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1.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 12(2)2022 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707269

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A significant proportion of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) suffer from delirium during hospitalization. This single-center observational study investigates the occurrence of delirium, the associated risk factors and its impact on in-hospital mortality in an Italian cohort of COVID 19 inpatients. METHODS: Data were collected in the COVID units of a general medical hospital in the South of Italy. Socio-demographic, clinical and pharmacological features were collected. Diagnosis of delirium was based on a two-step approach according to 4AT criteria and DSM5 criteria. Outcomes were: dates of hospital discharge, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission, or death, whichever came first. Univariable and multivariable proportional hazards Cox regression models were estimated, and risks were reported as hazard ratios (HR) along with their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). RESULTS: A total of 47/214 patients (22%) were diagnosed with delirium (21 hypoactive, 15 hyperactive, and 11 mixed). In the multivariable model, four independent variables were independently associated with the presence of delirium: dementia, followed by age at admission, C-reactive protein (CRP), and Glasgow Coma Scale. In turn, delirium was the strongest independent predictor of death/admission to ICU (composite outcome), followed by Charlson Index (not including dementia), CRP, and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. The probability of reaching the composite outcome was higher for patients with the hypoactive subtype than for those with the hyperactive subtype. CONCLUSIONS: Delirium was the strongest predictor of poor outcome in COVID-19 patients, especially in the hypoactive subtype. Several clinical features and inflammatory markers were associated with the increased risk of its occurrence. The early recognition of these factors may help clinicians to select patients who would benefit from both non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions in order to prevent delirium, and in turn, reduce the risk of admission to ICU or death.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308649

ABSTRACT

Background: The worldwide escalation of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has urgently required the development of safe and effective vaccines against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the causative agent of disease. The BNT162b2 (Pfizer–BioNTech) RNA-based vaccine confers 95% protection against COVID-19 by encoding a mutated isoform of SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike (S) protein. Objective: Here, we report the antigen-specific immune profile against SARS-CoV-2 S protein after vaccination with a single dose of BNT162b2 in order to define the immunological landscape required for an efficient response to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Methods: We determined the levels of antibodies and antigen-specific B, T and NK-T cells against a recombinant GFP tagged SARS-CoV-2 S protein in subjects up to 20 days after injection of a single dose of BNT162b2 vaccine using a combined approach involving serological assays and flow cytometry analyses. Former COVID-19 patients have been also included in this study to evaluate the effect of vaccine after exposition to SARS-CoV-2. Results: The level of antigen-specific helper T-cells against SARS-CoV-2 S protein was reduced in subjects, low responsive or unresponsive to vaccination with respect to the highly responsive individuals, while the numbers of antigen-specific regulatory and cytotoxic T-cells were comparable. Of interest, in former COVID-19 patients, a single dose of BNT162b2 vaccine induced a significant increase of antibody production simultaneous with an antigen-specific B and NK-T cell response. Conclusion: Taken together, these results suggest that favorable immune profiles support the progression and an effective reaction to BNT162b2 vaccination.

3.
Biomedicines ; 9(12)2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542417

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a viral infection, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and characterized by a complex inflammatory process and clinical immunophenotypes. Nowadays, several alterations of immune response within the respiratory tracts as well as at the level of the peripheral blood have been well documented. Nonetheless, their effects on COVID-19-related cell heterogeneity and disease progression are less defined. Here, we performed a single-cell RNA sequencing of about 400 transcripts relevant to immune cell function including surface markers, in mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from the peripheral blood of 50 subjects, infected with SARS-CoV-2 at the diagnosis and 27 healthy blood donors as control. We found that patients with COVID-19 exhibited an increase in COVID-specific surface markers in different subsets of immune cell composition. Interestingly, the expression of cell receptors, such as IFNGR1 and CXCR4, was reduced in response to the viral infection and associated with the inhibition of the related signaling pathways and immune functions. These results highlight novel immunoreceptors, selectively expressed in COVID-19 patients, which affect the immune functionality and are correlated with clinical outcomes.

4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(10)2021 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534248

ABSTRACT

The escalation of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has required the development of safe and effective vaccines against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-associated (SARS-CoV-2), which is the causative agent of the disease. Here, we determined the levels of antibodies, antigen-specific B cells, against a recombinant GFP-tagged SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and total T and NK cell subsets in subjects up to 20 days after the injection of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine using a combined approach of serological and flow cytometry analyses. In former COVID-19 patients and highly responsive individuals, a significant increase of antibody production was detected, simultaneous with an expansion of antigen-specific B cell response and the total number of NK-T cells. Additionally, through a genetic screening of a specific polymorphic region internal to the 3' regulatory region 1 (3'RR1) of human immunoglobulin constant-gene (IgH) locus, we identified different single-nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) variants associated with either highly or lowly responsive subjects. Taken together, these results suggest that favorable genetic backgrounds and immune profiles support the progression of an effective response to BNT162b2 vaccination.

