of hospitalization and can be applied to the management of future pandemics.

5.
Open forum infectious diseases ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1733250

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic has caused sudden, severe strain to healthcare systems. Better outpatient management is required to save lives, manage resources effectively and prepare for future pandemics. Methods The Coronataxi digital early warning (CDEW) system deployed in Rhein-Neckar County and Heidelberg, Germany is an outpatient care system consisting of remote digital monitoring via a mobile application, a medical doctor dashboard and medical care delivery to COVID-19 patients in home quarantine when indicated. Patients reported their symptoms, temperature, breathing rate, oxygen saturation, and pulse via the app. This single-center cohort study compared outcomes of the population with and without using the CDEW system. The primary outcome was mortality;the secondary outcomes were hospitalization, duration of hospitalization, intensive care therapy and mechanical ventilation. Results Mortality rate was 3-4-fold lower and hospitalization rate was higher in the CDEW cohort (459 patients) compared to the cohort without CDEW in the same test area and other regions (Mannheim, Karlsruhe town, Karlsruhe district, and Germany), (mortality rate: 0.65% (95%CI: 0.13% - 1.90%) versus 2.16%, 2.32%, 2.48%, 2.82% and 2.76%, respectively, p<.05 for all;hospitalization rate: 14.81% (95%CI: 11.69% - 18.40%) versus 6.89%, 6.93%, 6.59%, 6.15% and 7.22%, respectively, p<.001 for all). The median duration of hospitalization in the CDEW cohort was significantly lower compared to a national sentinel cohort (6(4-9.75) versus 10(5-19) days, Z=-3.156, p=.002). 1.96% patients needed intensive care and 1.09% were mechanically ventilated. Conclusions The CDEW system significantly reduced COVID-19 mortality and duration of hospitalization and can be applied to the management of future pandemics.

6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(7): 1191-1198, 2022 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692244

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long COVID is defined as the persistence of symptoms beyond 3 months after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. To better understand the long-term course and etiology of symptoms we analyzed a cohort of patients with COVID-19 prospectively. METHODS: Patients were included at 5 months after acute COVID-19 in this prospective, noninterventional, follow-up study. Patients followed until 12 months after COVID-19 symptom onset (n = 96; 32.3% hospitalized, 55.2% females) were included in this analysis of symptoms, quality of life (based on an SF-12 survey), laboratory parameters including antinuclear antibodies (ANAs), and SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels. RESULTS: At month 12, only 22.9% of patients were completely free of symptoms and the most frequent symptoms were reduced exercise capacity (56.3%), fatigue (53.1%), dyspnea (37.5%), and problems with concentration (39.6%), finding words (32.3%), and sleeping (26.0%). Females showed significantly more neurocognitive symptoms than males. ANA titers were ≥1:160 in 43.6% of patients at 12 months post-COVID-19 symptom onset, and neurocognitive symptom frequency was significantly higher in the group with an ANA titer ≥1:160 versus <1:160. Compared with patients without symptoms, patients with ≥1 long-COVID symptom at 12 months did not differ significantly with respect to their SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels but had a significantly reduced physical and mental life quality compared with patients without symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Neurocognitive long-COVID symptoms can persist ≥1 year after COVID-19 symptom onset and reduce life quality significantly. Several neurocognitive symptoms were associated with ANA titer elevations. This may indicate autoimmunity as a cofactor in etiology of long COVID.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/complications , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Prospective Studies , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2
7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307867

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the resulting COVID-19 illness vary from asymptomatic disease, mild upper respiratory tract infection, pneumonia 1 , to a life-threatening multi-organ failure with case fatality rates ranging from 0.27–13.4% 2,3 . Despite increasing knowledge of the clinical and immunological features underlying COVID-19 1,4−6 , biological variables explaining the course of infection and its severity remain elusive. At the entry site of SARS-CoV2, the oropharyngeal microbiome represents a hub integrating viral and immune signals at the start of the infection 7–10 . To evaluate the role of the oropharyngeal microbiome in COVID-19, we performed a multi-center, cross-sectional clinical study analyzing the oropharyngeal microbial metagenomes in healthy adults, patients with non-SARS-CoV-2 infections, or with mild, moderate and severe COVID-19 encompassing a total of 345 participants. Significantly reduced microbiome diversity and high dysbiosis were observed in hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19, which was further associated with a loss of microbial genes and metabolic pathways. In this cohort, diversity measures were also associated with need for intensive care treatments as major clinical parameters in COVID-19. We further applied random forest machine learning to unravel microbial features for segregating clinical outcomes in hospitalized cases, and observed oropharyngeal microbiome abundances of Haemophilus or Streptococcu s species as most important features. These findings provide insights into the role of the oropharyngeal microbiome in SARS-CoV-2 infection, and may suggest new biomarkers for COVID-19 severity.

