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1.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; : 2099171, 2022 Jul 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1948097

ABSTRACT

Vaccines prevent infections in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Though recommendations regarding vaccinating patients with MS have been recently published, real-world data regarding vaccines' planning in patients receiving disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) for MS are missing. Our aim was, therefore, to describe vaccination coverage rates, timing-proposal and safety in real-life vaccinating patients with MS undergoing DMDs before the start of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination campaign. Patients followed at our MS-center were referred to individualized immunization-programs customized to Italian recommendations, patients' risks, immunity to exanthematic diseases, ongoing DMDs, or therapy-start urgency. Disease-activity stated the need for an essential immunization-cycle, whose core was composed by four vaccines: meningococcal-B, pneumococcal conjugated, Haemophilus influenzae B, and meningococcal-ACWY vaccines. Vaccines were administered prior to the planned DMD-start when possible, inactivated-vaccines >2 weeks and live-vaccines >4 weeks before treatment-start. Patients received a 6-months clinical-/radiological-follow-up after immunization. One-hundred and ninety-five patients were vaccinated between April 2017 and January 2021. 124/195 (63.6%) started a vaccination-program before therapy-start/-switch and 108/124 (87.1%) effectively completed immunization before new therapy-start without any delay. The time needed for immunization-conclusion reached a median of 27 (confidence interval 22) days in 2020. No increase in clinical-/radiological-activity 3-/6-months after immunization was noted. In conclusion, our study confirmed feasibility and safety of a vaccination-protocol in patients with MS whose duration resulted in a median of 27 days.

2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jul 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1939062

ABSTRACT

Information on the efficacy and safety of molnupiravir in daily clinical practice is very scarce. We aimed to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes of fully vaccinated patients with mild to moderate breakthrough COVID-19 treated with molnupiravir between January 2022 and February 2022. Overall, 145 patients were enrolled. Their median age was 71.0 years, and 60.7% were males. The most common underlying condition was a severe cardiovascular disease (37.2%), followed by primary or acquired immunodeficiency (22.8%), and oncological/onco-hematological disease in the active phase (22.1%). At 30 days after breakthrough COVID-19 diagnosis, only 4 out of 145 patients (2.7%) required hospital admission. No patients developed severe COVID-19, were admitted to the ICU, or died during the follow-up period. Adverse events, mild in intensity, occurred in 2 patients (1.4%). Our results support the current evidence establishing positive clinical and safety outcomes of molnupiravir in fully vaccinated patients with mild or moderate breakthrough COVID-19.

3.
J Fungi (Basel) ; 8(7)2022 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911435

ABSTRACT

Isavuconazole is a broad-spectrum antifungal drug recently approved as a first-line treatment for invasive aspergillosis and as a first or alternative treatment for mucormycosis. The purpose of this review was to report and discuss the use of isavuconazole for the treatment of COVID-19-associated aspergillosis (CAPA), and COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAM). Among all studies which reported treatment of CAPA, approximately 10% of patients were reportedly treated with isavuconazole. Considering 14 identified studies that reported the use of isavuconazole for CAPA, isavuconazole was used in 40% of patients (95 of 235 treated patients), being first-line monotherapy in over half of them. We identified six studies that reported isavuconazole use in CAM, either alone or in combination therapy. Overall, isavuconazole was used as therapy in 13% of treated CAM patients, frequently as combination or sequential therapy. The use of isavuconazole in CAPA and CAM is complicated by the challenge of achieving adequate exposure in COVID-19 patients who are frequently obese and hospitalized in the ICU with concomitant renal replacement therapy (RRT) or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The presence of data on high efficacy in the treatment of aspergillosis, lower potential for drug-drug interactions (DDIs) and for subtherapeutic levels, and no risk of QT prolongation compared to other mold-active azoles, better safety profile than voriconazole, and the possibility of using an intravenous formulation in the case of renal failure are the advantages of using isavuconazole in this setting.

