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1.
Intensive Care Med ; 48(6): 706-713, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850307

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation in immunocompetent critically ill patients is common and relates to a worsening outcome. In this large observational study, we evaluated the incidence and the risk factors associated with CMV reactivation and its effects on mortality in a large cohort of patients affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). METHODS: Consecutive patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and acute respiratory distress syndrome admitted to three ICUs from February 2020 to July 2021 were included. The patients were screened at ICU admission and once or twice per week for quantitative CMV-DNAemia in the blood. The risk factors associated with CMV blood reactivation and its association with mortality were estimated by adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models. RESULTS: CMV blood reactivation was observed in 88 patients (20.4%) of the 431 patients studied. Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS) II score (HR 1031, 95% CI 1010-1053, p = 0.006), platelet count (HR 0.0996, 95% CI 0.993-0.999, p = 0.004), invasive mechanical ventilation (HR 2611, 95% CI 1223-5571, p = 0.013) and secondary bacterial infection (HR 5041; 95% CI 2852-8911, p < 0.0001) during ICU stay were related to CMV reactivation. Hospital mortality was higher in patients with (67.0%) than in patients without (24.5%) CMV reactivation but the adjusted analysis did not confirm this association (HR 1141, 95% CI 0.757-1721, p = 0.528). CONCLUSION: The severity of illness and the occurrence of secondary bacterial infections were associated with an increased risk of CMV blood reactivation, which, however, does not seem to influence the outcome of COVID-19 ICU patients independently.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytomegalovirus Infections , Critical Illness , Cytomegalovirus/physiology , Cytomegalovirus Infections/complications , Cytomegalovirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306885

ABSTRACT

In 14 pregnant women who had asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, we performed a detailed 38-parameter analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells by mass cytometry, studied the expression of T-cell master regular genes, investigated cell proliferation and cytokine production, and measured plasma levels of 62 cytokines. No patient showed lymphopenia or gross alterations of white blood cells. Unsupervised analyses revealed that most immune parameters were similar in patients and uninfected controls, apart from an increase in low density neutrophils in SARS-CoV-2 positive women. Also, patients did not show altered plasma levels of interleukin-6 or other main inflammatory molecules, but displayed significant increases of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1RA, IL-10 and IL-19, and decreased levels of IL-17, PD-L1 and D-dimer. The endogenous control of inflammation, as evidenced by plasma levels of soluble molecules, could be a strategy used during pregnancy to avoid virus-induced damages and maintain a normal immune response.

3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306884

ABSTRACT

We have deeply investigated T cell compartment, plasma cytokines and cells producing cytokines in patients affected by Covid-19. At admission, patients were lymphopenic;in all of them SARS-CoV-2 was detected in a nasopharyngeal swab specimen by real-time RT-PCR, and pneumonia was subsequently confirmed by X-rays.Detailed 18-parameter flow cytometry was performed in 21 patients and 13 controls. Coupling polychromatic cytometry with unsupervised data analysis, we found that patients show an increased amount of CD4+ T lymphocytes that were activated, exhausted, stem memory or Treg. Similar results concerning activation and exhaustion were found in the CD8+ T cell compartment, within which the differences were even greater.Measuring plasma level of 31 cytokines linked to inflammation revealed that Covid-19 showed a dramatic increase of several molecules, such as TH1 and TH2 cytokines, chemokines, galectins, pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators, confirming the importance of a massive immune activation causing the cytokine storm. Then, intracellular staining detecting the simultaneous production of different cytokines after a para-physiologic stimulus given by anti-CD3/CD28 mAbs revealed not only a high capacity to produce a variety of molecules, including TNF-a, IFN-g and IL-2, but also a significant skewing of CD4+ T cells towards the TH17 phenotype.A therapeutic approach now exists based on the administration of drugs that block IL-6 pathway, and is now consistently improving the course of the disease. IL-17 is crucial in recruiting and activating neutrophils, cells that can migrate to the lung and are heavily involved in the pathogenesis of Covid-19. We show here that a significant skewing of activated T cells towards TH17 functional phenotype exists in Covid-19 patients. Thus, we suggest that blocking IL-17 pathway by already available biological drugs that are used to treat different pathologies could be a novel, additional strategy to improve the health of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306562