8.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321964

ABSTRACT

Background: Since SARS-CoV-2 is a highly contagious virus without an available disease-specific medication, the hope is focused on a sustained immunity after SARS-CoV-2 infection and a near-term successful vaccination therapy. A sufficient anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody production with neutralizing antibodies is crucial to prevent further viral spreading and for protection against prospective reinfection. Kidney transplant recipients may have a potentially aggravated risk for COVID-19 complications as well as a reduced vaccine response due to the allograft protecting immunosuppressive therapy. However, little is known about the strength and duration of their immunological response upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Case presentation Here we report on 4 kidney transplant recipients proven to have SARS-CoV-2 infection by positive PCR testing, focusing on their immunological response with the production of disease-specific neutralizing antibodies. All kidney transplant recipients developed a sufficient antibody response including specific neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 within 2 to 3 weeks after the first onset of symptoms that sustained during the follow-up of 15 weeks. After 6 weeks, the virus was eliminated in all patients. Most important, the serological response and viral shedding were achieved and sustained in the presence of immunosuppression. Acute kidney graft deterioration was common but reconstituted in all transplant recipients during follow-up. Conclusions: Immunocompromised kidney transplant recipients showed a functional serological response with disease-specific neutralizing antibodies upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, a basic prerequisite for a prospective successful vaccination response.

9.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261502, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632387

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted great pressure on national health systems, which have aimed to ensure comprehensive healthcare at all times. Healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients are on the frontline and thereby confronted with enormous demands. Although early reports exist on the psychological impact of the pandemic on frontline medical staff working in Asia, little is known about its impact on healthcare professionals in other countries and across various work sectors. The present cross-sectional, online survey sought to investigate common work stressors among healthcare professionals, their psychological stress as well as coping resources during the pandemic. METHODS: A sample of 575 healthcare professionals (57% male) in three different sectors (hospital, prehospital emergency care, and outpatient service) reported their experiences concerning work and private stressors, psychological stress, and coping strategies between April 17, 2020 and June 5, 2020. To capture pandemic-specific answers, most of the items were adapted or newly developed. Exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were conducted to detect underlying latent factors relating to COVID-specific work stressors. In a next step, the effects of these latent stressors across various work sectors on psychological stress (perceived stress, fatigue, and mood) were examined by means of structural equation models (SEM). To add lived experience to the findings, responses to open-ended questions about healthcare professionals' stressors, effective crisis measures and prevention, and individual coping strategies were coded inductively, and emergent themes were identified. RESULTS: The EFA revealed that the examined work stressors can be grouped into four latent factors: "fear of transmission", "interference of workload with private life", "uncertainty/lack of knowledge", and "concerns about the team". The SEM results showed that "interference of workload with private life" represented the pivotal predictor of psychological stress. "Concerns about the team" had stress-reducing effects. The latent stressors had an equal effect on psychological stress across work sectors. On average, psychological stress levels were moderate, yet differed significantly between sectors (all p < .001); the outpatient group experienced reduced calmness and more stress than the other two sectors, while the prehospital group reported lower fatigue than the other two sectors. The prehospital group reported significantly higher concerns about the team than the hospital group (p < .001). In their reports, healthcare professionals highlighted regulations such as social distancing and the use of compulsory masks, training, experience and knowledge exchange, and social support as effective coping strategies during the pandemic. The hospital group mainly mentioned organizational measures such as visiting bans as effective crisis measures, whereas the prehospital sector most frequently named governmental measures such as contact restrictions. CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated the need for sector-specific crisis measures to effectively address the specific work stressors faced by the outpatient sector in particular. The results on pandemic-specific work stressors reveal that healthcare professionals might benefit from coping strategies that facilitate the utilization of social support. At the workplace, team commitment and knowledge exchange might buffer against adverse psychological stress responses. Schedules during pandemics should give healthcare workers the opportunity to interact with families and friends in ways that facilitate social support outside work. Future studies should investigate cross-sector stressors using a longitudinal design to identify both sector- and time-specific measures. Ultimately, an international comparison of stressors and measures in different sectors of healthcare systems is desirable.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies
10.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 45, 2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625575