5.
Leukemia ; 36(6): 1467-1480, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830027

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel virus that spread worldwide from 2019 causing the Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 infection is characterised by an initial viral phase followed in some patients by a severe inflammatory phase. Importantly, immunocompromised patients may have a prolonged viral phase, shedding infectious viral particles for months, and absent or dysfunctional inflammatory phase. Among haematological patients, COVID-19 has been associated with high mortality rate in acute leukaemia, high risk-myelodysplastic syndromes, and after haematopoietic cell transplant and chimeric-antigen-receptor-T therapies. The clinical symptoms and signs were similar to that reported for the overall population, but the severity and outcome were worse. The deferral of immunodepleting cellular therapy treatments is recommended for SARS-CoV-2 positive patient, while in the other at-risk cases, the haematological treatment decisions must be weighed between individual risks and benefits. The gold standard for the diagnosis is the detection of viral RNA by nucleic acid testing on nasopharyngeal-swabbed sample, which provides high sensitivity and specificity; while rapid antigen tests have a lower sensitivity, especially in asymptomatic patients. The prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection is based on strict infection control measures recommended for aerosol-droplet-and-contact transmission. Vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2 has shown high efficacy in reducing community transmission, hospitalisation and deaths due to severe COVID-19 disease in the general population, but immunosuppressed/haematology patients may have lower sero-responsiveness to vaccinations. Moreover, the recent emergence of new variants may require vaccine modifications and strategies to improve efficacy in these vulnerable patients. Beyond supportive care, the specific treatment is directed at viral replication control (antivirals, anti-spike monoclonal antibodies) and, in patients who need it, to the control of inflammation (dexamethasone, anti-Il-6 agents, and others). However, the benefit of all these various prophylactic and therapeutic treatments in haematology patients deserves further studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematologic Neoplasms , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Leukemia , Hematologic Neoplasms/complications , Hematologic Neoplasms/therapy , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Infect Dis Ther ; 11(3): 1149-1160, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783017

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Candida auris (C. auris) is an emerging nosocomial pathogen, and a sharp rise in cases of colonization and infection has been registered in intensive care units (ICUs) during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The unfavorable resistance profile of C. auris and the potential high mortality of C. auris infections represent an important challenge for physicians. METHODS: We conducted a single-center retrospective study including all patients admitted to ICUs with isolation of C. auris in any non-sterile body site between February 20, 2020, and May 31, 2021. The primary aim of the study was to assess the cumulative incidence of C. auris candidemia in colonized patients. The secondary aim was to identify predictors of C. auris candidemia in the study population. RESULTS: During the study period, 157 patients admitted to ICUs in our hospital became colonized with C. auris; 59% of them were affected by COVID-19. Overall, 27 patients (17%) developed C. auris candidemia. The cumulative risk of developing C. auris candidemia was > 25% at 60 days after first detection of C. auris colonization. Seven patients with C. auris candidemia (26%) also developed a late recurrent episode. All C. auris blood isolates during the first occurring episode were resistant to fluconazole and susceptible to echinocandins, while 15 (56%) were resistant to amphotericin B. During late recurrent episodes, emergent resistance to caspofungin and amphotericin B occurred in one case each. In the final multivariable model, only multisite colonization retained an independent association with the development of C. auris candidemia. CONCLUSION: Candida auris candidemia may occur in up to one fourth of colonized critically ill patients, and multisite colonization is an independent risk factor for the development of candidemia. Implementing adequate infection control measures remains crucial to prevent colonization with C. auris and indirectly the subsequent development of infection.

