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1.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 110: 108943, 2022 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1885845

ABSTRACT

Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) is a complex phenomenon mediated by antibodies, frequently pre-existing non-neutralizing or sub-neutralizing antibodies. In the course of infectious diseases, ADE may be responsible for worsening the clinical course of the disease by increasing the virulence of pathogens (ADE of infection) or enhancing disease severity (ADE of disease). Here we reviewed the mechanisms thought to be behind the ADE phenomenon and its potential relationship with COVID-19 severity. Since the early COVID-19 epidemics, ADE has been mentioned as a possible mechanism involved in severe COVID-19 disease and, later, as a potential risk in the case of infection after vaccination. However, current data do not support its role in disease severity, both after infection and reinfection.

2.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(5): 2046434, 2022 Nov 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769068

ABSTRACT

There are scarce data regarding influenza vaccination among people with HIV infection (PWHIV). The goal of this explorative study is to assess hesitancy toward influenza vaccination in a group of PWHIV during the COVID-19 pandemic. A questionnaire was administered to 219 patients vaccinated at our clinic during the 2020-2021 campaign. It evaluated subjects' adherence to influenza vaccine over the last three seasonal vaccination campaigns, vaccine confidence, complacency and convenience, and the effect of the pandemic on the choice to become vaccinated. The population was divided into two groups: fully adherent to influenza vaccine (all three campaigns, 117 patients) and non-fully adherent (one or two campaigns, 102 patients). Adherence increased in the non-fully adherent group in 2020-2021, but the pandemic did not affect the choice. Misbeliefs emerged: the influenza vaccine was considered protective against SARS-CoV-2 (22.8% of the total population); almost half of all patients thought the influenza vaccine could improve their CD4 T cell level (57.3% in fully adherent, 40.2% in non-fully adherent, p < .05). In 2020-2021 campaign, three quarters of the non-fully adherent group would not have been vaccinated in a location other than our clinic (75.5% vs. 88.9% in the fully adherent group, p < .05). Conclusively, offering a secure and private space for vaccination against influenza seems to encourage vaccination; healthcare professionals should improve counseling to increase adherence and correct misbeliefs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
3.
AIDS Behav ; 2022 Mar 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729330

ABSTRACT

People living with chronic disease (PLWCD) are the frailest category, both for the risk of severe COVID-19 illness and for the impact on the care continuum. Aim of this study was to analyze coping strategies and resilience in people living with HIV (PLWH) compared to people living with oncological diseases (PLWOD) during COVID-19 pandemic. We administrated an anonymous questionnaire, which explored the emotional experience, the demographic factors linked to a COVID-19-related stress syndrome, the patient's perception about the adequacy of clinical undertaking from the hospital and the resilience. We analyzed 324 questionnaires. There were no significant differences in prevalence of psychological distress among the whole cohort; however, PLWOD were calmer, less troubled, and more serene than PLWH. Moreover, PLWH smoked more, ate more, and gained more weight than PLWOD. Most patients didn't feel lonely and continued to take pleasure from their activities. No differences in resilience were found between the groups. In the whole cohort lower levels of resilience were found in patients that were unemployed, with history of psychological disorders and in those who experienced more feelings of anger, anxiety and concern. In our study, patients seemed to preserve their well-being, and to activate adaptive coping during the pandemic.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310565

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 pandemic changes the lifestyle and inducted negative emotions. People living with chronic disease (PLWCD) are the frailest social category, both for the risk of severe COVID-19 illness and for the pandemic impact on the continuum of care. Aim of this study was to analyze coping strategies and resilience in people living with HIV (PLWH) compared to people living with oncological diseases (PLWOD) during COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: In this observational study based on the administration of an anonymous questionnaire, we explored the emotional experience, the clinical and demographic factors linked to a COVID-19-related stress syndrome, the patient’s perception about the adequacy of clinical and psychological undertaking from the hospital and the level of resilience through a validated resilience scale. We performed a Kruskal-Wallis and a chi-squared test to compare the characteristics between PLWH and PLWOD and a linear regression to assess the factors associated to higher resilience. Results: We analyzed 324 questionnaires (PLWH n=167, PLWOD n=157). There were no significant differences in prevalence of psychological distress, anxiety, and fear among the whole cohort;however, PLWOD were calmer ( p =0.039), less troubled ( p =0.014), and more serene ( p =0.026) than PLWH. Moreover, PLWH smoked more ( p <0.001), ate more ( p =0.003) and thus gained more weight ( p =0.013) than PLWOD. 62% of patients didn’t have more feelings of solitude than usual ( p =0.130) and 71,3% continued to take pleasure from their activities ( p =0.511). No differences in resilience were found between the groups, however in the whole cohort lower levels of resilience were found in patients that were unemployed (-3.52;95% CI = [-6.68 -0.35];p =0.029), with history of psychological disorders (-2.18;95% CI = [-3.17 -1.18];p <0.001) and in those who experienced more feelings of anger (-1.76;95% CI = [-2.67 -0.85];p <0.001), anxiety and concern (-1.56;95% CI = [-2.30 -0.82];p <0.001). Conclusions: PLWCD had high level of resilience, preserved in general their psychological well-being, and activated adaptive coping during the pandemic. However, PLWH showed higher distress than PLWOD according to comparable resilience score. Patients with psychological problems, feelings of anger and concern deserve more attention as they show lower levels of resilience.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319549