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus that has rapidly spread, causing a global pandemic. In the majority of infected patients, SARS-CoV-2 leads to mild disease; however, in a significant proportion of infections, individuals develop severe symptoms that can lead to long-lasting lung damage or death. These severe cases are often associated with high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and low antiviral responses, which can cause systemic complications. Here, we have evaluated transcriptional and cytokine secretion profiles and detected a distinct upregulation of inflammatory cytokines in infected cell cultures and samples taken from infected patients. Building on these observations, we found a specific activation of NF-κB and a block of IRF3 nuclear translocation in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. This NF-κB response was mediated by cGAS-STING activation and could be attenuated through several STING-targeting drugs. Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 directs a cGAS-STING mediated, NF-κB-driven inflammatory immune response in human epithelial cells that likely contributes to inflammatory responses seen in patients and could be therapeutically targeted to suppress severe disease symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Nucleotidyltransferases/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Signal Transduction
11.
Z Gesundh Wiss ; : 1-5, 2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596241

ABSTRACT

AIM: The goal is to design and, in a next step, establish a scalable, multi-center telemonitoring platform based on existing systems for monitoring COVID-19 patients in home quarantine. In particular, the focus will be on raw data acquisition, integration of sensor data into the hospital system, structured data storage, and interoperability. SUBJECT AND METHODS: Data necessary for monitoring, otherwise provided in various portals, will be continuously queried and integrated into the hospital system via a new interface in this proof-of-concept work. RESULTS: Based on extensive preliminary work at Klinikum rechts der Isar with a structured clinical database, we extend our system's integration of raw data and visualization in dashboards, as well as scientific provision of data from mobile sensors for monitoring patients in home quarantine. CONCLUSION: Based on existing integrated telemonitoring systems supporting semantic and syntactic interoperability, short-term provision of scientific databases is possible. The integration of different mobile sensors into a clinical system for remote monitoring of patients around the clock is still new and to our knowledge unique.

12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292822

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Six-19% of critically ill COVID-19 patients display circulating auto-antibodies against type I interferons (IFN-AABs). Here, we establish a clinically applicable strategy for early identification of IFN-AAB-positive patients for potential subsequent clinical interventions. Methods We analysed sera of 430 COVID-19 patients with severe and critical disease from four hospitals for presence of IFN-AABs by ELISA. Binding specificity and neutralizing activity were evaluated via competition assay and virus-infection-based neutralization assay. We defined clinical parameters associated with IFN-AAB positivity. In a subgroup of critically ill patients, we analyzed effects of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) on the levels of IFN-AABs, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and clinical outcome. Results The prevalence of neutralizing AABs to IFN-α and IFN-ω in COVID-19 patients was 4.2% (18/430), while being undetectable in an uninfected control cohort. Neutralizing IFN-AABs were detectable exclusively in critically affected, predominantly male (83%) patients (7.6% IFN-α and 4.6% IFN-ω in 207 patients with critical COVID-19). IFN-AABs were present early post-symptom onset and at the peak of disease. Fever and oxygen requirement at hospital admission co-presented with neutralizing IFN-AAB positivity. IFN-AABs were associated with higher mortality (92.3% versus 19.1 % in patients without IFN-AABs). TPE reduced levels of IFN-AABs in three of five patients and may increase survival of IFN-AAB-positive patients compared to those not undergoing TPE. Conclusion IFN-AABs may serve as early biomarker for development of severe COVID-19. We propose to implement routine screening of hospitalized COVID-19 patients according to our algorithm for rapid identification of patients with IFN-AABs who most likely benefit from specific therapies.

