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2.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 19(16):10262, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1997578

ABSTRACT

Campania is the sixth poorest region of Italy, and it is the region with the highest income inequality. The secondary attack rates of SARS-CoV-2 among households are found to be substantially heterogeneous among published studies and are influenced by socio-economic factors. We conducted a retrospective study to describe the role of socio-economic factors in the household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among patients living in Campania Region and referring to 'Federico II';Hospital. We interviewed 413 subjects followed-up for COVID-19 between the 8 March 2020 and the 24 May 2021 with the aim to collect demographic, clinical, economic, and social data regarding their household and the index cases. The variables associated with SARS-CoV-2 attack rate higher than 50% among households were higher age (p = 0.023) and higher Charlson Comorbidity Index of the index case (p = 0.023) and, for household characteristics, higher number of families per house (p = 0.02), location of the houses in Naples' suburbs (Chi2 = 5.3, p = 0.02) and in Caserta City area (Chi2 = 4, p = 0.04), and renting the house compared to owning it (Chi2 = 5.83, p = 0.01). This study confirms the finding described by other authors that household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is correlated with the income inequality of the analyzed geographical area as well as with the indicators of health and economic wealth of the families, and this correlation also applies to the Campania Region.

3.
Am J Perinatol ; 2022 Aug 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991717

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate safety and efficacy of casirivimab/imdevimab therapy in pregnant women with severe COVID-19 requiring oxygen therapy. METHODS: This was a prospective case series study aimed to evaluate safety and efficacy of casirivimab/imdevimab therapy in unvaccinated pregnant women with severe COVID-19. Inclusion criteria were: SARS CoV-2 infection documented with PCR, pregnancy, severe COVID-19 requiring oxygen therapy, duration of symptoms of 10 days or less, able to provide informed consent. Vaccinated women, and those with mild-to-moderate disease were excluded from the study. Included patients received casirivimab and imdevimab as single intravenous dose of 4000/4000 mg. Women were also treated with low molecular weight heparin, steroids and antibiotics, if necessary. The primary outcome was maternal death. Secondary outcomes were: rate of adverse events during infusion or within 72 hours, and rate of abortion. RESULTS: Thirteen hospitalized unvaccinated pregnant women with severe COVID-19 requiring oxygen and treated with casirivimab/imdevimab were included in the study. We observed no maternal death, and no patients required intubation or admission to intensive care unit. No abortion or fetal loss were recorded. Nine pregnancies were still ongoing, and there were three cesarean deliveries and one vaginal delivery. Two were preterm deliveries (at 31 and 34 weeks), and two were term deliveries. CONCLUSION: Casirivimab/imdevimab therapy may be considered as therapy in unvaccinated pregnant women with severe COVID-19.

4.
J Clin Med ; 11(15)2022 Jul 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957365

ABSTRACT

We previously observed an increase of serum interleukins (IL) and a reduction of most lymphocyte subpopulations in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Herein, we aimed to evaluate the changes in serum IL-6, IL-10, and IL-17A levels and cytometric lymphocyte profiles in 144 COVID-19 patients at admission and after one week, also in relation to steroid treatment before hospitalization. After one week of hospitalization, we found that: (i) total lymphocytes were increased in all patients; (ii) neutrophils and IL-6 were reduced in mild/moderate patients; (iii) B lymphocytes were increased in severe patients; (iv) T lymphocyte populations increased in mild/moderate patients. In the eight patients that died during hospitalization, total leukocytes increased while T, T helper, T cytotoxic, T regulatory, and NK lymphocytes showed a reducing trend in five of the eight patients. Even if seven days are too few to evaluate the adaptive immunity of patients, we found that the steroid therapy was associated with a reduced COVID-19 inflammation and cytokine activation only in patients with severe disease, while in patients with less severe disease, the steroid therapy seems to have immunosuppressive effects on lymphocyte populations, and this could hamper the antiviral response. A better knowledge of cytokine and lymphocyte alterations in each COVID-19 patient could be useful to plan better treatment with steroids or cytokine targeting.