ABSTRACT

Introduction: During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals faced increasing pressure, where people living with HIV risked to either acquire SARS-CoV-2 and to interrupt the HIV continuum of care. Methods: this is a retrospective, observational study. We compared the numbers of medical visits performed, antiretroviral drugs dispensed and the number of new HIV diagnosis and of hospitalizations in a cohort of people living with HIV (PLWH) followed by the Spedali Civili of Brescia between the bimester of the COVID-19 pandemic peak and the bimester of October-November 2019. Data were retrieved from administrative files and from paper and electronic clinical charts. Categorical variables were described using frequencies and percentages, while continuous variables were described using mean, median, and interquartile range (IQR) values. Means for continuous variables were compared using Student’s t-tests and the Mann-Whitney test. Proportions for categorical variables were compared using the χ2 test. Results: : As of December 31st, 2019, a total of 3875 PLWH were followed in our clinic. Mean age was 51,4 ±13 years old, where 28% were females and 18.8% non-Italian. Overall, 98.9% were on ART (n=3834), 93% were viro-suppressed. A total of 1217 and 1162 patients had their visit scheduled at our out-patient HIV clinic during the two bimesters of 2019 and 2020, respectively. Comparing the two periods, we observed a raise of missed visits from 5% to 8% (p<0.01), a reduction in the number of new HIV diagnosis from 6.4 in 2019 to 2.5 per month in 2020 (p=0.01), a drop in ART dispensation and an increase of hospitalized HIV patients due to COVID-19 . ART regimens including protease inhibitors (PIs) had a smaller average drop than ART not including PIs (16,6% vs 21,6%, p<0.05). Whether this may be due to the perception of a possible efficacy of PIs on COVID19 is not known. Conclusions: : Our experience highlights the importance of a resilient healthcare system and the need to implement new strategies in order to guarantee the continuum of HIV care even in the context of emergency.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319533

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity seems to be influenced by genetic background, sex, age, and presence of specific comorbidities. So far, little attention has been paid to sex-specific variations of demographic, clinical and laboratory features of COVID-19 patients referred to the same hospital in the two consecutive pandemic waves. Methods: : Demographic, clinical and laboratory data were collected in 1,000 COVID-19 patients (367 females and 633 males), 500 hospitalized in the first wave and 500 in the second one, at the ASST Spedali Civili of Brescia from March to December 2020. Statistical analyses have been employed to compare data obtained in females and males, taking into account their age, and during the first and second COVID-19 waves. Results: : The mean age at the time of hospitalization was similar in females and males but was significantly higher for both in the second wave;the time elapsed from symptoms onset to hospital admission did not differ between sexes in the two waves and no correlation was observed between delayed hospital admission and length of hospitalization. The number of multi-symptomatic males was higher than that of females and patients with a higher number of comorbidities were more frequently admitted to intensive care unit (ICU) and more frequently died. Older males remained in ICU longer than females and showed a longer disease duration, mainly the first wave. The highest levels of white blood cells, neutrophils, C-reactive protein and fibrinogen were significantly higher in males and in the first, and along with higher levels of D-dimer, ferritin, lactate dehydrogenase and procalcitonin which were preferentially documented in patients requiring ICU or died. While the ICU death rate was higher in males, the overall death rate did not differ between the sexes;however, the deceased women were older. Conclusions: : These data indicate that once patients were hospitalized, the risk of dying was similar between females and males. Therefore, future studies should aim at understanding the reasons why, for a given number of SARS-CoV-2 infection, less females develop the disease requiring hospitalization.

