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Ann Intern Med ; 175(10): 1401-1410, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080840


BACKGROUND: Levels of plasma SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) antigen may be an important biomarker in patients with COVID-19 and enhance our understanding of the pathogenesis of COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether levels of plasma antigen can predict short-term clinical outcomes and identify clinical and viral factors associated with plasma antigen levels in hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study of baseline plasma antigen level from 2540 participants enrolled in the TICO (Therapeutics for Inpatients With COVID-19) platform trial from August 2020 to November 2021, with additional data on day 5 outcome and time to discharge. SETTING: 114 centers in 10 countries. PARTICIPANTS: Adults hospitalized for acute SARS-CoV-2 infection with 12 days or less of symptoms. MEASUREMENTS: Baseline plasma viral N antigen level was measured at a central laboratory. Delta variant status was determined from baseline nasal swabs using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Associations between baseline patient characteristics and viral factors and baseline plasma antigen levels were assessed using both unadjusted and multivariable modeling. Association between elevated baseline antigen level of 1000 ng/L or greater and outcomes, including worsening of ordinal pulmonary scale at day 5 and time to hospital discharge, were evaluated using logistic regression and Fine-Gray regression models, respectively. RESULTS: Plasma antigen was below the level of quantification in 5% of participants at enrollment, and 1000 ng/L or greater in 57%. Baseline pulmonary severity of illness was strongly associated with plasma antigen level, with mean plasma antigen level 3.10-fold higher among those requiring noninvasive ventilation or high-flow nasal cannula compared with room air (95% CI, 2.22 to 4.34). Plasma antigen level was higher in those who lacked antispike antibodies (6.42 fold; CI, 5.37 to 7.66) and in those with the Delta variant (1.73 fold; CI, 1.41 to 2.13). Additional factors associated with higher baseline antigen level included male sex, shorter time since hospital admission, decreased days of remdesivir, and renal impairment. In contrast, race, ethnicity, body mass index, and immunocompromising conditions were not associated with plasma antigen levels. Plasma antigen level of 1000 ng/L or greater was associated with a markedly higher odds of worsened pulmonary status at day 5 (odds ratio, 5.06 [CI, 3.41 to 7.50]) and longer time to hospital discharge (median, 7 vs. 4 days; subhazard ratio, 0.51 [CI, 0.45 to 0.57]), with subhazard ratios similar across all levels of baseline pulmonary severity. LIMITATIONS: Plasma samples were drawn at enrollment, not hospital presentation. No point-of-care test to measure plasma antigen is currently available. CONCLUSION: Elevated plasma antigen is highly associated with both severity of pulmonary illness and clinically important patient outcomes. Multiple clinical and viral factors are associated with plasma antigen level at presentation. These data support a potential role of ongoing viral replication in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 in hospitalized patients. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: U.S. government Operation Warp Speed and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Male , Nucleocapsid , SARS-CoV-2
Ann Intern Med ; 175(2): 234-243, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753917


BACKGROUND: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial, bamlanivimab, a SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing monoclonal antibody, given in combination with remdesivir, did not improve outcomes among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 based on an early futility assessment. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the a priori hypothesis that bamlanivimab has greater benefit in patients without detectable levels of endogenous neutralizing antibody (nAb) at study entry than in those with antibodies, especially if viral levels are high. DESIGN: Randomized, placebo-controlled trial. ( NCT04501978). SETTING: Multicenter trial. PATIENTS: Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 without end-organ failure. INTERVENTION: Bamlanivimab (7000 mg) or placebo. MEASUREMENTS: Antibody, antigen, and viral RNA levels were centrally measured on stored specimens collected at baseline. Patients were followed for 90 days for sustained recovery (defined as discharge to home and remaining home for 14 consecutive days) and a composite safety outcome (death, serious adverse events, organ failure, or serious infections). RESULTS: Among 314 participants (163 receiving bamlanivimab and 151 placebo), the median time to sustained recovery was 19 days and did not differ between the bamlanivimab and placebo groups (subhazard ratio [sHR], 0.99 [95% CI, 0.79 to 1.22]; sHR > 1 favors bamlanivimab). At entry, 50% evidenced production of anti-spike nAbs; 50% had SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid plasma antigen levels of at least 1000 ng/L. Among those without and with nAbs at study entry, the sHRs were 1.24 (CI, 0.90 to 1.70) and 0.74 (CI, 0.54 to 1.00), respectively (nominal P for interaction = 0.018). The sHR (bamlanivimab vs. placebo) was also more than 1 for those with plasma antigen or nasal viral RNA levels above median level at entry and was greatest for those without antibodies and with elevated levels of antigen (sHR, 1.48 [CI, 0.99 to 2.23]) or viral RNA (sHR, 1.89 [CI, 1.23 to 2.91]). Hazard ratios for the composite safety outcome (<1 favors bamlanivimab) also differed by serostatus at entry: 0.67 (CI, 0.37 to 1.20) for those without and 1.79 (CI, 0.92 to 3.48) for those with nAbs. LIMITATION: Subgroup analysis of a trial prematurely stopped because of futility; small sample size; multiple subgroups analyzed. CONCLUSION: Efficacy and safety of bamlanivimab may differ depending on whether an endogenous nAb response has been mounted. The limited sample size of the study does not allow firm conclusions based on these findings, and further independent trials are required that assess other types of passive immune therapies in the same patient setting. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: U.S. government Operation Warp Speed and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Adenosine Monophosphate/adverse effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Aged , Alanine/adverse effects , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , Antibodies, Neutralizing/adverse effects , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antigens, Viral/blood , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Double-Blind Method , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Humans , Male , Medical Futility , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/blood , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Failure