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1.
Respiratory research ; 23(1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1876880

ABSTRACT

Dexamethasone improves clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients requiring supplementary oxygen. We investigated possible mechanisms of action by comparing sixteen plasma host response biomarkers in general ward patients before and after implementation of dexamethasone as standard of care. 48 patients without and 126 patients with dexamethasone treatment were sampled within 48 h of admission. Endothelial cell and coagulation activation biomarkers were comparable. Dexamethasone treatment was associated with lower plasma interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1 receptor antagonist levels, whilst other inflammation parameters were not affected. These data argue against modification of vascular-procoagulant responses as an early mechanism of action of dexamethasone in COVID-19. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12931-022-02060-3.

2.
EBioMedicine ; 81: 104082, 2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867077

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) can be caused by a variety of pathogens, of which Streptococcus pneumoniae, Influenza and currently SARS-CoV-2 are the most common. We sought to identify shared and pathogen-specific host response features by directly comparing different aetiologies of CAP. METHODS: We measured 72 plasma biomarkers in a cohort of 265 patients hospitalized for CAP, all sampled within 48 hours of admission, and 28 age-and sex matched non-infectious controls. We stratified the biomarkers into several pathophysiological domains- antiviral response, vascular response and function, coagulation, systemic inflammation, and immune checkpoint markers. We directly compared CAP caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19, n=39), Streptococcus pneumoniae (CAP-strep, n=27), Influenza (CAP-flu, n=22) and other or unknown pathogens (CAP-other, n=177). We adjusted the comparisons for age, sex and disease severity scores. FINDINGS: Biomarkers reflective of a stronger cell-mediated antiviral response clearly separated COVID-19 from other CAPs (most notably granzyme B). Biomarkers reflecting activation and function of the vasculature showed endothelial barrier integrity was least affected in COVID-19, while glycocalyx degradation and angiogenesis were enhanced relative to other CAPs. Notably, markers of coagulation activation, including D-dimer, were not different between the CAP groups. Ferritin was most increased in COVID-19, while other systemic inflammation biomarkers such as IL-6 and procalcitonin were highest in CAP-strep. Immune checkpoint markers showed distinctive patterns in viral and non-viral CAP, with highly elevated levels of Galectin-9 in COVID-19. INTERPRETATION: Our investigation provides insight into shared and distinct pathophysiological mechanisms in different aetiologies of CAP, which may help guide new pathogen-specific therapeutic strategies. FUNDING: This study was financially supported by the Dutch Research Council, the European Commission and the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development.

3.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(7): e2118554, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328587

ABSTRACT

Importance: It is unclear when, where, and by whom health care workers (HCWs) working in hospitals are infected with SARS-CoV-2. Objective: To determine how often and in what manner nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection occurs in HCW groups with varying exposure to patients with COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study comprised 4 weekly measurements of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and collection of questionnaires from March 23 to June 25, 2020, combined with phylogenetic and epidemiologic transmission analyses at 2 university hospitals in the Netherlands. Included individuals were HCWs working in patient care for those with COVID-19, HCWs working in patient care for those without COVID-19, and HCWs not working in patient care. Data were analyzed from August through December 2020. Exposures: Varying work-related exposure to patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Main Outcomes and Measures: The cumulative incidence of and time to SARS-CoV-2 infection, defined as the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in blood samples, were measured. Results: Among 801 HCWs, there were 439 HCWs working in patient care for those with COVID-19, 164 HCWs working in patient care for those without COVID-19, and 198 HCWs not working in patient care. There were 580 (72.4%) women, and the median (interquartile range) age was 36 (29-50) years. The incidence of SARS-CoV-2 was increased among HCWs working in patient care for those with COVID-19 (54 HCWs [13.2%; 95% CI, 9.9%-16.4%]) compared with HCWs working in patient care for those without COVID-19 (11 HCWs [6.7%; 95% CI, 2.8%-10.5%]; hazard ratio [HR], 2.25; 95% CI, 1.17-4.30) and HCWs not working in patient care (7 HCWs [3.6%; 95% CI, 0.9%-6.1%]; HR, 3.92; 95% CI, 1.79-8.62). Among HCWs caring for patients with COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 cumulative incidence was increased among HCWs working on COVID-19 wards (32 of 134 HCWs [25.7%; 95% CI, 17.6%-33.1%]) compared with HCWs working on intensive care units (13 of 186 HCWs [7.1%; 95% CI, 3.3%-10.7%]; HR, 3.64; 95% CI, 1.91-6.94), and HCWs working in emergency departments (7 of 102 HCWs [8.0%; 95% CI, 2.5%-13.1%]; HR, 3.29; 95% CI, 1.52-7.14). Epidemiologic data combined with phylogenetic analyses on COVID-19 wards identified 3 potential HCW-to-HCW transmission clusters. No patient-to-HCW transmission clusters could be identified in transmission analyses. Conclusions and Relevance: This study found that HCWs working on COVID-19 wards were at increased risk for nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection with an important role for HCW-to-HCW transmission. These findings suggest that infection among HCWs deserves more consideration in infection prevention practice.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , Personnel, Hospital , Phylogeny , Population Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged
4.
Front Immunol ; 12: 664209, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247863

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Systemic activation of procoagulant and inflammatory mechanisms has been implicated in the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Knowledge of activation of these host response pathways in the lung compartment of COVID-19 patients is limited. Objectives: To evaluate local and systemic activation of coagulation and interconnected inflammatory responses in critically ill COVID-19 patients with persistent acute respiratory distress syndrome. Methods: Paired bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and plasma samples were obtained from 17 patients with COVID-19 related persistent acute respiratory distress syndrome (mechanical ventilation > 7 days) 1 and 2 weeks after start mechanical ventilation and compared with 8 healthy controls. Thirty-four host response biomarkers stratified into five functional domains (coagulation, complement system, cytokines, chemokines and growth factors) were measured. Measurements and Main Results: In all patients, all functional domains were activated, especially in the bronchoalveolar compartment, with significantly increased levels of D-dimers, thrombin-antithrombin complexes, soluble tissue factor, C1-inhibitor antigen and activity levels, tissue type plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitor type I, soluble CD40 ligand and soluble P-selectin (coagulation), next to activation of C3bc and C4bc (complement) and multiple interrelated cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. In 10 patients in whom follow-up samples were obtained between 3 and 4 weeks after start mechanical ventilation many bronchoalveolar and plasma host response biomarkers had declined. Conclusions: Critically ill, ventilated patients with COVID-19 show strong responses relating to coagulation, the complement system, cytokines, chemokines and growth factors in the bronchoalveolar compartment. These results suggest a local pulmonary rather than a systemic procoagulant and inflammatory "storm" in severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Critical Illness , Lung/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thromboplastin/metabolism , Aged , Blood Coagulation , Cohort Studies , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial
5.
Thorax ; 76(10): 1010-1019, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180971

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Knowledge of the pathophysiology of COVID-19 is almost exclusively derived from studies that examined the immune response in blood. We here aimed to analyse the pulmonary immune response during severe COVID-19 and to compare this with blood responses. METHODS: This was an observational study in patients with COVID-19 admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Mononuclear cells were purified from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and blood, and analysed by spectral flow cytometry; inflammatory mediators were measured in BALF and plasma. FINDINGS: Paired blood and BALF samples were obtained from 17 patients, four of whom died in the ICU. Macrophages and T cells were the most abundant cells in BALF, with a high percentage of T cells expressing the ƴδ T cell receptor. In the lungs, both CD4 and CD8 T cells were predominantly effector memory cells (87·3% and 83·8%, respectively), and these cells expressed higher levels of the exhaustion marker programmad death-1 than in peripheral blood. Prolonged ICU stay (>14 days) was associated with a reduced proportion of activated T cells in peripheral blood and even more so in BALF. T cell activation in blood, but not in BALF, was higher in fatal COVID-19 cases. Increased levels of inflammatory mediators were more pronounced in BALF than in plasma. INTERPRETATION: The bronchoalveolar immune response in COVID-19 has a unique local profile that strongly differs from the immune profile in peripheral blood. Fully elucidating COVID-19 pathophysiology will require investigation of the pulmonary immune response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/physiology , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Aged , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/chemistry , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Critical Care , Critical Illness , Female , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Macrophages/physiology , Male , Middle Aged , T-Lymphocytes/physiology
6.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(6): 1535-1538, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1151896

ABSTRACT

Despite high levels of CXCR3 ligands in mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients, BALF CD8 T cells were not enriched in CXCR3+ cells but rather CCR6+ , likely due to high CCL20 levels in BALF, and had very high PD-1 expression. In mechanically ventilated, but not ward, patients Th-1 immunity is impaired. ​.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Chemokine CCL20/immunology , Lung/immunology , Receptors, CCR6/immunology , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged
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