5.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 852973, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1924116

ABSTRACT

Introduction: In solid organ transplant recipients, COVID-19 is associated with a poor prognosis because of immunosuppression. Some studies suggest a potential therapeutic role of mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors in SARS-CoV-2 infection. This study aimed to assess the impact of mTOR employment on the evolution and outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in solid organ transplant recipients. Methods: We enrolled kidney transplant patients attending the Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Federico II in Naples and followed up on these patients from March 2020 to June 2021. We evaluated the risk of acquiring the SARS-CoV-2 infection, the clinical presentation of the disease, and its outcome together with the type of immunosuppressive therapy. Finally, we assessed the impact of mTOR inhibitors on relevant clinical metrics of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results: We enrolled 371 patients, of whom 56 (15.1%) contracted SARS-CoV-2 infection during the period of the study. There were no differences observed among the different immunosuppressive therapies concerning the risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection. In contrast, the type of immunosuppressive therapy had a significant impact on the outcome of the disease. In detail, patients who received mTOR inhibitors, as part of their immunosuppressive therapy, compared to other regimens had a lower chance of developing a moderate or severe form of the disease (OR = 0.8, 95, CI: (0.21-0.92), P = 0.041). Conclusion: In kidney transplant patients, the use of mTOR inhibitors as part of an immunosuppressive regimen is associated with a better prognosis in the case of COVID-19.

7.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 864865, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879460

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the management of solid organ transplant recipients and on clinical evolution in post-transplantation. Little is known on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in these patients. The severity and lethality of this disease in solid organ transplant patients are higher thanin the general population. This study aims to describe clinical characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection in solid organ transplant recipients followed in our center. Methods: In this observational study, we enrolled all kidney transplant recipientsattending the A.O.U. Federico II of Naples from March 2020 to January 2021. For each patient we evaluated the epidemiological and clinical characteristics as well as outcome. Results: We enrolled 369 kidney transplant patients (229, male, 62%). Of these, 51 (13.8%) acquired SARS-CoV-2 infection and 29 showed symptomatic disease. Of the 51 patients with the infection, 48 (94.11%) had at least one comorbidity and such comorbidities did not constitute a risk factor for a more severe disease. Hospitalization was necessary for 7 (13.7%) patients. Of these, 2 required low-flow oxygen supplementation, 3 non-invasive/high flow ventilation and 2 invasive ventilation. Finally, 2 patients died. Conclusions: Our study shows a lower mortality and hospitalization rate compared to figures available in the literature (4% vs. 13-30% and 14% vs. 32-100%, respectively). Furthermore, the comorbidities examined (hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes) did not constitute a risk factor for a more severe disease condition in this patient category. Further studies with larger sample size are necessary to confirm these data.

9.
Minerva Endocrinol (Torino) ; 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1737520

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-Coronavirus (CoV2) primarily targeting the lungs, the heart represents another critical virus target. Thus, the identification of SARS-CoV-2 disease of 2019 (COVID-19)-associated biomarkers would be beneficial to stratify prognosis and the risk of developing cardiac complications. Aldosterone and galectin-3 promote fibrosis and inflammation and are considered a prognostic biomarker of lung and adverse cardiac remodeling. Here, we tested whether galectin-3 and aldosterone levels can predict adverse cardiac outcomes in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: To this aim, we assessed galectin-3 and aldosterone serum levels in 51 patients diagnosed with COVID-19, using a population of 19 healthy subjects as controls. In in vitro studies, we employed 3T3 fibroblasts to assess the potential roles of aldosterone and galectin-3 in fibroblast activation. RESULTS: Serum galectin-3 levels were more elevated in COVID-19 patients than healthy controls and correlated with COVID-19 severity classification and cardiac Troponin-I (cTnI) serum levels. Furthermore, we observed an augmented secretion of aldosterone in COVID-19 patients. This adrenal hormone is a direct stimulator of galectin-3 secretion; therefore, we surmised that this axis could perpetrate fibrosis and adverse remodeling in these subjects. Thus, we stimulated fibroblasts with 10% of serum from COVID-19 patients. This challenge markedly rose the expression of smooth muscle alpha (α)-2 actin (ACTA2), a myofibroblast marker. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that COVID-19 can affect cardiac structure and function by triggering aldosterone and galectin-3 release that may serve as prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers while monitoring the course of cardiac complications in patients suffering from COVID-19.