7.
Mycoses ; 65(4): 411-418, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685386

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in intensive care unit (ICU) patients is challenging, and the role of Aspergillus-PCR in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is unknown. OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated diagnostic accuracy of Aspergillus-PCR in BAL in IPA in three different cohorts: ICU-admitted patients with COVID-19, ICU-admitted patients without COVID-19 and immunocompromised patients. METHODS: All stored available BAL samples collected from three patient groups were tested with Aspergillus-PCR (AsperGenius® ). IPA was diagnosed according to appropriate criteria for each patient group. RESULTS: We included 111 BAL samples from 101 patients: 52 (51%) patients admitted to ICU for COVID-19, 24 (24%) admitted to ICU for other reasons and 25 (25%) immunocompromised. There were 31 cases of IPA (28%). Aspergillus-PCR sensitivity was 64% (95% CI 47-79) and specificity 99% (95% CI 93-100). Aspergillus-PCR sensitivity was 40% (95%CI 19-64) in ICU COVID-19, 67% (95% CI 21-93) in non-COVID-19 ICU patients and 92% (95%CI 67-98) in the immunocompromised. The concordance between positive BAL-GM and BAL-PCR in patients with and without IPA was significantly lower in ICU patients (32%; 43% in COVID-19, 18% in non-COVID-19) than in the immunocompromised (92%), p < .001. CONCLUSIONS: Aspergillus-PCR in BAL improves the diagnostic accuracy of BAL-GM in ICU patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Aspergillus/genetics , Bronchoalveolar Lavage , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , COVID-19/diagnosis , Critical Illness , Galactose , Humans , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Mannans/analysis , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity
8.
Transpl Infect Dis ; 24(2): e13773, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1666343

ABSTRACT

The objective of the study was to assess the current clinical practice and the attitude toward deferral of HCT/chemotherapy in patients with hematological diseases in cases of asymptomatic patients with a positive assay for SARS-CoV-2. In August 2021, we performed a survey among EBMT centers regarding their attitude toward deferral of HCT/chemotherapy in patients with a positive PCR result. Centers were willing to defer the planned cellular therapy for patients with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection without previous COVID-19 disease, and patients who became asymptomatic after a previous COVID19 disease but persistently shed the virus, respectively, in case of high-risk allo-HCT (90.2%/76.9%), low-risk allo-HCT for malignant diseases (88.2%/83.7%), allo-HCT for nonmalignant diseases (91.0%/91.0%), auto-HCT (88.0%/79.8%), and CAR-T therapy (83.1%/81.4%). The respective rates toward deferral of noncellular therapy patients was lower for both groups of patients, and varied with the primary diagnosis and anti-malignant treatment. There is a relatively high rate of willingness to defer treatment in asymptomatic patients being positive for SARS-CoV-2, planned for cellular therapy, regardless of previous history of vaccination or COVID-19. The same approach is presented for most of patients before noncellular therapy. Nevertheless, each patient should be considered individually weighting risks and benefits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Asymptomatic Infections , Humans , Immunotherapy, Adoptive , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(11): ofab217, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526175

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunocompromised patients show prolonged shedding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in nasopharyngeal swabs. We report a case of prolonged persistence of viable SARS-CoV-2 associated with clinical relapses of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a patient with mantle cell lymphoma who underwent treatment with rituximab, bendamustine, cytarabine with consequent lymphopenia and hypogammaglobulinemia. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs and blood samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). On 5 positive nasopharyngeal swabs, we performed viral culture and next-generation sequencing. We analyzed the patient's adaptive and innate immunity to characterize T- and NK-cell subsets. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs samples remained positive for 268 days. All 5 performed viral cultures were positive, and genomic analysis confirmed a persistent infection with the same strain. Viremia resulted positive in 3 out of 4 COVID-19 clinical relapses and cleared each time after remdesivir treatment. The T- and NK-cell dynamic was different in aviremic and viremic samples, and no SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies were detected throughout the disease course. CONCLUSIONS: In our patient, SARS-CoV-2 persisted with proven infectivity for >8 months. Viremia was associated with COVID-19 relapses, and remdesivir treatment was effective in viremia clearance and symptom remission, although it was unable to clear the virus from the upper respiratory airways. During the viremic phase, we observed a low frequency of terminal effector CD8+ T lymphocytes in peripheral blood; these are probably recruited in inflammatory tissue for viral eradication. In addition, we found a high level of NK-cell repertoire perturbation with relevant involvement during SARS-CoV-2 viremia.

