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1.
Artif Intell Life Sci ; 1: 100020, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588542

ABSTRACT

Despite available vaccinations COVID-19 case numbers around the world are still growing, and effective medications against severe cases are lacking. In this work, we developed a machine learning model which predicts mortality for COVID-19 patients using data from the multi-center 'Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-infected patients' (LEOSS) observational study (>100 active sites in Europe, primarily in Germany), resulting into an AUC of almost 80%. We showed that molecular mechanisms related to dementia, one of the relevant predictors in our model, intersect with those associated to COVID-19. Most notably, among these molecules was tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2), a protein that has been patented as drug target in Alzheimer's Disease but also genetically associated with severe COVID-19 outcomes. We experimentally verified that anti-cancer drugs Sorafenib and Regorafenib showed a clear anti-cytopathic effect in Caco2 and VERO-E6 cells and can thus be regarded as potential treatments against COVID-19. Altogether, our work demonstrates that interpretation of machine learning based risk models can point towards drug targets and new treatment options, which are strongly needed for COVID-19.

2.
J Thromb Thrombolysis ; 2021 Dec 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568387

ABSTRACT

The complement system (CS) plays a pivotal role in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathophysiology. The objective of this study was to provide a comparative, prospective data analysis of CS components in an all-comers cohort and COVID-19 patients. Patients with suspected COVID-19 infection admitted to the Emergency department were grouped for definite diagnosis of COVID-19 and no COVID-19 accordingly. Clinical presentation, routine laboratory and von Willebrand factor (vWF) antigen as well as CS components 3, 4 and activated 5 (C5a) were assessed. Also, total complement activity via the classical pathway (CH50) was determined. Levels of calprotectin in serum were measured using an automated quantitative lateral flow assay. We included 80 patients in this prospective trial. Of those 19 (23.7%) were tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Patients with COVID-19 had higher levels of CS components 5a and 4 (54.79 [24.14-88.79] ng/ml vs. 35 [23.15-46.1] ng/ml; p = 0.0433 and 0.3772 [± 0.1056] g/L vs. 0.286 [0.2375-0.3748] g/L; p = 0.0168). COVID-19 patients had significantly higher levels of vWF antigen when compared to the control group (288.3 [± 80.26] % vs. 212 [151-320] %; p = 0.0469). There was a significant correlation between CS C3 and 5a with vWF antigen (rs = 0.5957 [p = 0.0131] and rs = 0.5015 [p = 0.042]) in COVID-19 patients. There was no difference in calprotectin plasma levels (4.786 [± 2.397] µg/ml vs. 4.233 [± 2.142] µg/ml; p = 0.4175) between both groups. This prospective data from a single centre all-comers cohort accentuates altered levels of CS components as a distinct feature of COVID-19 disease. Deregulation of CS component 3 and C5a are associated with increased vWF antigen possibly linking vascular damage to alternative CS activation in COVID-19.

3.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6703-6713, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544323

ABSTRACT

Scores to identify patients at high risk of progression of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), may become instrumental for clinical decision-making and patient management. We used patient data from the multicentre Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-Infected Patients (LEOSS) and applied variable selection to develop a simplified scoring system to identify patients at increased risk of critical illness or death. A total of 1946 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were included in the initial analysis and assigned to derivation and validation cohorts (n = 1297 and n = 649, respectively). Stability selection from over 100 baseline predictors for the combined endpoint of progression to the critical phase or COVID-19-related death enabled the development of a simplified score consisting of five predictors: C-reactive protein (CRP), age, clinical disease phase (uncomplicated vs. complicated), serum urea, and D-dimer (abbreviated as CAPS-D score). This score yielded an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.81 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.77-0.85) in the validation cohort for predicting the combined endpoint within 7 days of diagnosis and 0.81 (95% CI: 0.77-0.85) during full follow-up. We used an additional prospective cohort of 682 patients, diagnosed largely after the "first wave" of the pandemic to validate the predictive accuracy of the score and observed similar results (AUC for the event within 7 days: 0.83 [95% CI: 0.78-0.87]; for full follow-up: 0.82 [95% CI: 0.78-0.86]). An easily applicable score to calculate the risk of COVID-19 progression to critical illness or death was thus established and validated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/analysis , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Reproducibility of Results , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Urea/blood , Young Adult
4.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292822