7.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686817

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses a great threat to global public health. The original wild-type strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has genetically evolved, and several variants of concern (VOC) have emerged. On 26 November 2021, a new variant named Omicron (B.1.1.529) was designated as the fifth VOC, revealing that SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to go beyond the available therapies. The high number of mutations harboured on the spike protein make Omicron highly transmissible, less responsive to several of the currently used drugs, as well as potentially able to escape immune protection elicited by both vaccines and previous infection. We reviewed the latest publication and the most recent available literature on the Omicron variant, enlightening both reasons for concern and high hopes for new therapeutic strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mutation , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
8.
Open forum infectious diseases ; 8(Suppl 1):S77-S77, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1602523

ABSTRACT

Background T cells are central to the early identification and clearance of viral infections and support antibody generation by B cells, making them desirable for assessing the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccines. We combined 2 high-throughput immune profiling methods to create a quantitative picture of the SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response that is highly sensitive, durable, diagnostic, and discriminatory between natural infection and vaccination. Methods We deeply characterized 116 convalescent COVID-19 subjects by experimentally mapping CD8 and CD4 T-cell responses via antigen stimulation to 545 Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) class I and 284 class II viral peptides. We also performed T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire sequencing on 1815 samples from 1521 PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases and 3500 controls to identify shared public TCRs from SARS-CoV-2-associated CD8 and CD4 T cells. Combining these approaches with additional samples from vaccinated individuals, we characterized the response to natural infection as well as vaccination by separating responses to spike protein from other viral targets. Results We find that T-cell responses are often driven by a few immunodominant, HLA-restricted epitopes. As expected, the SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response peaks about 1-2 weeks after infection and is detectable at least several months after recovery. Applying these data, we trained a classifier to diagnose past SARS-CoV-2 infection based solely on TCR sequencing from blood samples and observed, at 99.8% specificity, high sensitivity soon after diagnosis (Day 3–7 = 85.1%;Day 8–14 = 94.8%) that persists after recovery (Day 29+/convalescent = 95.4%). Finally, by evaluating TCRs binding epitopes targeting all non-spike SARS-CoV-2 proteins, we were able to separate natural infection from vaccination with > 99% specificity. Conclusion TCR repertoire sequencing from whole blood reliably measures the adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 soon after viral antigenic exposure (before antibodies are typically detectable) as well as at later time points, and distinguishes post-infection vs. vaccine immune responses with high specificity. This approach to characterizing the cellular immune response has applications in clinical diagnostics as well as vaccine development and monitoring. Disclosures Thomas M. Snyder, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Rachel M. Gittelman, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Mark Klinger, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Damon H. May, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Edward J. Osborne, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Ruth Taniguchi, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) H. Jabran Zahid, PhD, Microsoft Research (Employee, Shareholder) Rebecca Elyanow, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Sudeb C. Dalai, MD, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Ian M. Kaplan, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Jennifer N. Dines, MD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Matthew T. Noakes, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder) Ravi Pandya, PhD, Microsoft Research (Employee, Shareholder) Lance Baldo, MD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Employee, Shareholder, Leadership Interest) James R. Heath, PhD, Merck (Research Grant or Support, Funding (from BARDA) for the ISB INCOV project, but had no role in planning the research or in writing the paper.) Joaquin Martinez-Lopez, MD, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Consultant) Jonathan M. Carlson, PhD, Microsoft Research (Employee, Shareholder) Harlan S. Robins, PhD, Adaptive Biotechnologies (Board Member, Employee, Shareholder)

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295407

ABSTRACT

There are scarce data regarding flu vaccination among people with HIV infection (PWHIV). The goal of this explorative study is to assess hesitancy toward influenza vaccination in a group of PWHIV during the pandemic. A questionnaire was administered to 219 patients vaccinated at our clinic during the 2020-2021 campaign. It evaluated subjects’adherence over the last 3 seasonal vaccination campaigns, vaccine confidence, complacency and convenience, and the effect of the pandemic on the choice to vaccinate. The population was divided into two groups: fully adherent (all 3 campaigns, 117 patients) and non-fully adherent (1 or 2 campaigns, 102 patients). Adherence increased in non-fully adherent group in 2020-2021, but the pandemic did not affect the choice. Misbelieves emerged: influenza vaccine was considered protective SARS-CoV-2 (22.8% of total population);almost half of all patients thought influenza vaccine could improve their CD4+ cell level (57.3% in fully adherent, 40.2% in non-fully adherent, p<0.05). A quarter of the non-fully adherent group would not have vaccinated in a location other than our clinic (24.5% vs 11.9% in fully adherent group, p<0.05). Conclusively, offering a secure and private space for vaccination seems to encourage vaccination;healthcare professionals should improve counselling to increase adherence and correct misbeliefs.