11.
J Clin Med ; 10(20)2021 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470899

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies, such as bamlanivimab and etesevimab combination (BEC), have been proposed for patients with mild or moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, few studies have assessed the factors associated with the early administration of BEC or the impact of early BEC treatment on the clinical evolution of the patients. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all adults with COVID-19 who received BEC at three institutions in the Liguria region. The primary endpoint was to investigate the clinical variables associated with early BEC infusion. Secondary endpoints were 30-day overall mortality and the composite endpoint of requirement of hospital admission or need for supplemental oxygen during the 30-day follow-up period. A total of 127 patients (median age 70 years; 56.7% males) received BEC. Of those, 93 (73.2%) received BEC within 5 days from symptoms onset (early BEC). Patients with a higher Charlson comorbidity index were more likely to receive early treatment (odds ratio (OR) 1.60, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-2.45; p = 0.03) in contrast to those reporting fever at presentation (OR 0.26, 0.08-0.82; p = 0.02). Early BEC was associated with lower likelihood of hospital admission or need for supplemental oxygen (OR 0.19, 0.06-0.65; p = 0.008). Five patients who received early BEC died during the follow-up period, but only one of them due to COVID-19-related causes. Early bamlanivimab and etesevimab combination was more frequently administered to patients with a high Charlson comorbidity index. Despite this, early BEC was associated with a lower rate of hospital admission or need for any supplementary oxygen compared to late administration. These results suggest that efforts should focus on encouraging early BEC use in patients with mild-moderate COVID-19 at risk for complications.

12.
Eur J Intern Med ; 94: 39-44, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377703

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The hypothesis of this study is that tocilizumab should affect common signs of infection due to its immunosuppressive properties. Primary aim of the study was to investigate whether the administration of tocilizumab to critically ill patients with COVID-19, led to a different clinical presentation of infectious complications compared to patients who did not receive tocilizumab. Secondary aim was investigating differences in laboratory parameters between groups. METHODS: Single-centre retrospective study, enrolling COVID-19 patients who developed a microbiologically confirmed infectious complication [ventilator associated pneumonia or bloodstream infection] after intensive care unit [ICU] admission and either treated with tocilizumab or not [controls]. RESULTS: A total of 58 patients were included, 25 treated with tocilizumab and 33 controls. Median time from tocilizumab administration to infection onset was 10 days [range 2-26]. Patients were 78% male, with median age 65 years [range 45-79]. At first clinical presentation of the infectious event, the frequency of hypotension [11/25, 44% vs. 11/33, 33%], fever [8/25, 32% vs. 10/33, 30%] or hypothermia [0/25,0%, vs. 2/33, 6%], and oxygen desaturation [6/25, 28% vs 4/33, 12%], as well as the frequency of SOFA score increase of ≥ 2 points [4/25, 16%,vs. 4/33, 12%] was similar in tocilizumab treated patients and controls [p>0.1 for all comparisons]. Among laboratory parameters, C-Reactive Protein elevation was reduced in tocilizumab treated patients compared to controls [8/25, 32% vs. 22/33, 67%, p=0.009]. CONCLUSION: The clinical features of infectious complications in critically ill patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICU were not affected by tocilizumab.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , COVID-19/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Standard of Care
13.
Blood ; 136(Supplement 1):32-33, 2020.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1338993