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Six-19% of critically ill COVID-19 patients display circulating auto-antibodies against type I interferons (IFN-AABs). Here, we establish a clinically applicable strategy for early identification of IFN-AAB-positive patients for potential subsequent clinical interventions. Methods We analysed sera of 430 COVID-19 patients with severe and critical disease from four hospitals for presence of IFN-AABs by ELISA. Binding specificity and neutralizing activity were evaluated via competition assay and virus-infection-based neutralization assay. We defined clinical parameters associated with IFN-AAB positivity. In a subgroup of critically ill patients, we analyzed effects of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) on the levels of IFN-AABs, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and clinical outcome. Results The prevalence of neutralizing AABs to IFN-α and IFN-ω in COVID-19 patients was 4.2% (18/430), while being undetectable in an uninfected control cohort. Neutralizing IFN-AABs were detectable exclusively in critically affected, predominantly male (83%) patients (7.6% IFN-α and 4.6% IFN-ω in 207 patients with critical COVID-19). IFN-AABs were present early post-symptom onset and at the peak of disease. Fever and oxygen requirement at hospital admission co-presented with neutralizing IFN-AAB positivity. IFN-AABs were associated with higher mortality (92.3% versus 19.1 % in patients without IFN-AABs). TPE reduced levels of IFN-AABs in three of five patients and may increase survival of IFN-AAB-positive patients compared to those not undergoing TPE. Conclusion IFN-AABs may serve as early biomarker for development of severe COVID-19. We propose to implement routine screening of hospitalized COVID-19 patients according to our algorithm for rapid identification of patients with IFN-AABs who most likely benefit from specific therapies.

5.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(12): 3925-3937, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515204

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: During acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, neurological signs, symptoms and complications occur. We aimed to assess their clinical relevance by evaluating real-world data from a multinational registry. METHODS: We analyzed COVID-19 patients from 127 centers, diagnosed between January 2020 and February 2021, and registered in the European multinational LEOSS (Lean European Open Survey on SARS-Infected Patients) registry. The effects of prior neurological diseases and the effect of neurological symptoms on outcome were studied using multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 6537 COVID-19 patients (97.7% PCR-confirmed) were analyzed, of whom 92.1% were hospitalized and 14.7% died. Commonly, excessive tiredness (28.0%), headache (18.5%), nausea/emesis (16.6%), muscular weakness (17.0%), impaired sense of smell (9.0%) and taste (12.8%), and delirium (6.7%) were reported. In patients with a complicated or critical disease course (53%) the most frequent neurological complications were ischemic stroke (1.0%) and intracerebral bleeding (ICB; 2.2%). ICB peaked in the critical disease phase (5%) and was associated with the administration of anticoagulation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Excessive tiredness (odds ratio [OR] 1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20-1.68) and prior neurodegenerative diseases (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.07-1.63) were associated with an increased risk of an unfavorable outcome. Prior cerebrovascular and neuroimmunological diseases were not associated with an unfavorable short-term outcome of COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Our data on mostly hospitalized COVID-19 patients show that excessive tiredness or prior neurodegenerative disease at first presentation increase the risk of an unfavorable short-term outcome. ICB in critical COVID-19 was associated with therapeutic interventions, such as anticoagulation and ECMO, and thus may be an indirect complication of a life-threatening systemic viral infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurodegenerative Diseases , Stroke , Headache , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6405, 2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505001

ABSTRACT

The origin of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern remains unclear. Here, we test whether intra-host virus evolution during persistent infections could be a contributing factor by characterizing the long-term SARS-CoV-2 infection dynamics in an immunosuppressed kidney transplant recipient. Applying RT-qPCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS) of sequential respiratory specimens, we identify several mutations in the viral genome late in infection. We demonstrate that a late viral isolate exhibiting genome mutations similar to those found in variants of concern first identified in UK, South Africa, and Brazil, can escape neutralization by COVID-19 antisera. Moreover, infection of susceptible mice with this patient's escape variant elicits protective immunity against re-infection with either the parental virus and the escape variant, as well as high neutralization titers against the alpha and beta SARS-CoV-2 variants, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, demonstrating a considerable immune control against such variants of concern. Upon lowering immunosuppressive treatment, the patient generated spike-specific neutralizing antibodies and resolved the infection. Our results suggest that immunocompromised patients could be a source for the emergence of potentially harmful SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunocompromised Host , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
7.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258684, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480452