10.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 14(12)2021 Dec 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554966

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been known since the 1970s. However, their therapeutic potential in the medical field has recently emerged, with the advancement of manufacturing techniques. Initially exploited mainly in the oncology field, mAbs have become increasingly relevant in Infectious Diseases. Numerous mAbs have been developed against SARS-CoV 2 and have proven their effectiveness, especially in the management of the mild-to-moderate disease. In this review, we describe the monoclonal antibodies currently authorized for the treatment of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and offer an insight into the clinical trials that led to their approval. We discuss the mechanisms of action and methods of administration as well as the prophylactic and therapeutic labelled indications (both in outpatient and hospital settings). Furthermore, we address the critical issues regarding mAbs, focusing on their effectiveness against the variants of concern (VoC) and their role now that a large part of the population has been vaccinated. The purpose is to offer the clinician an up-to-date overview of a therapeutic tool that could prove decisive in treating patients at high risk of progression to severe disease.

11.
[Unspecified Source]; 2020.
Preprint in English | [Unspecified Source] | ID: ppcovidwho-292804

ABSTRACT

T cells are involved in the early identification and clearance of viral infections and also support the development of antibodies by B cells. This central role for T cells makes them a desirable target for assessing the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we combined two high-throughput immune profiling methods to create a quantitative picture of the T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2. First, at the individual level, we deeply characterized 3 acutely infected and 58 recovered COVID-19 subjects by experimentally mapping their CD8 T-cell response through antigen stimulation to 545 Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) class I presented viral peptides (class II data in a forthcoming study). Then, at the population level, we performed T-cell repertoire sequencing on 1,015 samples (from 827 COVID-19 subjects) as well as 3,500 controls to identify shared "public" T-cell receptors (TCRs) associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection from both CD8 and CD4 T cells. Collectively, our data reveal that CD8 T-cell responses are often driven by a few immunodominant, HLA-restricted epitopes. As expected, the T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 peaks about one to two weeks after infection and is detectable for several months after recovery. As an application of these data, we trained a classifier to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection based solely on TCR sequencing from blood samples, and observed, at 99.8% specificity, high early sensitivity soon after diagnosis (Day 3-7 = 83.8% [95% CI = 77.6-89.4];Day 8-14 = 92.4% [87.6-96.6]) as well as lasting sensitivity after recovery (Day 29+/convalescent = 96.7% [93.0-99.2]). These results demonstrate an approach to reliably assess the adaptive immune response both soon after viral antigenic exposure (before antibodies are typically detectable) as well as at later time points. This blood-based molecular approach to characterizing the cellular immune response has applications in vaccine development as well as clinical diagnostics and monitoring.

12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292240

ABSTRACT

People living with chronic disease (PLWCD) are the frailest category, both for the risk of severe COVID-19 illness and for the impact on the care continuum. Aim of this study was to analyze coping strategies and resilience in people living with HIV (PLWH) compared to people living with oncological diseases (PLWOD) during COVID-19 pandemic. We administrated an anonymous questionnaire, which explored the emotional experience, the demographic factors linked to a COVID-19-related stress syndrome, the patient’s perception about the adequacy of clinical undertaking from the hospital and the resilience. We analyzed 324 questionnaires. There were no significant differences in prevalence of psychological distress among the whole cohort;however, PLWOD were calmer, less troubled, and more serene than PLWH. Moreover, PLWH smoked more, ate more and gained more weight than PLWOD. Most patients didn’t feel lonely and continued to take pleasure from their activities. No differences in resilience were found between the groups. In the whole cohort lower levels of resilience were found in patients that were unemployed, with history of psychological disorders and in those who experienced more feelings of anger, anxiety and concern. PLWCD had high level of resilience, preserved their well-being, and activated adaptive coping during the pandemic.

