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1.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine ; 205(1), 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1927902

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Dexamethasone decreases mortality in patients with severe COVID-19. The effects of dexamethasone on inflammation and repair in patients with severe COVID-19 are not well understood. We integrated tracheal aspirate (TA) and peripheral blood bulk/single-cell RNA sequencing to study the effect of dexamethasone on patients with COVID-19 ARDS. Methods: We studied selected patients from a cohort of adults with COVID-19 admitted to three hospitals in San Francisco, California from April 2020 to February 2021. Immunosuppression was not used to treat COVID-19 ARDS at these hospitals prior to July 2020, but was routinely used in these patients after this date. For this analysis, we included patients who were mechanically ventilated for COVID-19 ARDS for whom sequencing samples were available within four days of intubation. We excluded patients who received steroids prior to July 2020, subjects who received immunosuppression other than dexamethasone (e.g., tocilizumab) prior to sample collection, and chronically immunosuppressed subjects. We compared bulk RNASeq from TA and single cell RNASeq from TA and whole blood from subjects who received dexamethasone to subjects who did not receive dexamethasone. In addition, we studied the effect of dexamethasone on peripheral blood cytokine concentrations to confirm the effects of observed changes in gene expression. Results: TA bulk RNASeq was available from 20 subjects (six dexamethasone, 14 non-dexamethasone). There was no significant difference in age, sex, smoking, or BMI between groups. After correcting for multiple comparisons, 947 genes were differentially expressed in TA from subjects who received dexamethasone. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis predicted decreased activation of interferon, JAK/STAT, and NLRP12 signaling in subjects who received dexamethasone (Figure 1A). TA scRNASeq samples were available from ten dexamethasone-treated subjects and nine non-dexamethasone subjects. Whole blood scRNAseq samples were available for seven dexamethasone and eight non-dexamethasone subjects (Figure 1B). Eight subjects (three treated with dexamethasone) had both TA and whole blood scRNAseq samples available for analysis. Dexamethasone had distinct effects on the proportions of immune cells in tracheal aspirates and whole blood (Figure 1C). In 36 dexamethasone vs 42 non-dexamethasone subjects, treatment with dexamethasone was associated with significantly increased concentrations of IL-10 and decreased concentrations of IL-6 (Figure 1D). Conclusions: Dexamethasone decreases pro-inflammatory gene expression in the respiratory tract and peripheral blood of patients with COVID-19 ARDS. The effect of dexamethasone on specific cell populations may be distinct in the respiratory tract and peripheral blood.

2.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine ; 205(1), 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1927857

ABSTRACT

Background: Latent class analyses in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have identified “hyper-inflammatory” and “hypo-inflammatory” phenotypes with divergent clinical outcomes and treatment responses. ARDS phenotypes are defined using plasma biomarkers and clinical variables. It is currently unknown if these phenotypes have distinct pulmonary biology and if pre-clinical models of disease replicate the biology of either phenotype. Methods: 45 subjects with ARDS (Berlin Definition) and 5 mechanically ventilated controls were selected from cohorts of mechanically ventilated patients at UCSF and ZSFG. Patients with COVID-19 were excluded from this analysis. A 3-variable classifier model (plasma IL-8, protein C, and bicarbonate;Sinha 2020) was used to assign ARDS phenotypes. Tracheal aspirate (TA) RNA was analyzed using established bulk and single-cell sequencing pipelines (Langelier 2018, Sarma 2021). Differentially expressed (DE) genes were analyzed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Microbial community composition was analyzed with vegan. Fgsea was used to test for enrichment of gene sets from experimental ARDS models in genes that were differentially expressed between each phenotype and mechanically ventilated controls. Results: Bulk RNA sequencing (RNAseq) was available from 29 subjects with hypoinflammatory ARDS and 10 subjects with hyperinflammatory ARDS. 2,777 genes were differentially expressed between ARDS phenotypes. IPA identified several candidate upstream regulators of gene expression in hyperinflammatory ARDS including IL6, TNF, IL17C, and interferons (Figure 1A). 2,953 genes were differentially expressed between hyperinflammatory ARDS and 5 ventilated controls;in contrast, only 243 genes were differentially expressed between hypoinflammatory ARDS and controls, suggesting gene expression in the hypoinflammatory phenotype was more heterogeneous. Gene sets from experimental models of acute lung injury were enriched in hyperinflammatory ARDS but not in hypoinflammatory ARDS (Figure 1B). Single cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) was available from 6 additional subjects with ARDS, of whom 3 had hyperinflammatory ARDS. 14,843 cells passed quality control filters. Hyperinflammatory ARDS subjects had a markedly higher burden of neutrophils (Figure 1C), including a cluster of stressed neutrophils expressing heat shock protein RNA that was not present in hypoinflammatory ARDS. Expression of a Th1 signature was higher in T cells from hyperinflammatory ARDS. Differential expression analysis in macrophages identified increased expression of genes associated with mortality in a previous study of ARDS patients (Morell 2019). Conclusions: The respiratory tract biology of ARDS phenotypes is distinct. Hyperinflammatory ARDS is characterized by neutrophilic inflammation with distinct immune cell polarization. Transcriptomic profiling identifies candidate preclinical disease models that replicate gene expression observed in hyperinflammatory ARDS.