ABSTRACT

Background: The study analysed risk factors for bacterial and fungal co-infection in patients with COVID-19 and the impact on mortality. Methods: This is a single-center retrospective study conducted on 387 patients with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to an Italian Tertiary-care hospital, between 21 February 2020 and 31 May 2020. Bacterial/fungal coinfection was determined by the presence of characteristic clinical features and positive culture results. Multivariable logistic regression was used to analyze risk factors for the development of bacterial/fungal co-infection after adjusting for demographic characteristics and comorbidities. Thirty-day survival of the patients with or without co-infections was analysed by Kaplan-Meier method. Results: In 53/387 (13.7%) patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, 67 episodes of bacterial/fungal co-infection occurred (14 presented >1 episode). Pneumonia was the most frequent co-infection (47.7%), followed by BSI (34.3%) and UTI (11.9%). S. aureus was responsible for 24 episodes (35.8%), E. coli for 7 (10.4%), P. aerugionsa and Enterococcus spp. for 5 episodes each (7.4%). Five (7.4%) pulmonary aspergillosis, 3 (4.4%) pneumocystosis and 5 (7.4%) invasive candidiases were observed. Multivariable analysis showed a higher risk of infection in patients with an age>65 years (csHR 2.680;95%CI: 1.254 - 5.727;p=0.054), with cancer (csHR 5.243;95%CI: 1.173-23.423;p=0.030), with a LOS>10 days (csHR 12.507;95%CI: 2.659 – 58.830;p=0.001), early (within 48h) admitted in ICU (csHR 11.766;95% CI: 4.353-31.804;p<0.001), and with a SOFA score>5 (csHR 3.397;95% CI: 1.091 - 10.581;p=0.035). Estimated cumulative risk of developing at least 1 bacterial/fungal co-infection episode was of 15% and 27% after 15 and 30 days from admission, respectively. Kaplan-Meier estimated a higher cumulative probability of death in patients with bacterial/fungal co-infection (log-rank=0.031). Thirty-day mortality rate of patients with pneumonia was 38.7%, higher than those with BSI (30.4%). Conclusions: Bacterial and fungal infections are a serious complication affecting the survival of patients with COVID-19-related pneumonia. Some issues need to be investigated, such as the best empirical antibiotic therapy and the need for possible antifungal prophylaxis.

5.
JAC Antimicrob Resist ; 3(4): dlab188, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575038

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe our real-life experience with cefiderocol in XDR and difficult-to-treat resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (DTR-P) infections without any other available treatment options. METHODS: We included patients with a proven infection due to an XDR/DTR-P, who had failed on previous regimens, and were treated with cefiderocol, following them prospectively to day 90 or until hospital discharge or death. RESULTS: Seventeen patients treated for >72 h with cefiderocol were included: 14 receiving combination regimens (82.4%) and 3 receiving monotherapy (17.6%). Fourteen patients were males (82%) with a median age of 64 years (IQR 58-73). Fifteen patients (88.2%) were admitted to the ICU and five had septic shock (29%). Seven cases (41.2%) were ventilator-associated pneumonia, of which 71% (5/7) occurred in COVID-19 patients. Four were complicated intrabdominal infections, one ecthyma gangrenosum, one nosocomial pneumonia and one empyema, one osteomyelitis, one primary bacteraemia, and one nosocomial external ventricular drainage meningitis. Clinical cure and microbiological cure rates were 70.6% and 76.5%, respectively. There were six deaths (35.3%) after a median of 8 days (IQR 3-10) from the end of treatment, but only two of them (11.7%) were associated with P. aeruginosa infection progression. CONCLUSIONS: Our experience collecting this large case series of DTR-P treated with cefiderocol may help clinicians consider this new option in this hard-to-manage setting. Our results are even more relevant in the current scenario of ceftolozane/tazobactam shortage. Importantly, this is the first study providing real-life data indicating adequate cefiderocol concentrations in CSF.

