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Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 107, 2021 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412355


BACKGROUND: COVID-19, the pandemic disease caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2, may take highly variable clinical courses, ranging from symptom-free and pauci-symptomatic to fatal disease. The goal of the current study was to assess the association of COVID-19 clinical courses controlled by patients' adaptive immune responses without progression to severe disease with patients' Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genetics, AB0 blood group antigens, and the presence or absence of near-loss-of-function delta 32 deletion mutant of the C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5). PATIENT AND METHODS: An exploratory observational study including 157 adult COVID-19 convalescent patients was performed with a median follow-up of 250 days. The impact of different HLA genotypes, AB0 blood group antigens, and the CCR5 mutant CD195 were investigated for their role in the clinical course of COVID-19. In addition, this study addressed levels of severity and morbidity of COVID-19. The association of the immunogenetic background parameters were further related to patients' humoral antiviral immune response patterns by longitudinal observation. RESULTS: Univariate HLA analyses identified putatively protective HLA alleles (HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01, with a trend for DRB1*03:01). They were associated with reduced durations of disease instead decreased (rather than increased) total anti-S IgG levels. They had a higher virus neutralizing capacity compared to non-carriers. Conversely, analyses also identified HLA alleles (HLA class II DQB1*03:02 und HLA class I B*15:01) not associated with such benefit in the patient cohort of this study. Hierarchical testing by Cox regression analyses confirmed the significance of the protective effect of the HLA alleles identified (when assessed in composite) in terms of disease duration, whereas AB0 blood group antigen heterozygosity was found to be significantly associated with disease severity (rather than duration) in our cohort. A suggestive association of a heterozygous CCR5 delta 32 mutation status with prolonged disease duration was implied by univariate analyses but could not be confirmed by hierarchical multivariate testing. CONCLUSION: The current study shows that the presence of HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01 is of even stronger association with reduced disease duration in mild and moderate COVID-19 than age or any other potential risk factor assessed. Prospective studies in larger patient populations also including novel SARS-CoV-2 variants will be required to assess the impact of HLA genetics on the capacity of mounting protective vaccination responses in the future.

ABO Blood-Group System/genetics , COVID-19/etiology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Receptors, CCR5/genetics , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genotype , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Morbidity , Mutation , Severity of Illness Index
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 87, 2021 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344125


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 infection is a major threat to patients and health care providers around the world. One solution is the vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We performed a comprehensive query of the latest publications on the prevention of viral infections including the recent vaccination program and its side effects. RESULTS: The situation is evolving rapidly and there is no reasonable alternative to population-scale vaccination programs as currently enrolled. CONCLUSION: Therefore, regulatory authorities should consider supplementing their conventional mandate of post-approval pharmacovigilance, which is based on the collection, assessment, and regulatory response to emerging safety findings.

COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Informed Consent/standards , Pharmacovigilance , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/standards , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Disclosure , Humans
Strahlenther Onkol ; 196(12): 1068-1079, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-754691


PURPOSE: COVID-19 infection has manifested as a major threat to both patients and healthcare providers around the world. Radiation oncology institutions (ROI) deliver a major component of cancer treatment, with protocols that might span over several weeks, with the result of increasing susceptibility to COVID-19 infection and presenting with a more severe clinical course when compared with the general population. The aim of this manuscript is to investigate the impact of ROI protocols and performance on daily practice in the high-risk cancer patients during this pandemic. METHODS: We addressed the incidence of positive COVID-19 cases in both patients and health care workers (HCW), in addition to the protective measures adopted in ROIs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland using a specific questionnaire. RESULTS: The results of the questionnaire showed that a noteworthy number of ROIs were able to complete treatment in SARS-CoV­2 positive cancer patients, with only a short interruption. The ROIs reported a significant decrease in patient volume that was not impacted by the circumambient disease incidence, the type of ROI or the occurrence of positive cases. Of the ROIs 16.5% also reported infected HCWs. About half of the ROIs (50.5%) adopted a screening program for patients whereas only 23.3% also screened their HCWs. The range of protective measures included the creation of working groups, instituting home office work and protection with face masks. Regarding the therapeutic options offered, curative procedures were performed with either unchanged or moderately decreased schedules, whereas palliative or benign radiotherapy procedures were more often shortened. Most ROIs postponed or cancelled radiation treatment for benign indications (88.1%). The occurrence of SARS-CoV­2 infections did not affect the treatment options for curative procedures. Non-university-based ROIs seemed to be more willing to change their treatment options for curative and palliative cases than university-based ROIs. CONCLUSION: Most ROIs reported a deep impact of SARS-CoV­2 infections on their work routine. Modification and prioritization of treatment regimens and the application of protective measures preserved a well-functioning radiation oncology service and patient care.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Pandemics , Personnel, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Appointments and Schedules , Austria/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Comorbidity , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals, Community , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control/organization & administration , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Masks/supply & distribution , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Palliative Care/statistics & numerical data , Procedures and Techniques Utilization , Risk , Surveys and Questionnaires , Switzerland/epidemiology , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Teleworking/statistics & numerical data