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Patients with cardiovascular comorbidities have a significantly increased risk for a critical course of COVID-19. As the SARS-CoV2 virus enters cells via the angiotensin-converting enzyme receptor II (ACE2), drugs which interact with the renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) were suspected to influence disease severity. METHODS AND RESULTS: We analyzed 1946 consecutive patients with cardiovascular comorbidities or hypertension enrolled in one of the largest European COVID-19 registries, the Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 (LEOSS) registry. Here, we show that angiotensin II receptor blocker intake is associated with decreased mortality in patients with COVID-19 [OR 0.75 (95% CI 0,59-0.96; p = 0.013)]. This effect was mainly driven by patients, who presented in an early phase of COVID-19 at baseline [OR 0,64 (95% CI 0,43-0,96; p = 0.029)]. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a significantly lower incidence of death in patients on an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) (n = 33/318;10,4%) compared to patients using an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) (n = 60/348;17,2%) or patients who received neither an ACE-inhibitor nor an ARB at baseline in the uncomplicated phase (n = 90/466; 19,3%; p<0.034). Patients taking an ARB were significantly less frequently reaching the mortality predicting threshold for leukocytes (p<0.001), neutrophils (p = 0.002) and the inflammatory markers CRP (p = 0.021), procalcitonin (p = 0.001) and IL-6 (p = 0.049). ACE2 expression levels in human lung samples were not altered in patients taking RAAS modulators. CONCLUSION: These data suggest a beneficial effect of ARBs on disease severity in patients with cardiovascular comorbidities and COVID-19, which is linked to dampened systemic inflammatory activity.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Hypertension , Registries , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , Comorbidity , Disease-Free Survival , Female , Humans , Hypertension/blood , Hypertension/drug therapy , Hypertension/mortality , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/mortality , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Rate
8.
J Nucl Med ; 2021 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470742

ABSTRACT

During the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Long COVID-syndrome, which impairs patients through cognitive deficits, fatigue, and exhaustion, has become increasingly relevant. Its underlying pathophysiology, however, is unknown. In this study, we assessed cognitive profiles and regional cerebral glucose metabolism as a biomarker of neuronal function in outpatients suffering from long-term neurocognitive symptoms after COVID-19. Methods: Outpatients seeking neurological counseling with neurocognitive symptoms persisting for more than three months after polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed COVID-19 were included prospectively between June 16, 2020, and January 29, 2021. Patients (n = 31, 54±2.0 years) in the long-term phase after COVID-19 (202±58 days after positive PCR) were assessed with a neuropsychological test battery. Cerebral 18F-FDG PET imaging was performed in 14/31 patients. Results: Patients self-reported impaired attention, memory, and multitasking abilities (31/31), word-finding difficulties (27/31), and fatigue (24/31). Twelve of 31 patients could not return to the previous level of independence/employment. For all cognitive domains, average group results of the neuropsychological test-battery showed no impairment, but deficits (z-score<-1.5) were present on single-patient level mainly in the domain of visual memory (in 7/31; other domains ≤2/31). Mean MoCA performance (27/30 points) was above the cutoff-value for detection of cognitive impairment (< 26 points), although 9/31 patients performed slightly below this level (23-25 points). In the subgroup of patients who underwent 18F-FDG PET, we found no significant changes of regional cerebral glucose metabolism. Conclusion: Long COVID patients self-report uniform symptoms hampering their ability to work in a relevant fraction. However, cognitive testing showed minor impairments only on single-patient level approximately six months after the infection, whereas functional imaging revealed no distinct pathological changes. This clearly deviates from previous findings in subacute COVID-19 patients, suggesting that underlying neuronal causes are different and possibly related to the high prevalence of fatigue.