13.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(12): 3925-3937, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515204

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: During acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, neurological signs, symptoms and complications occur. We aimed to assess their clinical relevance by evaluating real-world data from a multinational registry. METHODS: We analyzed COVID-19 patients from 127 centers, diagnosed between January 2020 and February 2021, and registered in the European multinational LEOSS (Lean European Open Survey on SARS-Infected Patients) registry. The effects of prior neurological diseases and the effect of neurological symptoms on outcome were studied using multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 6537 COVID-19 patients (97.7% PCR-confirmed) were analyzed, of whom 92.1% were hospitalized and 14.7% died. Commonly, excessive tiredness (28.0%), headache (18.5%), nausea/emesis (16.6%), muscular weakness (17.0%), impaired sense of smell (9.0%) and taste (12.8%), and delirium (6.7%) were reported. In patients with a complicated or critical disease course (53%) the most frequent neurological complications were ischemic stroke (1.0%) and intracerebral bleeding (ICB; 2.2%). ICB peaked in the critical disease phase (5%) and was associated with the administration of anticoagulation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Excessive tiredness (odds ratio [OR] 1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20-1.68) and prior neurodegenerative diseases (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.07-1.63) were associated with an increased risk of an unfavorable outcome. Prior cerebrovascular and neuroimmunological diseases were not associated with an unfavorable short-term outcome of COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Our data on mostly hospitalized COVID-19 patients show that excessive tiredness or prior neurodegenerative disease at first presentation increase the risk of an unfavorable short-term outcome. ICB in critical COVID-19 was associated with therapeutic interventions, such as anticoagulation and ECMO, and thus may be an indirect complication of a life-threatening systemic viral infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurodegenerative Diseases , Stroke , Headache , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483417

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: At the entry site of respiratory virus infections, the oropharyngeal microbiome has been proposed as a major hub integrating viral and host immune signals. Early studies suggested that infections with Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are associated with changes of the upper and lower airway microbiome, and that specific microbial signatures may predict COVID-19 illness. However, the results are not conclusive, as critical illness can drastically alter a patient's microbiome through multiple confounders. METHODS: To study oropharyngeal microbiome profiles in SARS-CoV-2 infection, clinical confounders, and prediction models in COVID-19, we performed a multi-center, cross-sectional clinical study analyzing oropharyngeal microbial metagenomes in healthy adults, patients with non-SARS-CoV-2 infections, or with mild, moderate and severe COVID-19 (n=322 participants). RESULTS: In contrast to mild infections, patients admitted to a hospital with moderate or severe COVID-19 showed dysbiotic microbial configurations, which were significantly pronounced in patients treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics, receiving invasive mechanical ventilation, or when sampling was performed during prolonged hospitalization. In contrast, specimens collected early after admission allowed us to segregate microbiome features predictive of hospital COVID-19 mortality utilizing machine learning models. Taxonomic signatures were found to perform better than models utilizing clinical variables with Neisseria and Haemophilus species abundances as most important features. CONCLUSION: In addition to the infection per se, several factors shape the oropharyngeal microbiome of severely affected COVID-19 patients and deserve consideration in the interpretation of the role of the microbiome in severe COVID-19. Nevertheless, we were able to extract microbial features that can help to predict clinical outcomes.

