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1.
Pneumologie ; 76(10): 679-688, 2022 Oct.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077171

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 , Male , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Outpatients , Quality of Life , Retrospective Studies , Follow-Up Studies , Academic Medical Centers
2.
Biomedicines ; 10(10)2022 Oct 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2071216

ABSTRACT

Although there is strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with adverse outcomes in certain ethnic groups, the association of disease severity and risk factors such as comorbidities and biomarkers with racial disparities remains undefined. This retrospective study between March 2020 and February 2021 explores COVID-19 risk factors as predictors for patients' disease progression through country comparison. Disease severity predictors in Germany and Japan were cardiovascular-associated comorbidities, dementia, and age. We adjusted age, sex, body mass index, and history of cardiovascular disease comorbidity in the country cohorts using a propensity score matching (PSM) technique to reduce the influence of differences in sample size and the surprisingly young, lean Japanese cohort. Analysis of the 170 PSM pairs confirmed that 65.29% of German and 85.29% of Japanese patients were in the uncomplicated phase. More German than Japanese patients were admitted in the complicated and critical phase. Ethnic differences were identified in patients without cardiovascular comorbidities. Japanese patients in the uncomplicated phase presented a suppressed inflammatory response and coagulopathy with hypocoagulation. In contrast, German patients exhibited a hyperactive inflammatory response and coagulopathy with hypercoagulation. These differences were less pronounced in patients in the complicated phase or with cardiovascular diseases. Coagulation/fibrinolysis-associated biomarkers rather than inflammatory-related biomarkers predicted disease severity in patients with cardiovascular comorbidities: platelet counts were associated with severe illness in German patients. In contrast, high D-dimer and fibrinogen levels predicted disease severity in Japanese patients. Our comparative study indicates that ethnicity influences COVID-19-associated biomarker expression linked to the inflammatory and coagulation (thrombo-inflammatory) response. Future studies will be necessary to determine whether these differences contributed to the less severe disease progression observed in Japanese COVID-19 patients compared with those in Germany.

3.
Zeitschrift für Pneumologie ; : 1-7, 2022.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-2059907

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe infections are a major clinical challenge due to frequent complications and high mortality rates. Objective: The use and impact of antibiotic stewardship (ABS) strategies in the context of severe infections are explained using the examples of sepsis, gram-negative bloodstream infections and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Material and methods: The current literature and recommendations are summarized with a focus on clinical ABS implications in severe infections, such as sepsis, gram-negative bloodstream infections and COVID-19. Results: Sepsis: the updated sepsis guidelines propose a differentiated approach concerning the start of antibiotic treatment in patients with sepsis and absence of shock. In patients with an uncertain diagnosis and no signs of shock in the time period before initiating antibiotic treatment can be extended to 3 h. Within this time frame, the differential diagnostic investigations including adequate microbiological sampling should be completed in order to initiate or alternatively reject the start of antibiotic treatment based on reliable results.Gram-negative bloodstream infections: for uncomplicated gram-negative bloodstream infections, 7 days of antibiotic treatment is sufficient. According to current data a regular combination treatment for bloodstream infections due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa is not indicated.COVID-19: bacterial co-infections in COVID-19 are rare. A prophylactic antibiotic treatment is therefore not justified. Secondary bacterial infections (> 48 h after hospitalization) occur primarily in critically ill COVID-19 patients. In the case of pulmonary coinfection or secondary infection, a therapeutic approach in accordance with the current pneumonia guidelines is recommended. Conclusion: Despite the severity and complexity of these severe infections, the basic principles of antibiotic stewardship (ABS) apply in terms of a rational anti-infective prescription with respect to the substance, dosage and duration of treatment.

4.
Zeitschrift Für Pneumologie ; : 1-7, 2022.
Article in German | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2045564