9.
Clin Res Cardiol ; 2021 Sep 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427245

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Coagulopathy and venous thromboembolism are common findings in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and are associated with poor outcome. Timely initiation of anticoagulation after hospital admission was shown to be beneficial. In this study we aim to examine the association of pre-existing oral anticoagulation (OAC) with outcome among a cohort of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: We analysed the data from the large multi-national Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 infected patients (LEOSS) from March to August 2020. Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were eligible for inclusion. We retrospectively analysed the association of pre-existing OAC with all-cause mortality. Secondary outcome measures included COVID-19-related mortality, recovery and composite endpoints combining death and/or thrombotic event and death and/or bleeding event. We restricted bleeding events to intracerebral bleeding in this analysis to ensure clinical relevance and to limit reporting errors. A total of 1 433 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients were analysed, while 334 patients (23.3%) had an existing premedication with OAC and 1 099 patients (79.7%) had no OAC. After risk adjustment for comorbidities, pre-existing OAC showed a protective influence on the endpoint death (OR 0.62, P = 0.013) as well as the secondary endpoints COVID-19-related death (OR 0.64, P = 0.023) and non-recovery (OR 0.66, P = 0.014). The combined endpoint death or thrombotic event tended to be less frequent in patients on OAC (OR 0.71, P = 0.056). CONCLUSIONS: Pre-existing OAC is protective in COVID-19, irrespective of anticoagulation regime during hospital stay and independent of the stage and course of disease.

10.
J Clin Med ; 10(17)2021 Aug 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374437

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: The aim of our study was to identify specific risk factors for fatal outcome in critically ill COVID-19 patients. (2) Methods: Our data set consisted of 840 patients enclosed in the LEOSS registry. Using lasso regression for variable selection, a multifactorial logistic regression model was fitted to the response variable survival. Specific risk factors and their odds ratios were derived. A nomogram was developed as a graphical representation of the model. (3) Results: 14 variables were identified as independent factors contributing to the risk of death for critically ill COVID-19 patients: age (OR 1.08, CI 1.06-1.10), cardiovascular disease (OR 1.64, CI 1.06-2.55), pulmonary disease (OR 1.87, CI 1.16-3.03), baseline Statin treatment (0.54, CI 0.33-0.87), oxygen saturation (unit = 1%, OR 0.94, CI 0.92-0.96), leukocytes (unit 1000/µL, OR 1.04, CI 1.01-1.07), lymphocytes (unit 100/µL, OR 0.96, CI 0.94-0.99), platelets (unit 100,000/µL, OR 0.70, CI 0.62-0.80), procalcitonin (unit ng/mL, OR 1.11, CI 1.05-1.18), kidney failure (OR 1.68, CI 1.05-2.70), congestive heart failure (OR 2.62, CI 1.11-6.21), severe liver failure (OR 4.93, CI 1.94-12.52), and a quick SOFA score of 3 (OR 1.78, CI 1.14-2.78). The nomogram graphically displays the importance of these 14 factors for mortality. (4) Conclusions: There are risk factors that are specific to the subpopulation of critically ill COVID-19 patients.

11.
Dtsch Med Wochenschr ; 146(17): e65-e73, 2021 Sep.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1368971

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence suggests that some patients suffer from persistent symptoms for months after recovery from acute COVID-19. However, the clinical phenotype and its pathogenesis remain unclear. We here present data on complaints and results of a diagnostic workup of patients presenting to the post-COVID clinic at the University Medical Center Freiburg. METHODS: Retrospective data analysis of persistently symptomatic patients presenting to our clinic at least 6 months after onset of acute COVID-19. All patients were assessed by a doctor and routine laboratory analysis was carried out. Quality of life was assessed using SF-36 questionnaire. In case of specific persisting symptoms, further organ-specific diagnostic evaluation was performed, and patients were referred to respective departments/specialists. FINDINGS: 132 Patients (58 male, 74 female; mean age 53.8 years) presented to our clinic at least 6 months after COVID-19. 79 (60 %) had been treated as outpatients and 53 (40 %) as inpatients. Most common complaints were persistent fatigue (82 %) and dyspnea on exertion (61 %). Further common complaints were impairments of concentration (54 %), insomnia (43 %), and impairments of smell or taste (35 %). Quality of life was reduced in all sections of the SF-36 questionnaire, yielding a reduced working capacity. Significant pathological findings in laboratory, echocardiographic and radiological work-up were rare. Impairments in lung function tests were more common in previously hospitalized patients. CONCLUSION: Patients presenting 6 months after onset of acute COVID-19 suffer from a diverse spectrum of symptoms with impaired quality of life, also referred to as Long COVID or Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). Further research is needed to determine the frequency of these post-COVID syndromes and their pathogenesis, natural course and treatment options. Evaluation and management should be multi-disciplinary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anosmia , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Dyspnea , Fatigue , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Quality of Life , Retrospective Studies , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders , Surveys and Questionnaires , Taste Disorders , Young Adult
12.
Artif Organs ; 45(9): 1050-1060, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361914