15.
Mycoses ; 65(1): 103-109, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470452

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAM) cases are reported from India and neighbouring countries. Anecdotally cases from Europe have been presented. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the disease burden and describe the clinical presentation of CAM in Germany. METHODS: We identified cases through German mycology networks and scientific societies, and collected anonymised clinical information via FungiScope®. RESULTS: We identified 13 CAM cases from six tertiary referral hospitals diagnosed between March 2020 and June 2021. Twelve patients had severe or critical COVID-19, eleven were mechanically ventilated for a median of 8 days (range 1-27 days) before diagnosis of CAM. Eleven patients received systemic corticosteroids. Additional underlying medical conditions were reported for all but one patient, five were immunocompromised because of malignancy or organ transplantation, three were diabetic. Eleven patients developed pneumonia. Mortality was 53.8% with a median time from diagnosis of mucormycosis to death of 9 days (range 0-214 days) despite treatment with liposomal amphotericin B and/or isavuconazole in 10 of 13 cases. CAM prevalence amongst hospitalised COVID-19 patients overall (0.67% and 0.58% in two centres) and those admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) (1.47%, 1.78% and 0.15% in three centres) was significantly higher compared to non-COVID-19 patients (P < .001 for respective comparisons). CONCLUSION: COVID-19-associated mucormycosis is rare in Germany, mostly reported in patients with comorbidities and impaired immune system and severe COVID-19 treated in the ICU with high mortality compared to mainly rhino-orbito-cerebral CAM in patients with mild COVID-19 in India. Risk for CAM is higher in hospitalised COVID-19 patients than in other patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mucormycosis , Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Mucormycosis/diagnosis , Mucormycosis/drug therapy , Mucormycosis/epidemiology , Tertiary Care Centers
16.
Zeitschrift fur Gesundheitswissenschaften = Journal of public health ; : 1-5, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1469252

ABSTRACT

<h4>Aim</h4> The goal is to design and, in a next step, establish a scalable, multi-center telemonitoring platform based on existing systems for monitoring COVID-19 patients in home quarantine. In particular, the focus will be on raw data acquisition, integration of sensor data into the hospital system, structured data storage, and interoperability. <h4>Subject and methods</h4> Data necessary for monitoring, otherwise provided in various portals, will be continuously queried and integrated into the hospital system via a new interface in this proof-of-concept work. <h4>Results</h4> Based on extensive preliminary work at Klinikum rechts der Isar with a structured clinical database, we extend our system’s integration of raw data and visualization in dashboards, as well as scientific provision of data from mobile sensors for monitoring patients in home quarantine. <h4>Conclusion</h4> Based on existing integrated telemonitoring systems supporting semantic and syntactic interoperability, short-term provision of scientific databases is possible. The integration of different mobile sensors into a clinical system for remote monitoring of patients around the clock is still new and to our knowledge unique.

17.
Crit Care Explor ; 3(8): e0517, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1393346

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Recent evidence suggests a multilevel inflammatory syndrome as a driving factor in some of the most severely ill coronavirus disease 2019 patients with overlapping features to other hyperinflammatory or autoimmune diseases. Therefore, plasma exchange is considered as potential therapy in these patients. OBJECTIVES: We characterize the longitudinal therapeutic efficacy and safety profile of plasma exchange in critically ill patients with clinical and laboratory evidences of coronavirus disease 2019-related immunopathology. DESIGN SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A retropsective case-control study of critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 patients treated with plasma exchange at Heidelberg University Hospital between March and December 2020. Plasma exchange-treated patients were compared with coronavirus disease 2019 patients on standard therapy matched for age, gender, disease severity, and features of hyperinflammatory syndrome. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURES: Mortality rate and course of clinical and laboratory parameters in response to plasma exchange were assessed in coronavirus disease 2019 patients and in patients on standard care. A plasma volume of 50 mL per kg body weight or a maximum of 4 L was exchanged. RESULTS: In total, 28 critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 patients were treated with a median of three plasma exchange procedures per patient. No relevant complications occurred during plasma exchange therapy. Inflammatory and biochemical markers of end-organ damage and endothelial activation were significantly reduced following plasma exchange together with normalization of body temperature, improved pulmonary function, and reduced vasopressor demand. Most importantly, these improvements were maintained after the last plasma exchange. In contrast, no such effects were observed in the control group, although baseline clinical and laboratory parameters were comparable. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed improved 30-day survival in the plasma exchange group compared with the control group (67.9% vs 42.9%; p = 0.044). In a multivariable analysis, the hazard ratio for death was 0.27 (95% CI, 0.11-0.68; p = 0.005) with plasma exchange versus standard care. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Our data provide further evidence for plasma exchange as a novel therapeutic strategy in a subset of critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 patients by potentially reversing the complex coronavirus disease 2019 immunopathology. Randomized controlled trials are underway to confirm these positive results.