10.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732241

ABSTRACT

Profound clinical differences between the first and second waves of COVID-19 were observed in Europe. Nitric oxide (NO) may positively impact patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. It is mainly generated by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). We studied serum iNOS levels together with serum interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10 in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first wave (n = 35) and second wave (n = 153). In the first wave, serum iNOS, IL-6, IL-10 levels increased significantly, in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) score severity, while in the second wave, iNOS did not change with the severity. The patients of the second wave showed lower levels of iNOS, IL-6, and IL-10, as compared to the corresponding subgroup of the first wave, suggesting a less severe outcome of COVID-19 in these patients. However, in the severe patients of the second wave, iNOS levels were significantly lower in patients treated with steroids or azithromycin before the hospitalization, as compared to the untreated patients. This suggests an impairment of the defense mechanism against the virus and NO-based therapies as a potential therapy in patients with low iNOS levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Nitric Oxide/metabolism , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II , SARS-CoV-2
11.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321982

ABSTRACT

Background: The recent SARS-CoV-2 infection is the cause of one of the most important pandemics that history has ever experienced. SARS-CoV-2 can lead to a MOF (Multiple Organ Failure) that is critical for life of patients. Viral RNA is found in human tissues as lung, intestine, testicle, kidney, etc. and it is the reason to theorize different ways of transmission of the virus in addition to respiratory droplets. The aim of our study was to evaluate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in urethral swabs.Methods We enrolled 10 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection who attended the Infectious Diseases Unit of the A.O.U. Federico II of Naples, from March 2020 to April 2020. For each patient, one urethral swab was collected at the time of SARS-CoV-2 infection.Results All ten patients had a negative urethral swab for SARS-CoV-2 RNA when the rhino-oropharyngeal swab was found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Our data show for the first time that the virus would not affect the urinary tract and therefore would not be found in the urine and even less would it be transmissible through the urine. This result was independent of the stage of the disease, in fact, regardless of the severity of the clinical conditions, all patients had a negative urethral swab for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.Conclusion This observation, which needs to be further investigated with further studies and a larger sample, could be the cornerstone for understanding the role of SARS-CoV-2 in relation to the genitourinary system.

12.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1212, 2022 01 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649849

ABSTRACT

The molecular basis of the wide clinical heterogeneity of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still unknown. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) may have a role in the lung damage and regeneration that occur in severe patients. We studied serum MMP3 and MMP9 as potential biomarkers of COVID-19 severity, in 108 hospitalized patients with different World Health Organization (WHO) severity stage and in 48 controls. At hospital admission, serum MMP3 was increased in COVID-19 patients with a significant trend along the progression of the WHO stage, while serum levels of MMP9 were significantly increased in COVID-19 patients with no correlation with disease severity. At 1 week from hospitalization, MMP3 was reduced, suggesting an early pathogenic role of the protein in lung inflammation, while MMP9 levels were further increased, indicating a late role of the protein in the inflammatory process, specifically during the repairing phase. Furthermore, serum MMP9 was positively correlated with serum interleukin-6, myeloperoxidase, and circulating neutrophils and monocytes number. In conclusion, serum MMP3 may help to early predict the severity of COVID-19 and both proteins, MMP3 and MMP9, may contribute to define severe COVID-19 patients that may benefit from a targeted therapy on MMPs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Matrix Metalloproteinase 3/blood , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/blood , Patient Acuity , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534035