ABSTRACT

Prognosis of patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is poor. This is especially true for immunosuppressed patients. It is controverisal whether these patients should receive veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV ECMO) while evidence on this topic is sparse. We report retrospective data of a single-center registry of patients with severe ARDS requiring ECMO support between October 2010 and June 2019. Patients were analyzed by their status of immunosuppression. ECMO weaning success and hospital survival were analyzed before and after propensity score matching (PSM). Moreover, ventilator free days (VFD) were compared. A total of 288 patients were analyzed (age 55 years, 67% male), 88 (31%) presented with immunosuppression. Survival rates were lower in immunosuppressed patients (27% vs. 53%, P < .001 and 27% vs. 48% after PSM, P = .006). VFD (60 days) were lower for patients with immunosuppression (11.9 vs. 22.4, P < .001), and immunosuppression was an independent predictor for mortality in multivariate analysis. Hospital survival was 20%, 14%, 35%, and 46% for patients with oncological malignancies, solid organ transplantation, autoimmune diseases, and HIV, respectively. In this analysis immunosuppression was an independent predictor for mortality. However, there were major differences in the weaning and survival rates between the etiologies of immunosuppression which should be considered in decision making.

13.
Nature ; 597(7875): 268-273, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328849

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccines1-3 mediate protection from severe disease as early as ten days after prime vaccination3, when neutralizing antibodies are hardly detectable4-6. Vaccine-induced CD8+ T cells may therefore be the main mediators of protection at this early stage7,8. The details of their induction, comparison to natural infection, and association with other arms of vaccine-induced immunity remain, however, incompletely understood. Here we show on a single-epitope level that a stable and fully functional CD8+ T cell response is vigorously mobilized one week after prime vaccination with bnt162b2, when circulating CD4+ T cells and neutralizing antibodies are still weakly detectable. Boost vaccination induced a robust expansion that generated highly differentiated effector CD8+ T cells; however, neither the functional capacity nor the memory precursor T cell pool was affected. Compared with natural infection, vaccine-induced early memory T cells exhibited similar functional capacities but a different subset distribution. Our results indicate that CD8+ T cells are important effector cells, are expanded in the early protection window after prime vaccination, precede maturation of other effector arms of vaccine-induced immunity and are stably maintained after boost vaccination.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Immunologic Memory/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors
14.
Blood ; 138(14): 1269-1277, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317119

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a severe adverse effect of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 COVID-19 vaccine (Vaxzevria) and Janssen Ad26.COV2.S COVID-19 vaccine, and it is associated with unusual thrombosis. VITT is caused by anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4) antibodies activating platelets through their FcγRIIa receptors. Antibodies that activate platelets through FcγRIIa receptors have also been identified in patients with COVID-19. These findings raise concern that vaccination-induced antibodies against anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein cause thrombosis by cross-reacting with PF4. Immunogenic epitopes of PF4 and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein were compared using in silico prediction tools and 3D modeling. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and PF4 share at least 1 similar epitope. Reactivity of purified anti-PF4 antibodies from patients with VITT was tested against recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. However, none of the affinity-purified anti-PF4 antibodies from 14 patients with VITT cross-reacted with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Sera from 222 polymerase chain reaction-confirmed patients with COVID-19 from 5 European centers were tested by PF4-heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and PF4-dependent platelet activation assays. We found anti-PF4 antibodies in sera from 19 (8.6%) of 222 patients with COVID-19. However, only 4 showed weak to moderate platelet activation in the presence of PF4, and none of those patients developed thrombotic complications. Among 10 (4.5%) of 222 patients who had COVID-19 with thrombosis, none showed PF4-dependent platelet-activating antibodies. In conclusion, antibodies against PF4 induced by vaccination do not cross-react with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, indicating that the intended vaccine-induced immune response against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is not the trigger of VITT. PF4-reactive antibodies found in patients with COVID-19 in this study were not associated with thrombotic complications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Cross Reactions/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/etiology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Blood Platelets/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cohort Studies , Epitopes/immunology , Female , Heparin/metabolism , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Young Adult
15.
Infection ; 2021 Jul 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316346