13.
Pathogens ; 10(11)2021 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480903

ABSTRACT

In 2021 the scientific community's efforts have been focused on solving the back-breaking challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, but sexually transmitted infections (STI) are still one of the most common global health problems. Syphilis is a systemic disease caused by the spirochaete Treponema pallidum (TP) and is one of the oldest known diseases. Its incidence has increased in the last few years and syphilis still remains a contemporary plague that continues to afflict millions of people worldwide. Despite research improvements, syphilis pathogenesis is not completely clear; clinical presentation is very heterogeneous and the diagnosis can sometimes be difficult. Furthermore, few therapeutic options are available, and a vaccine has not been found yet. In this review, we describe the most recent evidence concerning the clinical manifestation, diagnosis, treatment and vaccine prospectives for this disease.

14.
J Public Health Res ; 11(1)2021 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438789

ABSTRACT

The emergence SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019 and early 2020 has caused a pandemic of unprecedented proportions. Management of COVID-19 became emergent public health priorities, and the impact on other public health initiatives, such as expanded HIV screening and linkage to care, remain largely unknown. In this Single-Center retrospective observational study, we describe the characteristics and circumstance of the new HIV cases during 2020 compared to 2019. We observed a decrease of HIV diagnosis during this period. Interestingly, median age at HIV diagnosis decreased of one decade and percentage of female patients was higher. In addition, more patients received diagnosis during hospitalization and more AIDS-defining conditions, such as Pneumocystis pneumonia, were detected. We express our concern that HIV new diagnoses will increase as a result of people's inability to get tested or treated in this period. More efforts are needed to improve local screening programs both during and after COVID-19 pandemic.

16.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 148(5): 1192-1197, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385788

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is recommended in patients with inborn errors of immunity (IEIs); however, little is known about immunogenicity and safety in these patients. OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the impact of genetic diagnosis, age, and treatment on antibody response to COVID-19 vaccine and related adverse events in a cohort of patients with IEIs. METHODS: Plasma was collected from 22 health care worker controls, 81 patients with IEIs, and 2 patients with thymoma; the plasma was collected before immunization, 1 to 6 days before the second dose of mRNA vaccine, and at a median of 30 days after completion of the immunization schedule with either mRNA vaccine or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine. Anti-spike (anti-S) and anti-nucleocapsid antibody titers were measured by using a luciferase immunoprecipitation systems method. Information on T- and B-cell counts and use of immunosuppressive drugs was extracted from medical records, and information on vaccine-associated adverse events was collected after each dose. RESULTS: Anti-S antibodies were detected in 27 of 46 patients (58.7%) after 1 dose of mRNA vaccine and in 63 of 74 fully immunized patients (85.1%). A lower rate of seroconversion (7 of 11 [63.6%]) was observed in patients with autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy. Previous use of rituximab and baseline counts of less than 1000 CD3+ T cells/mL and less than 100 CD19+ B cells/mL were associated with lower anti-S IgG levels. No significant adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Vaccinating patients with IEIs is safe, but immunogenicity is affected by certain therapies and gene defects. These data may guide the counseling of patients with IEIs regarding prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the need for subsequent boosts.


Subject(s)
Age Factors , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/drug therapy , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/genetics , Rituximab/therapeutic use , Seroconversion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
19.
Biol Sex Differ ; 12(1): 45, 2021 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352670