8.
Microorganisms ; 9(9)2021 Sep 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403851

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Herpes simplex 1 co-infections in patients with COVID-19 are considered relatively uncommon; some reports on re-activations in patients in intensive-care units were published. The aim of the study was to analyze herpetic re-activations and their clinical manifestations in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, performing HSV-1 PCR on plasma twice a week. METHODS: we conducted a prospective, observational, single-center study involving 70 consecutive patients with severe/critical SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia tested for HSV-1 hospitalized at Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria of Modena. RESULTS: of these 70 patients, 21 (30.0%) showed detectable viremia and 13 (62%) had clinically relevant manifestations of HSV-1 infection corresponding to 15 events (4 pneumonia, 5 herpes labialis, 3 gingivostomatitis, one encephalitis and two hepatitis). HSV-1 positive patients were more frequently treated with steroids than HSV-1 negative patients (76.2% vs. 49.0%, p = 0.036) and more often underwent mechanical ventilation (IMV) (57.1% vs. 22.4%, p = 0.005). In the unadjusted logistic regression analysis, steroid treatment, IMV, and higher LDH were significantly associated with an increased risk of HSV1 re-activation (odds ratio 3.33, 4.61, and 16.9, respectively). The association with the use of steroids was even stronger after controlling for previous use of both tocilizumab and IMV (OR = 5.13, 95% CI:1.36-19.32, p = 0.016). The effect size was larger when restricting to participants who were treated with high doses of steroids while there was no evidence to support an association with the use of tocilizumab Conclusions: our study shows a high incidence of HSV-1 re-activation both virologically and clinically in patients with SARS-CoV-2 severe pneumonia, especially in those treated with steroids.

9.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4677, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387356

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection can affect all human beings, including pregnant women. Thus, understanding the immunological changes induced by the virus during pregnancy is nowadays of pivotal importance. Here, using peripheral blood from 14 pregnant women with asymptomatic or mild SARS-CoV-2 infection, we investigate cell proliferation and cytokine production, measure plasma levels of 62 cytokines, and perform a 38-parameter mass cytometry analysis. Our results show an increase in low density neutrophils but no lymphopenia or gross alterations of white blood cells, which display normal levels of differentiation, activation or exhaustion markers and show well preserved functionality. Meanwhile, the plasma levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1RA, IL-10 and IL-19 are increased, those of IL-17, PD-L1 and D-dimer are decreased, but IL-6 and other inflammatory molecules remain unchanged. Our profiling of antiviral immune responses may thus help develop therapeutic strategies to avoid virus-induced damages during pregnancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Inflammation/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/prevention & control , Inflammation/virology , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/blood , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
10.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(7): ofab283, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1324646

ABSTRACT

We compared 90-90-90 targets in 2020, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with the targets across the period 2017-2019 in people with HIV. We observed a significant loss in the 90-90-90 objectives in 2020 when compared with 2017-2019 that might be attributable to the COVID-19 crisis.

11.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis ; 40(9): 1891-1898, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1173921

ABSTRACT

In response to the rapidly evolving of SARS-CoV-2 infection, numerous serological tests have been developed but their sensitivity and specificity are unclear. We collected serum samples of patients and health-care professionals to assess the accuracy of chemiluminescent (CLIA) and two lateral flow immunochromatographic assays (LFIA) to determine IgG and IgM antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 virus. We calculated the φ correlation for qualitative results and test accuracy, adopting the following case definition: either real-time-PCR positivity or serological positivity with at least two different tests. We analyzed 259 samples, obtaining strong correlation between CLIA and both LFIA for IgG (φ=0.9), and moderate correlation for IgM (φ=0.6). For patients, the sensitivity was suboptimal for all methods (CLIA 81%, LFIA A 85%, LFIA B 78%), while it was poor in asymptomatic health-care workers (CLIA 50%, LFIA A 50%, LFIA B 33%). Overall, CLIA is more sensitive and specific for the determination of both IgG and IgM, whilst both LFIA methods reported good sensitivity and specificity for IgG, but scarce sensitivity for the IgM determination. The determination of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG is useful to detect infection 6 days from symptom onset.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , COVID-19/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
13.
PLoS One ; 15(11): e0239172, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922701

