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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(6): 217-223, 2022 Feb 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687590


In mid-December 2021, the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, surpassed the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant as the predominant strain in California.§ Initial reports suggest that the Omicron variant is more transmissible and resistant to vaccine neutralization but causes less severe illness compared with previous variants (1-3). To describe characteristics of patients hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection during periods of Delta and Omicron predominance, clinical characteristics and outcomes were retrospectively abstracted from the electronic health records (EHRs) of adults aged ≥18 years with positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) SARS-CoV-2 test results admitted to one academic hospital in Los Angeles, California, during July 15-September 23, 2021 (Delta predominant period, 339 patients) and December 21, 2021-January 27, 2022 (Omicron predominant period, 737 patients). Compared with patients during the period of Delta predominance, a higher proportion of adults admitted during Omicron predominance had received the final dose in a primary COVID-19 vaccination series (were fully vaccinated) (39.6% versus 25.1%), and fewer received COVID-19-directed therapies. Although fewer required intensive care unit (ICU) admission and invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), and fewer died while hospitalized during Omicron predominance, there were no significant differences in ICU admission or IMV when stratified by vaccination status. Fewer fully vaccinated Omicron-period patients died while hospitalized (3.4%), compared with Delta-period patients (10.6%). Among Omicron-period patients, vaccination was associated with lower likelihood of ICU admission, and among adults aged ≥65 years, lower likelihood of death while hospitalized. Likelihood of ICU admission and death were lowest among adults who had received a booster dose. Among the first 131 Omicron-period hospitalizations, 19.8% of patients were clinically assessed as admitted for non-COVID-19 conditions. Compared with adults considered likely to have been admitted because of COVID-19, these patients were younger (median age = 38 versus 67 years) and more likely to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (84.6% versus 61.0%). Although 20% of SARS-CoV-2-associated hospitalizations during the period of Omicron predominance might be driven by non-COVID-19 conditions, large numbers of hospitalizations place a strain on health systems. Vaccination, including a booster dose for those who are fully vaccinated, remains critical to minimizing risk for severe health outcomes among adults with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity
Stem Cell Res Ther ; 13(1): 64, 2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1677536


Recent advances in single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) and epithelium lineage labeling have yielded identification of multiple abnormal epithelial progenitor populations during alveolar type 2 (ATII) cell differentiation into alveolar type 1 (ATI) cells during regenerative lung post-fibrotic injury. These abnormal cells include basaloid/basal-like cells, ATII transition cells, and persistent epithelial progenitors (PEPs). These cells occurred and accumulated during the regeneration of distal airway and alveoli in response to both chronic and acute pulmonary injury. Among the alveolar epithelial progenitors, PEPs express a distinct Krt8+ phenotype that is rarely found in intact alveoli. However, post-injury, the Krt8+ phenotype is seen in dysplastic epithelial cells. Fully understanding the characteristics and functions of these newly found, injury-induced abnormal behavioral epithelial progenitors and the signaling pathways regulating their phenotype could potentially point the way to unique therapeutic targets for fibrosing lung diseases. This review summarizes recent advances in understanding these epithelial progenitors as they relate to uncovering regenerative mechanisms.

Lung Injury , Alveolar Epithelial Cells , Epithelial Cells , Humans , Lung , Pulmonary Alveoli
PLoS One ; 15(7): e0236240, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-670269


IMPORTANCE: Certain individuals, when infected by SARS-CoV-2, tend to develop the more severe forms of Covid-19 illness for reasons that remain unclear. OBJECTIVE: To determine the demographic and clinical characteristics associated with increased severity of Covid-19 infection. DESIGN: Retrospective observational study. We curated data from the electronic health record, and used multivariable logistic regression to examine the association of pre-existing traits with a Covid-19 illness severity defined by level of required care: need for hospital admission, need for intensive care, and need for intubation. SETTING: A large, multihospital healthcare system in Southern California. PARTICIPANTS: All patients with confirmed Covid-19 infection (N = 442). RESULTS: Of all patients studied, 48% required hospitalization, 17% required intensive care, and 12% required intubation. In multivariable-adjusted analyses, patients requiring a higher levels of care were more likely to be older (OR 1.5 per 10 years, P<0.001), male (OR 2.0, P = 0.001), African American (OR 2.1, P = 0.011), obese (OR 2.0, P = 0.021), with diabetes mellitus (OR 1.8, P = 0.037), and with a higher comorbidity index (OR 1.8 per SD, P<0.001). Several clinical associations were more pronounced in younger compared to older patients (Pinteraction<0.05). Of all hospitalized patients, males required higher levels of care (OR 2.5, P = 0.003) irrespective of age, race, or morbidity profile. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In our healthcare system, greater Covid-19 illness severity is seen in patients who are older, male, African American, obese, with diabetes, and with greater overall comorbidity burden. Certain comorbidities paradoxically augment risk to a greater extent in younger patients. In hospitalized patients, male sex is the main determinant of needing more intensive care. Further investigation is needed to understand the mechanisms underlying these findings.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , African Americans , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Comorbidity , Diabetes Mellitus , Female , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult