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1.
Cell Rep ; 37(13): 110169, 2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616407

ABSTRACT

The importance of pre-existing immune responses to seasonal endemic coronaviruses (HCoVs) for the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the course of COVID-19 is the subject of an ongoing scientific debate. Recent studies postulate that immune responses to previous HCoV infections can either have a slightly protective or no effect on SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and, consequently, be neglected for COVID-19 risk stratification. Challenging this notion, we provide evidence that pre-existing, anti-nucleocapsid antibodies against endemic α-coronaviruses and S2 domain-specific anti-spike antibodies against ß-coronavirus HCoV-OC43 are elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic donors. This finding is particularly pronounced in males and in critically ill patients. Longitudinal evaluation reveals that antibody cross-reactivity or polyclonal stimulation by SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to be confounders. Thus, specific pre-existing immunity to seasonal coronaviruses may increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and predispose individuals to an adverse COVID-19 outcome, guiding risk management and supporting the development of universal coronavirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Germany , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Seasons , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
2.
Cell reports ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1565013

ABSTRACT

Wratil et al. find specific antibody responses against seasonal human coronaviruses, which cause the common cold, to be elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic blood donors. This specific immunity is likely pre-existing in patients and increases their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and severity of COVID-19.

3.
Euro Surveill ; 26(43)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547185

ABSTRACT

BackgroundIn the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, viral genomes are available at unprecedented speed, but spatio-temporal bias in genome sequence sampling precludes phylogeographical inference without additional contextual data.AimWe applied genomic epidemiology to trace SARS-CoV-2 spread on an international, national and local level, to illustrate how transmission chains can be resolved to the level of a single event and single person using integrated sequence data and spatio-temporal metadata.MethodsWe investigated 289 COVID-19 cases at a university hospital in Munich, Germany, between 29 February and 27 May 2020. Using the ARTIC protocol, we obtained near full-length viral genomes from 174 SARS-CoV-2-positive respiratory samples. Phylogenetic analyses using the Auspice software were employed in combination with anamnestic reporting of travel history, interpersonal interactions and perceived high-risk exposures among patients and healthcare workers to characterise cluster outbreaks and establish likely scenarios and timelines of transmission.ResultsWe identified multiple independent introductions in the Munich Metropolitan Region during the first weeks of the first pandemic wave, mainly by travellers returning from popular skiing areas in the Alps. In these early weeks, the rate of presumable hospital-acquired infections among patients and in particular healthcare workers was high (9.6% and 54%, respectively) and we illustrated how transmission chains can be dissected at high resolution combining virus sequences and spatio-temporal networks of human interactions.ConclusionsEarly spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe was catalysed by superspreading events and regional hotspots during the winter holiday season. Genomic epidemiology can be employed to trace viral spread and inform effective containment strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Rev Endocr Metab Disord ; 2021 Jul 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303352

ABSTRACT

Patients with endogenous or exogenous glucocorticoid (GC) excess exhibit a range of side effects, including an increased risk of infections. Via both mechanism, immune impairments and cardiometabolic concomitant diseases, patients with GC excess could be at increased risk for COVID-19. The impact on incidence and outcome of a SARS-CoV-2 infection in this population are not yet completely clear. This review aims to compile the data available to date and to discuss the existing literature on this topic. Further we highlight potential effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis as well as the influence of endogenous or exogenous GC excess on SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination. There is growing evidence suggesting an increased risk of infection and severe outcome in patients with high-dose GC therapy after contracting SARS-CoV-2. The few data and case reports on patients with endogenous GC excess and SARS-CoV-2 infection point in a similar direction: chronic GC excess seems to be associated with an unfavorable course of COVID-19. Whether this is mainly a primary immune-mediated effect, or also triggered by the many GC-associated comorbidities in this population, is not yet fully understood. Patients with endogenous or exogenous GC excess should be considered as a vulnerable group during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Regardless of the cause, vaccination and consistent surveillance and control of associated comorbidities are recommended.

5.
Eur J Endocrinol ; 183(1): G1-G7, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-256412

ABSTRACT

Clinical evaluation should guide those needing immediate investigation. Strict adherence to COVID-19 protection measures is necessary. Alternative ways of consultations (telephone, video) should be used. Early discussion with regional/national experts about investigation and management of potential and existing patients is strongly encouraged. Patients with moderate or severe clinical features need urgent investigation and management. Patients with active Cushing's syndrome, especially when severe, are immunocompromised and vigorous adherence to the principles of social isolation is recommended. In patients with mild features or in whom a diagnosis is less likely, clinical re-evaluation should be repeated at 3 and 6 months or deferred until the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 has significantly decreased; however, those individuals should be encouraged to maintain social distancing. Diagnostic pathways may need to be very different from usual recommendations in order to reduce possible exposure to SARS-CoV-2. When extensive differential diagnostic testing and/or surgery is not feasible, it should be deferred and medical treatment should be initiated. Transsphenoidal pituitary surgery should be delayed during high SARS-CoV-2 viral prevalence. Medical management rather than surgery will be the used for most patients, since the short- to mid-term prognosis depends in most cases on hypercortisolism rather than its cause; it should be initiated promptly to minimize the risk of infection in these immunosuppressed patients. The risk/benefit ratio of these recommendations will need re-evaluation every 2-3 months from April 2020 in each country (and possibly local areas) and will depend on the local health care structure and phase of pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cushing Syndrome/therapy , Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Infection Control/methods , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Telemedicine , 14-alpha Demethylase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , ACTH-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma/complications , ACTH-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma/diagnosis , ACTH-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma/therapy , Adenoma/complications , Adenoma/diagnosis , Adenoma/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cushing Syndrome/diagnosis , Cushing Syndrome/etiology , Cushing Syndrome/immunology , Disease Management , Humans , Hydrocortisone/blood , Immunocompromised Host , Ketoconazole/therapeutic use , Metyrapone/therapeutic use , Patient Education as Topic , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors
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