18.
Trials ; 21(1): 828, 2020 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388814

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Primary objectives • To assess the time from randomisation until an improvement within 84 days defined as two points on a seven point ordinal scale or live discharge from the hospital in high-risk patients (group 1 to group 4) with SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring hospital admission by infusion of plasma from subjects after convalescence of SARS-CoV-2 infection or standard of care. Secondary objectives • To assess overall survival, and the overall survival rate at 28 56 and 84 days. • To assess SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance and load as well as antibody titres. • To assess the percentage of patients that required mechanical ventilation. • To assess time from randomisation until discharge. TRIAL DESIGN: Randomised, open-label, multicenter phase II trial, designed to assess the clinical outcome of SARS-CoV-2 disease in high-risk patients (group 1 to group 4) following treatment with anti-SARS-CoV-2 convalescent plasma or standard of care. PARTICIPANTS: High-risk patients >18 years of age hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection in 10-15 university medical centres will be included. High-risk is defined as SARS-CoV-2 positive infection with Oxygen saturation at ≤ 94% at ambient air with additional risk features as categorised in 4 groups: • Group 1, pre-existing or concurrent hematological malignancy and/or active cancer therapy (incl. chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery) within the last 24 months or less. • Group 2, chronic immunosuppression not meeting the criteria of group 1. • Group 3, age ≥ 50 - 75 years meeting neither the criteria of group 1 nor group 2 and at least one of these criteria: Lymphopenia < 0.8 x G/l and/or D-dimer > 1µg/mL. • Group 4, age ≥ 75 years meeting neither the criteria of group 1 nor group 2. Observation time for all patients is expected to be at least 3 months after entry into the study. Patients receive convalescent plasma for two days (day 1 and day 2) or standard of care. For patients in the standard arm, cross over is allowed from day 10 in case of not improving or worsening clinical condition. Nose/throat swabs for determination of viral load are collected at day 0 and day 1 (before first CP administration) and subsequently at day 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 28 or until discharge. Serum for SARS-Cov-2 diagnostic is collected at baseline and subsequently at day 3, 7, 14 and once during the follow-up period (between day 35 and day 84). There is a regular follow-up of 3 months. All discharged patients are followed by regular phone calls. All visits, time points and study assessments are summarized in the Trial Schedule (see full protocol Table 1). All participating trial sites will be supplied with study specific visit worksheets that list all assessments and procedures to be completed at each visit. All findings including clinical and laboratory data are documented by the investigator or an authorized member of the study team in the patient's medical record and in the electronic case report forms (eCRFs). INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: This trial will analyze the effects of convalescent plasma from recovered subjects with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in high-risk patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients at high risk for a poor outcome due to underlying disease, age or condition as listed above are eligible for enrollment. In addition, eligible patients have a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and O2 saturation ≤ 94% while breathing ambient air. Patients are randomised to receive (experimental arm) or not receive (standard arm) convalescent plasma in two bags (238 - 337 ml plasma each) from different donors (day 1, day 2). A cross over from the standard arm into the experimental arm is possible after day 10 in case of not improving or worsening clinical condition. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary endpoints: The main purpose of the study is to assess the time from randomisation until an improvement within 84 days defined as two points on a seven-point ordinal scale or live discharge from the hospital in high-risk patients (group 1 to group 4) with SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring hospital admission by infusion of plasma from subjects after convalescence of a SARS-CoV-2 infection or standard of care. Secondary endpoints: • Overall survival, defined as the time from randomisation until death from any cause 28-day, 56-day and 84-day overall survival rates. • SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance and load as well as antibody titres. • Requirement mechanical ventilation at any time during hospital stay (yes/no). • Time until discharge from randomisation. • Viral load, changes in antibody titers and cytokine profiles are analysed in an exploratory manner using paired non-parametric tests (before - after treatment). RANDOMISATION: Upon confirmation of eligibility (patients must meet all inclusion criteria and must not meet exclusion criteria described in section 5.3 and 5.4 of the full protocol), the clinical site must contact a centralized internet randomization system ( https://randomizer.at/ ). Patients are randomized using block randomisation to one of the two arms, experimental arm or standard arm, in a 1:1 ratio considering a stratification according to the 4 risk groups (see Participants). BLINDING (MASKING): The study is open-label, no blinding will be performed. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): A total number of 174 patients is required for the entire trial, n=87 per group. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version 1.2 dated 09/07/2020. A recruitment period of approximately 9 months and an overall study duration of approximately 12 months is anticipated. Recruitment of patients starts in the third quarter of 2020. The study duration of an individual patient is planned to be 3 months. After finishing all study-relevant procedures, therapy, and follow-up period, the patient is followed in terms of routine care and treated if necessary. Total trial duration: 18 months Duration of the clinical phase: 12 months First patient first visit (FPFV): 3rd Quarter 2020 Last patient first visit (LPFV): 2nd Quarter 2021 Last patient last visit (LPLV): 3rd Quarter 2021 Trial Report completed: 4th Quarter 2021 TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT Number: 2020-001632-10, https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2020-001632-10/DE , registered on 04/04/2020. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2). The eCRF is attached (Additional file 3).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Plasma/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Convalescence , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Risk Adjustment , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
19.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0255513, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1334778