5.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(9)2021 Sep 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408835

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Endothelial dysfunction, coupled with inflammation, induces thrombo-inflammation. In COVID-19, this process is believed to be associated with clinical severity. Von Willebrand factor (VWF), and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 13 (ADAMTS-13), are strong markers of endothelial dysfunction. We evaluated the impact of the VWF/ADAMTS-13 fraction on COVID-19 severity and prognosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cohort study including 74 COVID-19 patients, with 22 admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and 52 to the medical ward (MW), was carried out. We also evaluated, in a group of 54 patients who were prospectively observed, whether variations in VWF/ADAMTS-13 correlated with the degree of severity and routine blood parameters. RESULTS: A VWF:RCo/ADAMTS-13 fraction above 6.5 predicted in-hospital mortality in the entire cohort. At admission, a VWF:RCo/ADAMTS-13 fraction above 5.7 predicted admission to the ICU. Furthermore, the VWF:RCo/ADAMTS-13 fraction directly correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP) (Spearman r: 0.51, p < 0.0001) and D-dimer (Spearman r: 0.26, p = 0.03). In the prospective cohort, dynamic changes in VWF:RCo/ADAMTS-13 and the CRP concentration were directly correlated (Spearman r, p = 0.0014). This relationship was significant in both groups (ICU: p = 0.006; MW: p = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: The present findings show that in COVID-19, the VWF/ADAMTS-13 fraction predicts in-hospital mortality. The VWF/ADAMTS-13 fraction may be a helpful tool to monitor COVID-19 patients throughout hospitalization.

7.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(3)2021 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1120747

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) relies on the positivity of nasopharyngeal swab. However, a significant percentage of symptomatic patients may test negative. We evaluated the reliability of COVID-19 diagnosis made by radiologists and clinicians and its accuracy versus serology in a sample of patients hospitalized for suspected COVID-19 with multiple negative swabs. METHODS: Admission chest CT-scans and clinical records of swab-negative patients, treated according to the COVID-19 protocol or deceased during hospitalization, were retrospectively evaluated by two radiologists and two clinicians, respectively. RESULTS: Of 254 patients, 169 swab-confirmed cases and one patient without chest CT-scan were excluded. A total of 84 patients were eligible for the reliability study. Of these, 21 patients died during hospitalization; the remaining 63 underwent serological testing and were eligible for the accuracy evaluation. Of the 63, 26 patients showed anti-Sars-Cov-2 antibodies, while 37 did not. The inter-rater agreement was "substantial" (kappa 0.683) between radiologists, "moderate" (kappa 0.454) between clinicians, and only "fair" (kappa 0.341) between radiologists and clinicians. Both radiologic and clinical evaluations showed good accuracy compared to serology. CONCLUSIONS: The radiologic and clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 for swab-negative patients proved to be sufficiently reliable and accurate to allow a diagnosis of COVID-19, which needs to be confirmed by serology and follow-up.

8.
Int J Infect Dis ; 104: 159-163, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065183

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Aside from the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), serological tests are not well known for their diagnostic value. We assessed the performance of serological tests using stored sera from patients with a variety of pathologic conditions, collected before the 2020 pandemic in Italy. METHODS: Rapid lateral flow tests and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA) that detect Immunoglobulin M (IgM) and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were carried out using 1150 stored human serum samples that had been collected in 2018 and 2019. The tests were also run using samples from 15 control patients who had positive or negative oral swab test results, as assessed using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). The urea dissociation test was employed to rule out false-positive reactivity in the two antibody detection methods. RESULTS: The lateral flow tests revealed 21 positive samples from the stored sera: 12 for IgM, four for IgG, and five for IgM/IgG. Among the nine rRT-PCR- positive controls, six individuals presented IgG and three IgM/IgG positivity. Using the urea (6 mol/L) dissociation test, two of the twelve stored samples that had shown IgM positivity were confirmed to be positive. The ELISA test detected four IgM-positive and three IgG-positive specimens. After treatment with 4 mol/L urea, the IgM-positive samples became negative, whereas the IgG positivity persisted. All of the rRT-PCR-positive controls were found to retain IgM or IgG positivity following the urea treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight the limited utility of serological testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus based on the results of specimens collected before the outbreak of the infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , False Positive Reactions , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
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