3.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-330704

ABSTRACT

Secondary bacterial infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), lead to worse clinical outcomes and increased mortality following viral respiratory infections including in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Using a combination of tracheal aspirate bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) we assessed lower respiratory tract immune responses and microbiome dynamics in 28 COVID-19 patients, 15 of whom developed VAP, and eight critically ill uninfected controls. Two days before VAP onset we observed a transcriptional signature of bacterial infection. Two weeks prior to VAP onset, following intubation, we observed a striking impairment in immune signaling in COVID-19 patients who developed VAP. Longitudinal metatranscriptomic analysis revealed disruption of lung microbiome community composition in patients with VAP, providing a connection between dysregulated immune signaling and outgrowth of opportunistic pathogens. These findings suggest that COVID-19 patients who develop VAP have impaired antibacterial immune defense detectable weeks before secondary infection onset.

4.
Advances in Human Biology ; 11:90-94, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1708846

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, being a novel viral infection, has resulted in disruption of health services, including cancer patient's care and treatment. Hence, there was a need for testing and lateral integration of services for cancer patients with COVID-19. Materials and Methods: A total of 1178 samples were collected from cancer patients for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing before undergoing treatment in a tertiary care cancer center. The realtime reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) was done using the E gene for screening, and for the confirmation, any of the three reactions using RdRp, ORF1bnsp14 and RNasePas were run as internal control. Results: Out of the 1178 samples tested, 211 (17.91%) were positive, and of these patients, 863 (73.25%) were men and 342 (29%) were women. Among the 863 men with cancer, 133 (15.41%) were real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) positive. Of the 342 women with cancer, 78 (22.80%) were positive. Of the 144 SARS-CoV-2-positive cancer patients with cycle threshold (Ct) <25, 112 (84.2%) were asymptomatic and 32 (41.0%) were symptomatic. Sixty-seven patients showed positive results with a Ct >25. Out of them, 21 (31.3%) were asymptomatic and 46 (68.65%) were symptomatic cancer patients (P < 0.001). Of 144 patients with Ct <25, only 4 (2.8%) patients tested negative within 7-9 days, whereas the rest of the 140 (97.22%) became negative in >9 and up to 28 days. In the 67 cancer patients with Ct >25, within 7-9 days, 50 (74.6%) became RT-PCR negative and the remaining 17 patients mostly >60 years age group became RT-PCR negative in >9-28 days. Conclusions: Ct value of qualitative SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcriptase RT-PCR should be an important tool for an oncologist in designing and implementing patient management guidelines for SARS-CoV-2-positive cancer patients without or with symptoms for COVID-19.

5.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-297038

ABSTRACT

Secondary bacterial infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), lead to worse clinical outcomes and increased mortality following viral respiratory infections. Critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) face an elevated risk of VAP, although susceptibility varies widely. Because mechanisms underlying VAP predisposition remained unknown, we assessed lower respiratory tract host immune responses and microbiome dynamics in 36 patients, including 28 COVID-19 patients, 15 of whom developed VAP, and eight critically ill controls. We employed a combination of tracheal aspirate bulk and single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). Two days before VAP onset, a lower respiratory transcriptional signature of bacterial infection was observed, characterized by increased expression of neutrophil degranulation, toll-like receptor and cytokine signaling pathways. When assessed at an earlier time point following endotracheal intubation, more than two weeks prior to VAP onset, we observed a striking early impairment in antibacterial innate and adaptive immune signaling that markedly differed from COVID-19 patients who did not develop VAP. scRNA-seq further demonstrated suppressed immune signaling across monocytes/macrophages, neutrophils and T cells. While viral load did not differ at an early post-intubation timepoint, impaired SARS-CoV-2 clearance and persistent interferon signaling characterized the patients who later developed VAP. Longitudinal metatranscriptomic analysis revealed disruption of lung microbiome community composition in patients who developed VAP, providing a connection between dysregulated immune signaling and outgrowth of opportunistic pathogens. Together, these findings demonstrate that COVID-19 patients who develop VAP have impaired antibacterial immune defense weeks before secondary infection onset. One sentence summary: COVID-19 patients with secondary bacterial pneumonia have impaired immune signaling and lung microbiome changes weeks before onset.