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: While more advanced COVID-19 necessitates medical interventions and hospitalization, patients with mild COVID-19 do not require this. Identifying patients at risk of progressing to advanced COVID-19 might guide treatment decisions, particularly for better prioritizing patients in need for hospitalization. METHODS: We developed a machine learning-based predictor for deriving a clinical score identifying patients with asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 at risk of progressing to advanced COVID-19. Clinical data from SARS-CoV-2 positive patients from the multicenter Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 Infected Patients (LEOSS) were used for discovery (2020-03-16 to 2020-07-14) and validation (data from 2020-07-15 to 2021-02-16). RESULTS: The LEOSS dataset contains 473 baseline patient parameters measured at the first patient contact. After training the predictor model on a training dataset comprising 1233 patients, 20 of the 473 parameters were selected for the predictor model. From the predictor model, we delineated a composite predictive score (SACOV-19, Score for the prediction of an Advanced stage of COVID-19) with eleven variables. In the validation cohort (n = 2264 patients), we observed good prediction performance with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.73 ± 0.01. Besides temperature, age, body mass index and smoking habit, variables indicating pulmonary involvement (respiration rate, oxygen saturation, dyspnea), inflammation (CRP, LDH, lymphocyte counts), and acute kidney injury at diagnosis were identified. For better interpretability, the predictor was translated into a web interface. CONCLUSION: We present a machine learning-based predictor model and a clinical score for identifying patients at risk of developing advanced COVID-19.

16.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0249760, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223796

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is an independent risk factor for mortality, which affects about 5% of hospitalized coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients and up to 25-29% of severely ill COVID-19 patients. Lopinavir/ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine show in vitro activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and have been used for the treatment of COVID-19. Both, lopinavir and hydroxychloroquine are metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4. The impact of a triple therapy with lopinavir/ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine (triple therapy) on kidney function in COVID-19 is currently not known. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed both non-ICU and ICU patients with COVID-19 receiving triple therapy for the incidence of AKI. Patients receiving standard therapy served as a control group. All patients were hospitalized at the University Hospital of Freiburg, Germany, between March and April 2020. A matched-pair analysis for the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) 2 was performed to control for the severity of illness among non-intensive care unit (ICU) patients. RESULTS: In non-ICU patients, the incidence of AKI was markedly increased following triple therapy (78.6% vs. 21.4% in controls, p = 0.002), while a high incidence of AKI was observed in both groups of ICU patients (triple therapy: 80.0%, control group: 90.5%). ICU patients treated with triple therapy showed a trend towards more oliguric or anuric kidney injury. We also observed a linear correlation between the duration of the triple therapy and the maximum serum creatinine level (p = 0.004, R2 = 0.276, R = 0.597). CONCLUSION: Triple therapy is associated with an increase in the incidence of AKI in non-ICU COVID-19 patients. The underlying mechanisms may comprise a CYP3A4 enzyme interaction, and may be relevant for any future therapy combining hydroxychloroquine with antiviral agents.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Lopinavir/adverse effects , Acute Kidney Injury/epidemiology , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/virology , Creatinine/blood , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Incidence , Intensive Care Units , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
17.
Infection ; 49(4): 725-737, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1182343