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: to describe a single-center experience of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) in non-HIV patients recovering from COVID-19. METHODS: We report the cases of five non-HIV patients with COVID-19 who also developed PJP at a University Hospital. RESULTS: With the exception of one subject, who experienced an atypical and prolonged course of COVID-19, all the patients developed PJP after the clinical resolution of COVID-19 pneumonia. All but one patient had no pre-existing immunosuppressive conditions or other risk factors for PJP development at COVID-19 diagnosis. Nonetheless, following the course of COVID-19 infection, all the patients fulfilled at least one host factor for PJP; indeed, all the patients had received at least 2 weeks of high-dose steroids and three out of five had a CD4+ cell count <200/mm3. CONCLUSIONS: The use of corticosteroids for COVID-19 respiratory impairment seems to be the most common risk factor for PJP, together with viral-induced and iatrogenic lymphopenia. The worsening in respiratory function and the characteristic radiological picture during or after COVID-19 pneumonia should raise the suspicion of PJP, even in immunocompetent patients. PJP primary chemoprophylaxis can be considered in selected high-risk COVID-19 patients, but further studies are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumocystis carinii , Pneumonia, Pneumocystis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Pneumonia, Pneumocystis/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488580

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: to describe a single-center experience of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) in non-HIV patients recovering from COVID-19. METHODS: We report the cases of five non-HIV patients with COVID-19 who also developed PJP at a University Hospital. RESULTS: With the exception of one subject, who experienced an atypical and prolonged course of COVID-19, all the patients developed PJP after the clinical resolution of COVID-19 pneumonia. All but one patient had no pre-existing immunosuppressive conditions or other risk factors for PJP development at COVID-19 diagnosis. Nonetheless, following the course of COVID-19 infection, all the patients fulfilled at least one host factor for PJP; indeed, all the patients had received at least 2 weeks of high-dose steroids and three out of five had a CD4+ cell count <200/mm3. CONCLUSIONS: The use of corticosteroids for COVID-19 respiratory impairment seems to be the most common risk factor for PJP, together with viral-induced and iatrogenic lymphopenia. The worsening in respiratory function and the characteristic radiological picture during or after COVID-19 pneumonia should raise the suspicion of PJP, even in immunocompetent patients. PJP primary chemoprophylaxis can be considered in selected high-risk COVID-19 patients, but further studies are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumocystis carinii , Pneumonia, Pneumocystis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Pneumonia, Pneumocystis/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2
15.
J Clin Med ; 10(21)2021 Oct 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480825

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, has rapidly spread to become a global pandemic, putting a strain on health care systems. SARS-CoV-2 infection may be associated with mild symptoms or, in severe cases, lead patients to the intensive care unit (ICU) or death. The critically ill patients suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, thrombotic complications and multiple organ failure. For optimization of hospital resources, several molecular markers and algorithms have been evaluated in order to stratify COVID-19 patients, based on the risk of developing a mild, moderate, or severe disease. Here, we propose the soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) as a serum biomarker of clinical severity and outcome in patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19. In patients with mild disease course, suPAR levels were increased as compared to healthy controls, but they were dramatically higher in severely ill patients. Since early identification of disease progression may facilitate the individual management of COVID-19 symptomatic patients and the time of admission to the ICU, we suggest paying more clinical attention on patients with high suPAR levels.

16.
J Transl Med ; 19(1): 403, 2021 09 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438276

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had a 1st wave in Europe from March to May 2020 and a 2nd wave since September 2020. We previously studied 35 hospitalized COVID-19 patients of the 1st wave demonstrating a cytokine storm and the exhaustion of most lymphocyte subpopulations. Herein, we describe the results obtained from COVID-19 patients of the 2nd wave. METHODS: We analyzed interleukin (IL)-6 by human-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a large set of lymphocyte subpopulations by flow cytometry in 274 COVID-19 patients hospitalized from September 2020 to May 2021. RESULTS: Patients of 2nd wave compared with those of 1st wave showed lower serum IL-6 levels and a higher number of B and most T lymphocyte subpopulations in advanced stages, in relation with the age and the gender. On the other hand, we observed in 2nd wave patients: (i) a reduction of most lymphocyte subpopulations at mild and moderate stages; (ii) a reduction of natural killer cells and T regulatory cells together with a higher number of activated T helper (TH) 17 lymphocytes in all stages, which were mainly related to steroid and azithromycin therapies before hospitalization. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 had a less severe impact in patients of the 2nd wave in advanced stages, while the impact appeared more severe in patients of mild and moderate stages, as compared with 1st wave patients. This finding suggests that in COVID-19 patients with milder expression at diagnosis, steroid and azithromycin therapies appear to worsen the immune response against the virus. Furthermore, the cytometric profile may help to drive targeted therapies by monoclonal antibodies to modulate specific IL/lymphocyte inhibition or activation in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural , Lymphocyte Count , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Biomolecules ; 11(9)2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408458