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a severe infectious complication in patients with underlying medical conditions such as having undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT). This prospective survey reports outcome on 272 COVID-19 patients from 19 countries having undergone allogeneic (n = 175) or autologous (n = 97) HCT reported to the EBMT registry or to the GETH. All patients had the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 documented by PCR. Patients were included in this analysis if COVID-19 diagnosis was before April 10, 2020. The overall survival was estimate by using the Kaplan Meier methods, considering the death due to any cause as an event and the time from COVID-19 infection to the latest follow-up as survival time;difference between groups were tested by the log-rank test. Univariate and multivariate risk factor analysis for overall survival were performed with the Cox regression model.The median age was 54.4 years (1.0 - 80.3) for allogeneic and 60.9 years (7.7 - 73.4) for autologous HCT patients. 20 patients were children (<18 years of age;median age 11.3 (1.0 - 16.9)). The median time from HCT to diagnosis of COVID-19 was 13.7 months (0.2 - 254.3) in allogeneic and 25.0 months (-0.9 - 350.3) in autologous recipients. Lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) developed in 84.8% and 21.5% were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). At the time of analysis, 68/238 (28.6%) patients had died (47/155 allogeneic patients;21/83 autologous patients). No follow-up had been received on 34 patients. The median time from infection to death was 19 days (0-102). Five patients were reported to have other primary causes of death than COVID-19. Of the patients reported to be alive, the median follow-up was 44 days. 144 (84.7%) patients (93 allogeneic;51 autologous) had virologic resolution of the COVID-19 infection having at least one negative PCR. 26 patients were alive and known to be still COVID-19 positive (15 allogeneic;11 autologous). For 34 patients the resolution status was unknown. Factors influencing the likelihood of resolution in multivariate analysis were underlying diagnosis (p=.01) and longer time from transplant to diagnosis of COVID-19 (p=.035).Overall survival at 6 weeks from COVID-19 diagnosis was 76.8% and 83.8% in allogeneic and autologous HCT recipients (p =ns), respectively (figure 1). Children (n=20) tended to do better with a 6-week survival of 95.0% although the difference was not significantly different (p =.12). In multivariate analysis of the total population older age (HR 1.26;95% CI 1.05 - 1.51;p = .01) increased the risk and better performance status decreased the risk for fatal outcome (HR 0.79;95% CI 0.69 - 0.90;p = .0003). The same factors had significant impact on overall survival in allogeneic HCT recipients (age HR 1.28;95% CI 1.05 - 1.55;p=.01;performance status HR 0.79;95% CI 0.68 - 0.92);p=.002) while only age impacted survival among autologous HCT patients (data not shown). Other transplant factors such as underlying diagnosis, time from HCT to diagnosis of COVID-19, graft-vs-host disease, or ongoing immunosuppression did not have a significant impact on overall survival.We conclude that HCT patients are at an increased risk compared to the general population to develop LRTD, require admission to ICU, and have increased mortality in COVID-19.Figure 1

14.
Infect Dis Ther ; 10(4): 1837-1885, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333141

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Italian Society of Anti-Infective Therapy (SITA) and the Italian Society of Pulmonology (SIP) constituted an expert panel for developing evidence-based guidance for the clinical management of adult patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outside intensive care units. METHODS: Ten systematic literature searches were performed to answer ten different key questions. The retrieved evidence was graded according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation methodology (GRADE). RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The literature searches mostly assessed the available evidence on the management of COVID-19 patients in terms of antiviral, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)/non-invasive ventilation (NIV) treatment. Most evidence was deemed as of low certainty, and in some cases, recommendations could not be developed according to the GRADE system (best practice recommendations were provided in similar situations). The use of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies may be considered for outpatients at risk of disease progression. For inpatients, favorable recommendations were provided for anticoagulant prophylaxis and systemic steroids administration, although with low certainty of evidence. Favorable recommendations, with very low/low certainty of evidence, were also provided for, in specific situations, remdesivir, alone or in combination with baricitinib, and tocilizumab. The presence of many best practice recommendations testified to the need for further investigations by means of randomized controlled trials, whenever possible, with some possible future research directions stemming from the results of the ten systematic reviews.