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most data on COVID-19 was collected in hospitalized cases. Much less is known about the spectrum of disease in entire populations. In this study, we examine a representative cohort of primarily symptomatic cases in an administrative district in Southern Germany. METHODS: We contacted all confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases in the administrative district. Consenting participants answered a retrospective survey either via a telephone, electronically or via mail. Clinical and sociodemographic features were compared between hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients. Additionally, we assessed potential risk factors for hospitalization and time to hospitalization in a series of regression models. RESULTS: We included 897 participants in our study, 69% out of 1,305 total cases in the district with a mean age of 47 years (range 2-97), 51% of which were female and 47% had a pre-existing illness. The percentage of asymptomatic, mild, moderate (leading to hospital admission) and critical illness (requiring mechanical ventilation) was 54 patients (6%), 713 (79%), 97 (11%) and 16 (2%), respectively. Seventeen patients (2%) died. The most prevalent symptoms were fatigue (65%), cough (62%) and dysgeusia (60%). The risk factors for hospitalization included older age (OR 1.05 per year increase; 95% CI 1.04-1.07) preexisting lung conditions (OR 3.09; 95% CI 1.62-5.88). Female sex was a protective factor (OR 0.51; 95% CI 0.33-0.77). CONCLUSION: This representative analysis of primarily symptomatic COVID-19 cases confirms age, male sex and preexisting lung conditions but not cardiovascular disease as risk factors for severe illness. Almost 80% of infection take a mild course, whereas 13% of patients suffer moderate to severe illness. TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Clinical Trials Register, DRKS00022926. URL: https://www.drks.de/drks_web/setLocale_EN.do.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Factors
20.
Infection ; 50(2): 359-370, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316346

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: While more advanced COVID-19 necessitates medical interventions and hospitalization, patients with mild COVID-19 do not require this. Identifying patients at risk of progressing to advanced COVID-19 might guide treatment decisions, particularly for better prioritizing patients in need for hospitalization. METHODS: We developed a machine learning-based predictor for deriving a clinical score identifying patients with asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 at risk of progressing to advanced COVID-19. Clinical data from SARS-CoV-2 positive patients from the multicenter Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 Infected Patients (LEOSS) were used for discovery (2020-03-16 to 2020-07-14) and validation (data from 2020-07-15 to 2021-02-16). RESULTS: The LEOSS dataset contains 473 baseline patient parameters measured at the first patient contact. After training the predictor model on a training dataset comprising 1233 patients, 20 of the 473 parameters were selected for the predictor model. From the predictor model, we delineated a composite predictive score (SACOV-19, Score for the prediction of an Advanced stage of COVID-19) with eleven variables. In the validation cohort (n = 2264 patients), we observed good prediction performance with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.73 ± 0.01. Besides temperature, age, body mass index and smoking habit, variables indicating pulmonary involvement (respiration rate, oxygen saturation, dyspnea), inflammation (CRP, LDH, lymphocyte counts), and acute kidney injury at diagnosis were identified. For better interpretability, the predictor was translated into a web interface. CONCLUSION: We present a machine learning-based predictor model and a clinical score for identifying patients at risk of developing advanced COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Early Warning Score , Area Under Curve , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Machine Learning , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
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