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity seems to be influenced by genetic background, sex, age, and presence of specific comorbidities. So far, little attention has been paid to sex-specific variations of demographic, clinical, and laboratory features of COVID-19 patients referred to the same hospital in the two consecutive pandemic waves. METHODS: Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected in 1000 COVID-19 patients (367 females and 633 males), 500 hospitalized in the first wave and 500 in the second one, at the ASST Spedali Civili of Brescia from March to December 2020. Statistical analyses have been employed to compare data obtained in females and males, taking into account their age, and during the first and second COVID-19 waves. RESULTS: The mean age at the time of hospitalization was similar in females and males but was significantly higher for both in the second wave; the time elapsed from symptom onset to hospital admission did not differ between sexes in the two waves, and no correlation was observed between delayed hospital admission and length of hospitalization. The number of multi-symptomatic males was higher than that of females, and patients with a higher number of comorbidities were more frequently admitted to intensive care unit (ICU) and more frequently died. Older males remained in the ICU longer than females and showed a longer disease duration, mainly the first wave. The highest levels of white blood cells, neutrophils, C-reactive protein, and fibrinogen were significantly higher in males and in the first, and along with higher levels of D-dimer, ferritin, lactate dehydrogenase, and procalcitonin which were preferentially documented in patients requiring ICU or died. While the rate of death in ICU was higher in males, the overall death rate did not differ between the sexes; however, the deceased women were older. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that once patients were hospitalized, the risk of dying was similar between females and males. Therefore, future studies should aim at understanding the reasons why, for a given number of SARS-CoV-2 infections, fewer females develop the disease requiring hospitalization. HIGHLIGHTS: Although the hospitalized males were significantly more, the similar number of hospitalizations of the > 75-year-old females and males could be due to the fact that in Brescia province, elderly women are about twice as many as men. Although males spent more days in the hospital, had a longer disease duration, developed a critical illness more frequently, and were admitted and died in the ICU more than females, the total rate of deaths among patients was not significantly different between sexes. Overall, the most frequent comorbidities were cardiovascular diseases, which were preferentially seen among patients hospitalized in the second wave; it is possible that the knowledge gained in the first wave concerning the association between certain comorbidities and worse disease evolution has guided the preferential hospitalization of patients with these predominant comorbidities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Sex Characteristics , Aged , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
20.
Blood ; 136(Supplement 1):47-48, 2020.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1339032

ABSTRACT

It has been proposed that patients with hematologic malignancy and autoimmune diseases receiving anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy are particularly at risk of severe Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) because the profound and long-lasting B-cell depletion induced by anti-CD20 mAb may impair virus clearance and may also contribute to reactivation of latent viruses, especially hepatitis B and JC viruses.As of July 20, 2020, the total number of COVID-19 cases reported by the Italian authorities reached 245,000. The north of the country was mostly hit, and Milan and Brescia were among the Italian provinces that registered the highest number of COVID-19 cases. Consistent with this, a high number of COVID-19 patients affected with multiple types of hematological disorders (n. 137) and with multiple sclerosis (MS, n. 114) were referred to ASST Spedali Civili di Brescia. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed in 70 patients with hematological disease, and in few patients with MS. Among these, 10 patients (7 with hematologic disease and 3 with MS) had received treatment with rituximab or ocrelizumab, two anti-CD20 mAbs, within 3 months prior to COVID-19 onset. Clinical indication to CD20-depleting treatment for patients with hematological disorders included Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) or Follicular Non Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL).Anti-spike protein (anti-S) and anti-nucleocapsid (anti-N) antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed during the acute phase of infection and up to 3 months since the onset of symptoms by quantitative measurements of plasma or serum antibodies with luciferase immune precipitation assay systems (LIPS). With this technique, production of anti-S and anti-N antibodies has been demonstrated between day 8 and day 14 after onset of symptoms in immunocompetent individuals, whereas specific antibody production was delayed by few days in immunocompromised patients (Burbelo PD et al, medRxiv. 2020 Apr 24:2020.04.20.20071423).All 10 patients remained seronegative to SARS-CoV-2 for the first 20 days since onset of symptoms. One patient with DLBCL secondary to Follicular NHL had detectable anti-S and anti-N antibodies at day +25, and one patient with MS developed anti-N antibodies by day +23. Two patients, one with DLBCL secondary to Follicular NHL and one with Follicular NHL were still seronegative for both anti-S and anti-N antibodies at 133 and 74 days since onset of symptoms. Two MS patients were seronegative at the last examination, and one other MS patient was anti-S seronegative at day +74.Three of the 10 patients have died;all three were SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR+ and seronegative at the time of death.While it has been reported that SARS-CoV-2 is cleared without significant problems by the majority of people with MS or other autoimmune diseases on immunotherapy, these data indicate that treatment with anti-CD20 mAb may significantly alter humoral responses to the virus. Until a vaccine to SARS-CoV-2 is available, the risk-benefit ratio of anti-CD20 mAb therapy in areas with high rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection should be carefully weighed. Moreover, for patients with B-cell malignancies or autoimmune diseases, transient discontinuation of this therapy, or use of alternative therapeutic approaches, should be considered once an efficacious vaccine becomes available.This study was performed according to protocol NP-4000 (Comitato Etico Provinciale), and supported by Regione Lombardia and by the Division of Intramural Research, NIAID.Figure 1

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