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The ongoing pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has stressed health systems worldwide. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) seem to be more prone to a severe course of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to comorbidities and an altered immune system. The study's aim was to identify factors predicting mortality among SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with CKD. METHODS: We analyzed 2817 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients enrolled in the Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-infected patients and identified 426 patients with pre-existing CKD. Group comparisons were performed via Chi-squared test. Using univariate and multivariable logistic regression, predictive factors for mortality were identified. RESULTS: Comparative analyses to patients without CKD revealed a higher mortality (140/426, 32.9% versus 354/2391, 14.8%). Higher age could be confirmed as a demographic predictor for mortality in CKD patients (> 85 years compared to 15-65 years, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 6.49, 95% CI 1.27-33.20, p = 0.025). We further identified markedly elevated lactate dehydrogenase (> 2 × upper limit of normal, aOR 23.21, 95% CI 3.66-147.11, p < 0.001), thrombocytopenia (< 120,000/µl, aOR 11.66, 95% CI 2.49-54.70, p = 0.002), anemia (Hb < 10 g/dl, aOR 3.21, 95% CI 1.17-8.82, p = 0.024), and C-reactive protein (≥ 30 mg/l, aOR 3.44, 95% CI 1.13-10.45, p = 0.029) as predictors, while renal replacement therapy was not related to mortality (aOR 1.15, 95% CI 0.68-1.93, p = 0.611). CONCLUSION: The identified predictors include routinely measured and universally available parameters. Their assessment might facilitate risk stratification in this highly vulnerable cohort as early as at initial medical evaluation for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Humans , Logistic Models , Middle Aged , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/immunology , Risk Factors , Young Adult
18.
J Infect Dis ; 223(5): 775-784, 2021 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117038

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe courses of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are associated with elevated levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6). However, there is a growing body of evidence pointing to a broad and more complex disorder of proinflammatory and antiviral responses with disturbed interferon signaling in COVID-19. METHODS: In this prospective, single-center registry, we included severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-positive patients and patients with similar symptoms and severity of disease but negative for SARS-CoV-2 admitted to the emergency department and compared their serum protein expression profiles. RESULTS: IL-6 abundance was similar in SARS-CoV-2-positive patients (n = 24) compared with SARS-CoV-2-negative controls (n = 61). In contrast, we observed a specific upregulation of the immunomodulatory protein progranulin (GRN). High GRN abundance was associated with adverse outcomes and increased expression of IL-6 in COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: The data from this registry reveal that GRN is specifically upregulated in SARS-CoV-2-positive patients while IL-6 may serve as marker for disease severity. The potential of GRN as a biomarker and a possible impact of increased GRN expression on interferon signaling, virus elimination, and virus-induced lung tissue damage in COVID-19 should be further explored.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Progranulins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Up-Regulation , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Progranulins/blood , Prospective Studies , Registries , Severity of Illness Index
20.
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 28(7): 1411-1420, 2021 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075534

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The Consortium for Clinical Characterization of COVID-19 by EHR (4CE) is an international collaboration addressing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with federated analyses of electronic health record (EHR) data. We sought to develop and validate a computable phenotype for COVID-19 severity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twelve 4CE sites participated. First, we developed an EHR-based severity phenotype consisting of 6 code classes, and we validated it on patient hospitalization data from the 12 4CE clinical sites against the outcomes of intensive care unit (ICU) admission and/or death. We also piloted an alternative machine learning approach and compared selected predictors of severity with the 4CE phenotype at 1 site. RESULTS: The full 4CE severity phenotype had pooled sensitivity of 0.73 and specificity 0.83 for the combined outcome of ICU admission and/or death. The sensitivity of individual code categories for acuity had high variability-up to 0.65 across sites. At one pilot site, the expert-derived phenotype had mean area under the curve of 0.903 (95% confidence interval, 0.886-0.921), compared with an area under the curve of 0.956 (95% confidence interval, 0.952-0.959) for the machine learning approach. Billing codes were poor proxies of ICU admission, with as low as 49% precision and recall compared with chart review. DISCUSSION: We developed a severity phenotype using 6 code classes that proved resilient to coding variability across international institutions. In contrast, machine learning approaches may overfit hospital-specific orders. Manual chart review revealed discrepancies even in the gold-standard outcomes, possibly owing to heterogeneous pandemic conditions. CONCLUSIONS: We developed an EHR-based severity phenotype for COVID-19 in hospitalized patients and validated it at 12 international sites.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Electronic Health Records , Severity of Illness Index , COVID-19/classification , Hospitalization , Humans , Machine Learning , Prognosis , ROC Curve , Sensitivity and Specificity
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