7.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine ; 203(9), 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1277339

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a rapid increase in the incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The distinct features of pulmonary biology in COVID-19 ARDS compared to other causes of ARDS, including other lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), are not well understood. Methods: Tracheal aspirates (TA) and plasma were collected within five days of intubation from mechanically ventilated adults admitted to one of two academic medical centers. ARDS and LRTI diagnoses and were verified by study physicians. Subjects were excluded if they received immunosuppression. TA from subjects with COVID-ARDS was compared to gene expression in TA from subjects with other causes of ARDS (OtherARDS) or mechanically ventilated control subjects without evidence of pulmonary pathology (NoARDS). Plasma concentrations of IL-6, IL-8, and protein C also were compared between these groups. Upstream regulator and pathway analysis was performed on significantly differentially expressed genes with Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Subgroup analyses were performed to compare gene expression in COVID to ARDS associated with other viral LRTIs and bacterial LRTIs. The association of interferon-stimulated gene expression with SARS-CoV2 viral load was compared to the same association in nasopharyngeal swabs in a cohort of subjects with mild SARS-CoV2. Results: TA sequencing was available from 15 subjects with COVID, 32 subjects with other causes of ARDS (OtherARDS), and 5 mechanically ventilated subjects without evidence of pulmonary pathology (NoARDS). 696 genes were differentially expressed between COVID and OtherARDS (Figure 1A). IL-6, IL-8, B-cell receptor, and hypoxia inducible factor-1a signaling were attenuated in COVID compared to OtherARDS. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) and PTEN signaling were higher in COVID compared to OtherARDS (Figure 1B). Plasma levels of IL-6, IL-8, and protein C were not significantly different between COVID and OtherARDS. In subgroup analyses, IL-8 signaling was higher in COVID compared to viral LRTI, but lower than bacterial LRTI. Type I/III interferon was higher in COVID compared to bacterial ARDS, but lower compared to viral ARDS (Figure 1C). Compared to nasopharyngeal swabs from subjects with mild COVID-19, expression of several interferon stimulated genes was less strongly correlated with SARS-CoV2 viral load in TA (Figure 1D). IPA identified several candidate medications to treat COVID-19, including dexamethasone, G-CSF, and etanercept. Conclusions: TA sequencing identifies unique features of the host response in COVID-19. These differentially expressed pathways may represent potential therapeutic targets. An impaired interferon response in the lung may increase susceptibility to severe SARS-COV2.

8.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-8864

ABSTRACT

Secondary bacterial infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), lead to worse clinical outcomes and increased mortality following viral respiratory infections including in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Using a combination of tracheal aspirate bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) we assessed lower respiratory tract immune responses and microbiome dynamics in 28 COVID-19 patients, 15 of whom developed VAP, and eight critically ill uninfected controls. Two days before VAP onset we observed a transcriptional signature of bacterial infection. Two weeks prior to VAP onset, following intubation, we observed a striking impairment in immune signaling in COVID-19 patients who developed VAP. Longitudinal metatranscriptomic analysis revealed disruption of lung microbiome community composition in patients with VAP, providing a connection between dysregulated immune signaling and outgrowth of opportunistic pathogens. These findings suggest that COVID-19 patients who develop VAP have impaired antibacterial immune defense detectable weeks before secondary infection onset.

9.
Journal of the Indian Medical Association ; 65(1):56-59, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1107017

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Quarantine and testing of High-Risk exposures of COVID-19 positive Health Care Worker (HCW) are recommended as per Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) guidelines. Many factors prevail when a HCW becomes High-Risk contact of a positive HCW during or after work hours. Materials & Methods: Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) was constituted to assess the risk (high or Low) of exposure for contacts of COVID-19 positive HCW or patient. Direct or telephonic interview of HCW done for risk assessment. Based on the questionnaire of MoHFW guidelines, the contact is categorised as “High” or “Low” risk exposure. We performed an audit of these interviews to determine the various factors that lead to HCW being categorised as High-Risk contact of positive HCW. Results: Having food together (lunch, tea, snacks etc.) was the commonest factor amongst the HCWs for reporting them as High-Risk contact. Other reasons included long conversations (>15minutes) without wearing a mask or proper PPE, sharing common vehicle to commute, personal visits to colleague’s home, spending social time together and not wearing gloves or improper hand hygiene. Routine hospital services were severely affected (including shutting down of OPD & diagnostic services and delay in routine surgery) due to quarantine of High-Risk HCWs. Conclusion: HCWs shortage and disturbance in routine hospital services is preventable by adequate social distancing norms and PPE protocols during and after work. Maintenance of social distancing among HCWs especially after work should be an important and ongoing task to counter COVID-19 transmission.

10.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-6307

ABSTRACT

We performed comparative lower respiratory tract transcriptional profiling of 52 critically ill patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) from COVID-19 or from other etiologies, as well as controls without ARDS. In contrast to a cytokine storm, we observed reduced proinflammatory gene expression in COVID-19 ARDS when compared to ARDS due to other causes. COVID-19 ARDS was characterized by a dysregulated host response with increased PTEN signaling and elevated expression of genes with non-canonical roles in inflammation and immunity that were predicted to be modulated by dexamethasone and granulocyte colony stimulating factor. Compared to ARDS due to other types of viral pneumonia, COVID-19 was characterized by impaired interferon-stimulated gene expression (ISG). We found that the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 viral load and expression of ISGs was decoupled in patients with COVID-19 ARDS when compared to patients with mild COVID-19. In summary, assessment of host gene expression in the lower airways of patients with COVID-19 ARDS did not demonstrate cytokine storm but instead revealed a unique and dysregulated host response predicted to be modified by dexamethasone.

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