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The aim of this study was to estimate a 48 hour prediction of moderate to severe respiratory failure, requiring mechanical ventilation, in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS: This was an observational prospective study that comprised consecutive patients with COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to hospital from 21 February to 6 April 2020. The patients' medical history, demographic, epidemiologic and clinical data were collected in an electronic patient chart. The dataset was used to train predictive models using an established machine learning framework leveraging a hybrid approach where clinical expertise is applied alongside a data-driven analysis. The study outcome was the onset of moderate to severe respiratory failure defined as PaO2/FiO2 ratio <150 mmHg in at least one of two consecutive arterial blood gas analyses in the following 48 hours. Shapley Additive exPlanations values were used to quantify the positive or negative impact of each variable included in each model on the predicted outcome. RESULTS: A total of 198 patients contributed to generate 1068 usable observations which allowed to build 3 predictive models based respectively on 31-variables signs and symptoms, 39-variables laboratory biomarkers and 91-variables as a composition of the two. A fourth "boosted mixed model" included 20 variables was selected from the model 3, achieved the best predictive performance (AUC = 0.84) without worsening the FN rate. Its clinical performance was applied in a narrative case report as an example. CONCLUSION: This study developed a machine model with 84% prediction accuracy, which is able to assist clinicians in decision making process and contribute to develop new analytics to improve care at high technology readiness levels.


Subject(s)
Computer Simulation , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Machine Learning , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , Aged , Betacoronavirus , Blood Gas Analysis , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Eur J Immunol ; 50(9): 1283-1294, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-670172

ABSTRACT

Studies on the interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and humoral immunity are fundamental to elaborate effective therapies including vaccines. We used polychromatic flow cytometry, coupled with unsupervised data analysis and principal component analysis (PCA), to interrogate B cells in untreated patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. COVID-19 patients displayed normal plasma levels of the main immunoglobulin classes, of antibodies against common antigens or against antigens present in common vaccines. However, we found a decreased number of total and naïve B cells, along with decreased percentages and numbers of memory switched and unswitched B cells. On the contrary, IgM+ and IgM- plasmablasts were significantly increased. In vitro cell activation revealed that B lymphocytes showed a normal proliferation index and number of dividing cells per cycle. PCA indicated that B-cell number, naive and memory B cells but not plasmablasts clustered with patients who were discharged, while plasma IgM level, C-reactive protein, D-dimer, and SOFA score with those who died. In patients with pneumonia, the derangement of the B-cell compartment could be one of the causes of the immunological failure to control SARS-Cov2, have a relevant influence on several pathways, organs and systems, and must be considered to develop vaccine strategies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Lung/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/classification , B-Lymphocytes/virology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , C-Reactive Protein/immunology , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Cell Proliferation , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunologic Memory , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Dysfunction Scores , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Primary Cell Culture , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Analysis
15.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3434, 2020 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-631255

ABSTRACT

The immune system of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 is severely impaired. Detailed investigation of T cells and cytokine production in patients affected by COVID-19 pneumonia are urgently required. Here we show that, compared with healthy controls, COVID-19 patients' T cell compartment displays several alterations involving naïve, central memory, effector memory and terminally differentiated cells, as well as regulatory T cells and PD1+CD57+ exhausted T cells. Significant alterations exist also in several lineage-specifying transcription factors and chemokine receptors. Terminally differentiated T cells from patients proliferate less than those from healthy controls, whereas their mitochondria functionality is similar in CD4+ T cells from both groups. Patients display significant increases of proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory cytokines, including T helper type-1 and type-2 cytokines, chemokines and galectins; their lymphocytes produce more tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-17, with the last observation implying that blocking IL-17 could provide a novel therapeutic strategy for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19 , Cellular Senescence , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Italy/epidemiology , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/pathology , Th17 Cells/immunology , Th17 Cells/metabolism , Th17 Cells/pathology
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