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Am J Respir Crit Care Med ; 2022 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2153229


RATIONALE: Shared symptoms and genetic architecture between COVID-19 and lung fibrosis suggests SARS-CoV-2 infection may lead to progressive lung damage. OBJECTIVES: The UKILD Post-COVID study interim analysis was planned to estimate the prevalence of residual lung abnormalities in people hospitalized with COVID-19 based on risk strata. METHODS: The Post-HOSPitalisation COVID Study (PHOSP-COVID) was used for capture of routine and research follow-up within 240 days from discharge. Thoracic CTs linked by PHOSP-COVID identifiers were scored for percentage of residual lung abnormalities (ground glass opacities and reticulations). Risk factors in linked CT were estimated with Bayesian binomial regression and risk strata were generated. Numbers within strata were used to estimate post-hospitalization prevalence using Bayesian binomial distributions. Sensitivity analysis was restricted to participants with protocol driven research follow-up. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The interim cohort comprised 3700 people. Of 209 subjects with linked CTs (median 119 days, interquartile range 83-155), 166 people (79.4%) had >10% involvement of residual lung abnormalities. Risk factors included abnormal chest X-ray (RR 1·21 95%CrI 1·05; 1·40), percent predicted DLco<80% (RR 1·25 95%CrI 1·00; 1·56) and severe admission requiring ventilation support (RR 1·27 95%CrI 1·07; 1·55). In the remaining 3491 people, moderate to very-high risk of residual lung abnormalities was classified in 7·8%, post-hospitalization prevalence was estimated at 8.5% (95%CrI 7.6%; 9.5%) rising to 11.7% (95%CrI 10.3%; 13.1%) in sensitivity analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Residual lung abnormalities were estimated in up to 11% of people discharged following COVID-19 related hospitalization. Health services should monitor at-risk individuals to elucidate long-term functional implications. This article is open access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (

BMJ Open Respir Res ; 9(1)2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053233


BACKGROUND: There is increasing evidence that vitamin D (VD) deficiency may increase individuals' risk of COVID-19 infection and susceptibility. We aimed to determine the relationship between VD deficiency and sufficiency and COVID-19 seropositivity within healthcare workers. METHODS: The study included an observational cohort of healthcare workers who isolated due to COVID-19 symptoms from 12 May to 22 May 2020, from the University Hospitals Birmingham National Health Service Foundation Trust. Data collected included SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion status, serum 25(OH)D3 levels, age, body mass index (BMI), sex, ethnicity, job role and comorbidities. Participants were grouped into four VD categories: (1) Severe VD deficiency (VD<30 nmol/L); (2) VD deficiency (30 nmol/L ≤VD<50 nmol/L); (3) VD insufficiency (50 nmol/L ≤VD<75 nmol/L); (4) VD sufficiency (VD≥75 nmol/L). RESULTS: When VD levels were compared against COVID-19 seropositivity rate, a U-shaped curve was identified. This trend repeated when participants were split into subgroups of age, sex, ethnicity, BMI and comorbidity status. Significant difference was identified in the COVID-19 seropositivity rate between VD groups in the total population and between groups of men and women; black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) group; BMI<30 (kg/m2); 0 and +1 comorbidities; the majority of which were differences when the severely VD deficient category were compared with the other groups. A larger proportion of those within the BAME group (vs white ethnicity) were severely VD deficient (p<0.00001). A larger proportion of the 0 comorbidity subgroup were VD deficient in comparison to the 1+ comorbidity subgroup (p=0.046). CONCLUSIONS: Our study has shown a U-shaped relationship for COVID-19 seropositivity in UK healthcare workers. Further investigation is required to determine whether high VD levels can have a detrimental effect on susceptibility to COVID-19 infection. Future randomised clinical trials of VD supplementation could potentially identify 'optimal' VD levels, allowing for targeted therapeutic treatment for those at risk.

COVID-19 , Vitamin D Deficiency , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vitamin D , Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology
Cells ; 11(18)2022 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043594


Rationale: Infection with the SARS-CoV2 virus is associated with elevated neutrophil counts. Evidence of neutrophil dysfunction in COVID-19 is based on transcriptomics or single functional assays. Cell functions are interwoven pathways, and understanding the effect across the spectrum of neutrophil function may identify therapeutic targets. Objectives: Examine neutrophil phenotype and function in 41 hospitalised, non-ICU COVID-19 patients versus 23 age-matched controls (AMC) and 26 community acquired pneumonia patients (CAP). Methods: Isolated neutrophils underwent ex vivo analyses for migration, bacterial phagocytosis, ROS generation, NETosis and receptor expression. Circulating DNAse 1 activity, levels of cfDNA, MPO, VEGF, IL-6 and sTNFRI were measured and correlated to clinical outcome. Serial sampling on day three to five post hospitalization were also measured. The effect of ex vivo PI3K inhibition was measured in a further cohort of 18 COVID-19 patients. Results: Compared to AMC and CAP, COVID-19 neutrophils demonstrated elevated transmigration (p = 0.0397) and NETosis (p = 0.0332), and impaired phagocytosis (p = 0.0036) associated with impaired ROS generation (p < 0.0001). The percentage of CD54+ neutrophils (p < 0.001) was significantly increased, while surface expression of CD11b (p = 0.0014) and PD-L1 (p = 0.006) were significantly decreased in COVID-19. COVID-19 and CAP patients showed increased systemic markers of NETosis including increased cfDNA (p = 0.0396) and impaired DNAse activity (p < 0.0001). The ex vivo inhibition of PI3K γ and δ reduced NET release by COVID-19 neutrophils (p = 0.0129). Conclusions: COVID-19 is associated with neutrophil dysfunction across all main effector functions, with altered phenotype, elevated migration and NETosis, and impaired antimicrobial responses. These changes highlight that targeting neutrophil function may help modulate COVID-19 severity.

COVID-19 , Neutrophils , B7-H1 Antigen , COVID-19/immunology , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids , Deoxyribonucleases , Humans , Interleukin-6/pharmacology , Neutrophils/cytology , Phenotype , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2