15.
Curr Opin Infect Dis ; 34(4): 275-287, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254941

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is considered one of the most promising and socioeconomically sustainable strategy to help control the pandemic and several vaccines are currently being distributed in nationwide mass immunization campaigns. Very limited data are available on benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccination in immunocompromised patients and in particular in solid organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients as they were excluded from phase III trials. This review summarizes current knowledge, international guidelines and controversies regarding COVID-19 vaccination in these vulnerable populations. RECENT FINDINGS: Various COVID-19 vaccine platforms showed good efficacy in phase III trials in the immunocompetent and there are data arising on the safety and immunogenicity of these vaccines in the immunocompromised population. SUMMARY: Transplant recipients could benefit significantly from COVID-19 vaccination, both through active immunization provided they elicit protective vaccine responses, and probably through cocooning by immunization of caregivers and healthcare personnel and thus reducing the risk of SARS-coronavirus-2 exposure. Although awaiting more data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines to inform potential adaptations of vaccine regimens, we strongly recommend prioritizing COVID-19 vaccination of solid and hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients to decrease COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transplant Recipients , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/classification , Clinical Decision-Making , Disease Management , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Organ Transplantation/adverse effects , Organ Transplantation/methods , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Vaccination
16.
Leukemia ; 35(10): 2885-2894, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253922

ABSTRACT

This study reports on 382 COVID-19 patients having undergone allogeneic (n = 236) or autologous (n = 146) hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) reported to the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) or to the Spanish Group of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (GETH). The median age was 54.1 years (1.0-80.3) for allogeneic, and 60.6 years (7.7-81.6) for autologous HCT patients. The median time from HCT to COVID-19 was 15.8 months (0.2-292.7) in allogeneic and 24.6 months (-0.9 to 350.3) in autologous recipients. 83.5% developed lower respiratory tract disease and 22.5% were admitted to an ICU. Overall survival at 6 weeks from diagnosis was 77.9% and 72.1% in allogeneic and autologous recipients, respectively. Children had a survival of 93.4%. In multivariate analysis, older age (p = 0.02), need for ICU (p < 0.0001) and moderate/high immunodeficiency index (p = 0.04) increased the risk while better performance status (p = 0.001) decreased the risk for mortality. Other factors such as underlying diagnosis, time from HCT, GVHD, or ongoing immunosuppression did not significantly impact overall survival. We conclude that HCT patients are at high risk of developing LRTD, require admission to ICU, and have increased mortality in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Hematologic Neoplasms/therapy , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Hematologic Neoplasms/epidemiology , Hematologic Neoplasms/virology , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Survival Rate , Transplantation, Homologous , Young Adult
17.
Bone Marrow Transplant ; 56(7): 1493-1508, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241800

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), represents one of the biggest challenges of 21st century, threatening public health around the globe. Increasing age and presence of co-morbidities are reported risk factors for severe disease and mortality, along with autoimmune diseases (ADs) and immunosuppressive treatments such as haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), which are also associated with adverse outcomes. We review the impact of the pandemic on specific groups of patients with neurological, rheumatological, and gastroenterological indications, along with the challenges delivering HSCT in adult and pediatric populations. Moving forward, we developed consensus-based guidelines and recommendations for best practice and quality of patient care in order to support clinicians, scientists, and their multidisciplinary teams, as well as patients and their carers. These guidelines aim to support national and international organizations related to autoimmune diseases and local clinical teams delivering HSCT. Areas of unmet need and future research questions are also highlighted. The waves of the COVID-19 pandemic are predicted to be followed by an "endemic" phase and therefore an ongoing risk within a "new normality". These recommendations reflect currently available evidence, coupled with expert opinion, and will be revised according to necessary modifications in practice.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Adult , Autoimmune Diseases/therapy , Child , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
18.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(4): e1009448, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190180

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 infection causes severe respiratory involvement (COVID-19) in 5-20% of patients through initial immune derangement, followed by intense cytokine production and vascular leakage. Evidence of immune involvement point to the participation of T, B, and NK cells in the lack of control of virus replication leading to COVID-19. NK cells contribute to early phases of virus control and to the regulation of adaptive responses. The precise mechanism of NK cell dysregulation is poorly understood, with little information on tissue margination or turnover. We investigated these aspects by multiparameter flow cytometry in a cohort of 28 patients hospitalized with early COVID-19. Relevant decreases in CD56brightCD16+/- NK subsets were detected, with a shift of circulating NK cells toward more mature CD56dimCD16+KIR+NKG2A+ and "memory" KIR+CD57+CD85j+ cells with increased inhibitory NKG2A and KIR molecules. Impaired cytotoxicity and IFN-γ production were associated with conserved expression of natural cytotoxicity receptors and perforin. Moreover, intense NK cell activation with increased HLA-DR and CD69 expression was associated with the circulation of CD69+CD103+ CXCR6+ tissue-resident NK cells and of CD34+DNAM-1brightCXCR4+ inflammatory precursors to mature functional NK cells. Severe disease trajectories were directly associated with the proportion of CD34+DNAM-1brightCXCR4+ precursors and inversely associated with the proportion of NKG2D+ and of CD103+ NK cells. Intense NK cell activation and trafficking to and from tissues occurs early in COVID-19, and is associated with subsequent disease progression, providing an insight into the mechanism of clinical deterioration. Strategies to positively manipulate tissue-resident NK cell responses may provide advantages to future therapeutic and vaccine approaches.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Cohort Studies , Female , Flow Cytometry/methods , Humans , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Italy/epidemiology , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
19.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 353, 2021 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190057

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The primary objective of the study is to describe the cellular characteristics of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of COVID-19 patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation; the secondary outcome is to describe BALF findings between survivors vs non-survivors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients positive for SARS-CoV-2 RT PCR, admitted to ICU between March and April 2020 were enrolled. At ICU admission, BALF were analyzed by flow cytometry. Univariate, multivariate and Spearman correlation analyses were performed. RESULTS: Sixty-four patients were enrolled, median age of 64 years (IQR 58-69). The majority cells in the BALF were neutrophils (70%, IQR 37.5-90.5) and macrophages (27%, IQR 7-49) while a minority were lymphocytes, 1%, TCD3+ 92% (IQR 82-95). The ICU mortality was 32.8%. Non-survivors had a significantly older age (p = 0.033) and peripheral lymphocytes (p = 0.012) were lower compared to the survivors. At multivariate analysis the percentage of macrophages in the BALF correlated with poor outcome (OR 1.336, CI95% 1.014-1.759, p = 0.039). CONCLUSIONS: In critically ill patients, BALF cellularity is mainly composed of neutrophils and macrophages. The macrophages percentage in the BALF at ICU admittance correlated with higher ICU mortality. The lack of lymphocytes in BALF could partly explain a reduced anti-viral response.


Subject(s)
Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Leukocyte Count , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Respiration, Artificial , Adult , Aged , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Italy/epidemiology , Lymphocytes/cytology , Macrophages/cytology , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/cytology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Survivors/statistics & numerical data , Treatment Outcome
20.
J Fungi (Basel) ; 7(2)2021 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085060

ABSTRACT

Candida auris is an emerging MDR pathogen raising major concerns worldwide. In Italy, it was first and only identified in July 2019 in our hospital (San Martino Hospital, Genoa), where infection or colonization cases have been increasingly recognized during the following months. To gain insights into the introduction, transmission dynamics, and resistance traits of this fungal pathogen, consecutive C. auris isolates collected from July 2019 to May 2020 (n = 10) were subjected to whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and antifungal susceptibility testing (AST); patients' clinical and trace data were also collected. WGS resolved all isolates within the genetic clade I (South Asian) and showed that all but one were part of a cluster likely stemming from the index case. Phylogenetic molecular clock analyses predicted a recent introduction (May 2019) in the hospital setting and suggested that most transmissions were associated with a ward converted to a COVID-19-dedicated ICU during the pandemic. All isolates were resistant to amphotericin B, voriconazole, and fluconazole at high-level, owing to mutations in ERG11(K143R) and TACB1(A640V). Present data demonstrated that the introduction of MDR C. auris in Italy was a recent event and suggested that its spread could have been facilitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Continued efforts to implement stringent infection prevention and control strategies are warranted to limit the spread of this emerging pathogen within the healthcare system.

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