ABSTRACT

Hintergrund Schwere Infektionen stellen aufgrund der häufigen Komplikationen und hohen Sterblichkeit eine große klinische Herausforderung dar. Ziel der Arbeit (Fragestellung) Am Beispiel der Sepsis, gramnegativer Blutstrominfektionen und COVID-19 sollen Anwendung und Bedeutung von Antibiotic Stewardship(ABS)-Strategien im Kontext schwerer Infektionen erläutert werden. Material und Methode Es erfolgen die Zusammenfassung der aktuellen Literatur und Empfehlungen mit Fokus auf klinische ABS-Implikationen bei schweren Infektionen wie Sepsis, gramnegativen Blutstrominfektionen und COVID-19. Ergebnisse Die aktualisierte Sepsis-Leitlinie schlägt ein differenziertes Vorgehen zum Beginn der Antibiotikatherapie bei Patient*innen mit Sepsis, aber ohne Schock vor. Bei unsicherer Diagnose und bei fehlendem Schock kann der Zeitraum bis zur Einleitung der Antibiotikatherapie auf 3 h ausgedehnt werden. In dieser Zeit gilt es, die Differenzialdiagnostik und ein adäquates mikrobiologisches Sampling zu komplettieren, um eine Antibiotikatherapie aufgrund belastbarer Befunde zu initiieren oder alternativ zu verwerfen. Bei unkomplizierten gramnegativen Blutstrominfektionen ist eine 7‑tägige antibiotische Therapie ausreichend. Eine regelhafte Kombinationstherapie bei Blutstrominfektionen mit Pseudomonas aeruginosa ist aufgrund der bisher vorliegenden Daten nicht erforderlich. Bakterielle Koinfektionen bei COVID-19 sind selten. Eine prophylaktische antibiotische Therapie ist daher nicht gerechtfertigt. Bakterielle Sekundärinfektionen (> 48 h nach Hospitalisierung) treten v. a. bei kritisch kranken COVID-19-Patient*innen auf. Bei pulmonalen Ko- oder Sekundärinfektion ist ein therapeutisches Vorgehen entsprechend den Pneumonie-Leitlinien geboten. Schlussfolgerungen Trotz der Schwere und Komplexität der genannten Infektionen gelten die grundlegenden Prinzipien des Antibiotic Stewardship (ABS) im Sinne einer rationalen Antiinfektivaverordnung hinsichtlich Substanz, Dosis und Dauer der Therapie.

5.
J Clin Med ; 11(17)2022 Sep 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2010171

ABSTRACT

Superinfections are a fundamental critical care problem, and their significance in severe COVID-19 cases needs to be determined. This study analyzed data from the Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-Infected Patients (LEOSS) cohort focusing on intensive care patients. A retrospective analysis of patient data from 840 cases of COVID-19 with critical courses demonstrated that co-infections were frequently present and were primarily of nosocomial origin. Furthermore, our analysis showed that invasive therapy procedures accompanied an increased risk for healthcare-associated infections. Non-ventilated ICU patients were rarely affected by secondary infections. The risk of infection, however, increased even when non-invasive ventilation was used. A further, significant increase in infection rates was seen with the use of invasive ventilation and even more so with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy. The marked differences among ICU techniques used for the treatment of COVID-19-induced respiratory failure in terms of secondary infection risk profile should be taken into account for the optimal management of critically ill COVID-19 patients, as well as for adequate antimicrobial therapy.

6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4631, 2022 08 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1977998

ABSTRACT

Immunization with two mRNA vaccine doses elicits robust spike-specific CD8+ T cell responses, but reports of waning immunity after COVID-19 vaccination prompt the introduction of booster vaccination campaigns. However, the effect of mRNA booster vaccination on the spike-specific CD8+ T cell response remains unclear. Here we show that spike-specific CD8+ T cells are activated and expanded in all analyzed individuals receiving the 3rd and 4th mRNA vaccine shots. This CD8+ T cell boost response is followed by a contraction phase and lasts only for about 30-60 days. The spike-specific CD8+ T memory stem cell pool is not affected by the 3rd vaccination. Both 4th vaccination and breakthrough infections with Delta and Omicron rapidly reactivate CD8+ T memory cells. In contrast, neutralizing antibody responses display little boost effect towards Omicron. Thus, COVID-19 mRNA booster vaccination elicits a transient T effector cell response while long-term spike-specific CD8+ T cell immunity is conserved to mount robust memory recall targeting emerging variants of concern.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , RNA, Messenger , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
7.
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0271822, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1968871