ABSTRACT

Systemic vascular damage with micro/macro-thrombosis is a typical feature of severe COVID-19. However, the pathogenesis of this damage and its predictive biomarkers remain poorly defined. For this reason, in this study, serum monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-2 and P- and E-selectin levels were analyzed in 204 patients with COVID-19. Serum MCP-2 and P-selectin were significantly higher in hospitalized patients compared with asymptomatic patients. Furthermore, MCP-2 increased with the WHO stage in hospitalized patients. After 1 week of hospitalization, MCP-2 levels were significantly reduced, while P-selectin increased in patients in WHO stage 3 and decreased in patients in WHO stages 5-7. Serum E-selectin was not significantly different between asymptomatic and hospitalized patients. The lower MCP-2 levels after 1 week suggest that endothelial damage triggered by monocytes occurs early in COVID-19 disease progression. MCP-2 may also predict COVID-19 severity. The increase in P-selectin levels, which further increased in mild patients and reduced in severe patients after 1 week of hospitalization, suggests that the inactive form of the protein produced by the cleavage of the active protein from the platelet membrane is present. This may be used to identify a subset of patients that would benefit from targeted therapies. The unchanged levels of E-selectin in these patients suggest that endothelial damage is less relevant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chemokine CCL8/blood , E-Selectin/blood , Endothelium, Vascular , P-Selectin/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/injuries , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/pathology
18.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 08 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374540

ABSTRACT

A relationship is emerging between SARS-CoV-2 infections and ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) because: (i) the pulmonary involvement of COVID-19 may mimic that observed in patients with AAV; (ii) the two diseases may occur together; (iii) COVID-19 may trigger AAV. However, few cases of AAV have been identified so far in COVID-19 patients. To define the frequency of ANCA autoimmunity in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, we analyzed the serum ANCAs and the serum PR3 and MPO antigens by immunoassays in 124 adult patients with a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (16 were asymptomatic and 108 were hospitalized) and 48 control subjects. The serum ANCAs were significantly higher in the hospitalized patients compared with either the controls or the asymptomatic patients and increased with the progression of the COVID-19 severity. After one week of hospitalization, the values were significantly lower. In contrast, no differences emerged among the controls, asymptomatic and hospitalized patients for the PR3 and MPO serum levels. None of the patients had clinical signs of AAV with the exception of a severe pulmonary involvement. Further studies are necessary to define whether the increase in the serum ANCAs might mask subclinical vasculitis in a percentage of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection or it is an epiphenomenon of SARS-CoV-2 infection with no clinical manifestations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis/blood , Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis/diagnosis , Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis/etiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Humans , Immunoassay , Male , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , Symptom Assessment
19.
Front Oncol ; 11: 705948, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346413

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We report the case of a woman with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who remained positive on the molecular assay for SARS-CoV-2 for six months: she has never experienced a severe form of COVID-19 although in absence of seroconversion. METHODS: The whole SARS-CoV-2 genome analysis was performed by the CleanPlex SARS-CoV-2 Research and Surveillance NGS Panel (PARAGON GENOMICS, Hayward, USA). RESULTS: We found twenty-two mutations in SARS-CoV-2 genome and a novel deleterious ORF3a frameshift c.766_769del corresponding to a unique and novel lineage. The region affected by this frameshift variant is reported as being important in determining SARS-CoV-2 immunogenicity. Patient's immunophenotype showed the absence of B lymphocytes and significantly reduced T-cell count. Only after the treatment with hyperimmune plasma she finally became negative on the swab. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings could be helpful in the management of patients with immunodeficiency, particularly when novel variants, potentially altering the virus immune response, are present.

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