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a severe disease with a high need for intensive care treatment and a high mortality rate in hospitalized patients. The objective of this study was to describe and compare the clinical characteristics and the management of patients dying with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the acute medical and intensive care setting. METHODS: Descriptive analysis of dying patients enrolled in the Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 Infected Patients (LEOSS), a non-interventional cohort study, between March 18 and November 18, 2020. Symptoms, comorbidities and management of patients, including palliative care involvement, were compared between general ward and intensive care unit (ICU) by univariate analysis. RESULTS: 580/4310 (13%) SARS-CoV-2 infected patients died. Among 580 patients 67% were treated on ICU and 33% on a general ward. The spectrum of comorbidities and symptoms was broad with more comorbidities (≥ four comorbidities: 52% versus 25%) and a higher age distribution (>65 years: 98% versus 70%) in patients on the general ward. 69% of patients were in an at least complicated phase at diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 infection with a higher proportion of patients in a critical phase or dying the day of diagnosis treated on ICU (36% versus 11%). While most patients admitted to ICU came from home (71%), patients treated on the general ward came likewise from home and nursing home (44% respectively) and were more frequently on palliative care before admission (29% versus 7%). A palliative care team was involved in dying patients in 15%. Personal contacts were limited but more often documented in patients treated on ICU (68% versus 47%). CONCLUSION: Patients dying with SARS-CoV-2 infection suffer from high symptom burden and often deteriorate early with a demand for ICU treatment. Therefor a demand for palliative care expertise with early involvement seems to exist.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Patients' Rooms , Registries , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Clin Immunol ; 42(6): 1111-1129, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1942304

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Six to 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 analyzed sera of 430 COVID-19 patients 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 from all cohorts was 4.2% (18/430), while being undetectable in an uninfected control cohort. Neutralizing IFN-AABs were detectable exclusively in critically affected (max. WHO score 6-8), predominantly male (83%) patients (7.6%, 18/237 for IFN-α-AABs and 4.6%, 11/237 for IFN-ω-AABs in 237 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 lower probability of survival (7.7% versus 80.9% 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 the development of severe COVID-19. We propose to implement routine screening of hospitalized COVID-19 patients for rapid identification of patients with IFN-AABs who most likely benefit from specific therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Autoantibodies , COVID-19/diagnosis , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Interferon-alpha/therapeutic use , Male , Oxygen , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Nucl Med ; 63(7): 1058-1063, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923992

ABSTRACT

During the coronavirus 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 with long-term neurocognitive symptoms after COVID-19. Methods: Outpatients seeking neurologic counseling with neurocognitive symptoms persisting for more than 3 mo after polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed COVID-19 were included prospectively between June 16, 2020, and January 29, 2021. Patients (n = 31; age, 53.6 ± 2.0 y) in the long-term phase after COVID-19 (202 ± 58 d after positive PCR) were assessed with a neuropsychologic test battery. Cerebral 18F-FDG PET imaging was performed in 14 of 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 neuropsychologic test battery showed no impairment, but deficits (z score < -1.5) were present on a single-patient level mainly in the domain of visual memory (in 7/31; other domains ≤ 2/31). Mean Montreal Cognitive Assessment performance (27/30 points) was above the cutoff value for detection of cognitive impairment (<26 points), although 9 of 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 a single-patient level approximately 6 mo after the infection, whereas functional imaging revealed no distinct pathologic 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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cerebrum , Glucose , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/psychology , Cerebrum/metabolism , Fatigue , Fluorodeoxyglucose F18/metabolism , Glucose/metabolism , Humans , Middle Aged , Neuropsychological Tests , Positron-Emission Tomography
10.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(5): 675-679, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815548

ABSTRACT

Continuously emerging variants of concern (VOCs) sustain the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron/B.1.1.529 VOC harbours multiple mutations in the spike protein associated with high infectivity and efficient evasion from humoral immunity induced by previous infection or vaccination. By performing in-depth comparisons of the SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell epitope repertoire after infection and messenger RNA vaccination, we demonstrate that spike-derived epitopes were not dominantly targeted in convalescent individuals compared to non-spike epitopes. In vaccinees, however, we detected a broader spike-specific T-cell response compared to convalescent individuals. Booster vaccination increased the breadth of the spike-specific T-cell response in convalescent individuals but not in vaccinees with complete initial vaccination. In convalescent individuals and vaccinees, the targeted T-cell epitopes were broadly conserved between wild-type SARS-CoV-2 variant B and Omicron/B.1.1.529. Hence, our data emphasize the relevance of vaccine-induced spike-specific CD8+ T-cell responses in combating VOCs including Omicron/B.1.1.529 and support the benefit of boosting convalescent individuals with mRNA vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Humans , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
12.
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.

13.
J Thromb Thrombolysis ; 53(4): 788-797, 2022 May.
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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Immunologic Factors , Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , von Willebrand Factor/analysis
14.
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
15.
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
16.
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
17.
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
18.
Clin Res Cardiol ; 111(3): 322-332, 2022 Mar.
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.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Blood Coagulation Disorders/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Thromboembolism/drug therapy , Aged , Blood Coagulation Disorders/virology , Comorbidity , Europe , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Thromboembolism/virology
19.
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.

20.
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
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