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1.
Mycoses ; 65(8): 824-833, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879087

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the absence of lung biopsy, there are various algorithms for the diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in critically ill patients that rely on clinical signs, underlying conditions, radiological features and mycology. The aim of the present study was to compare four diagnostic algorithms in their ability to differentiate between probable IPA (i.e., requiring treatment) and colonisation. METHODS: For this diagnostic accuracy study, we included a mixed ICU population with a positive Aspergillus culture from respiratory secretions and applied four different diagnostic algorithms to them. We compared agreement among the four algorithms. In a subgroup of patients with lung tissue histopathology available, we determined the sensitivity and specificity of the single algorithms. RESULTS: A total number of 684 critically ill patients (69% medical/31% surgical) were included between 2005 and 2020. Overall, 79% (n = 543) of patients fulfilled the criteria for probable IPA according to at least one diagnostic algorithm. Only 4% of patients (n = 29) fulfilled the criteria for probable IPA according to all four algorithms. Agreement among the four diagnostic criteria was low (Cohen's kappa 0.07-0.29). From 85 patients with histopathological examination of lung tissue, 40% (n = 34) had confirmed IPA. The new EORTC/MSGERC ICU working group criteria had high specificity (0.59 [0.41-0.75]) and sensitivity (0.73 [0.59-0.85]). CONCLUSIONS: In a cohort of mixed ICU patients, the agreement among four algorithms for the diagnosis of IPA was low. Although improved by the latest diagnostic criteria, the discrimination of invasive fungal infection from Aspergillus colonisation in critically ill patients remains challenging and requires further optimization.


Subject(s)
Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Aspergillus , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness , Humans , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/microbiology , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322033

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with increased morbidities in men compared to women. Androgens are believed to play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis in men due to the postulated androgen-dependency of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. However, it is yet unclear whether the sex bias is mediated by SARS-CoV-2 infection itself or by other confounding factors. Here, using the golden hamster model, we show that SARS-CoV-2 infection attacks reproductive organs, causes massive dysregulation of sex hormones and induces elevated transcription of the androgen-to-estrogen converting enzyme aromatase CYP19A1 in the lung. In male hamsters, SARS-CoV-2 infection causes severely depleted testosterone and highly elevated estradiol levels. In female hamsters, SARS-CoV-2 infection causes reduced estradiol levels. Hormonal dysregulation in infected animals is followed by severe weight loss compared to control groups treated with poly(I:C) or PBS. Lungs of SARS-CoV-2 infected animals present abundant CYP19A1 expression in the endothelium and in macrophages, particularly in males. Prominent CYP19A1 expression in endothelial cells and macrophages was verified in lung sections of deceased Covid-19 males compared to females. Our results demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to massive dysregulation of sex hormones, which may increase the risk for sex-specific disease outcome particularly in combination with comorbidities. These findings provide insights into the complex metabolic cross talk between SARS-CoV-2 infection and sex hormones.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320952

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND Male sex was repeatedly identified as a risk factor for death and intensive care admission. However, it is yet unclear whether sex hormones are associated with disease severity in COVID-19 patients. We sought to characterize sex differences in hormone levels and cytokine responses in critically ill COVID-19 patients. METHODS We performed a retrospective cohort study of critically ill COVID-19 patients. Males and females were compared. Multivariate regression was performed to assess the association between sex hormones, cytokine responses and the requirement for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment. RESULTS We analyzed sex hormone levels (estradiol and testosterone) of n =181 male and female individuals. These consisted of n =50 critically ill COVID-19 patients ( n =39 males, n =11 females), n =42 critically ill non-COVID-19 patients ( n =27 males, n =15 females), n =39 non-COVID-19 patients with coronary heart diseases (CHD) ( n =25 males, n =14 females) and n =50 healthy individuals ( n =30 males, n =20 females). We detected highest estradiol levels in critically ill male COVID-19 patients compared to non-COVID-19 patients ( p =0.0123), patients with CHD ( p =0.0002) or healthy individuals ( p =0.0007). Lowest testosterone levels were detected in critically ill male COVID-19 patients compared to non-COVID-19 patients ( p =0.0094), patients with CHD ( p =0.0068) or healthy individuals ( p <0.0001). No statistically significant differences in sex hormone levels were detected in critically ill female COVID-19 patients, albeit similar trends in estradiol levels were observed. In critically ill male COVID-19 patients, cytokine and chemokine responses (IFN-γ, p =0.0301;IL-1RA, p =0.0160;IL-6, p =0.0145;MCP-1, p =0.0052;MIP-1α, p =0.0134) were significantly elevated in those with higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores (8-11). Linear regression analysis revealed that herein IFN-γ levels correlate with estradiol levels in male and female COVID-19 patients (R 2 =0.216, =0.0009). Male COVID-19 patients with elevated estradiol levels were more likely to receive ECMO treatment in the course of their ICU stay ( p =0.0009). CONCLUSIONS We identified high estradiol and low testosterone levels as a hallmark of critically ill male COVID-19 patients. Elevated estradiol levels in critically ill male COVID-19 patients were positively associated with IFN-γ levels and increased risk for ECMO requirement.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-297003

ABSTRACT

Male sex belongs to one of the major risk factors for severe COVID-19 outcome. However, underlying mechanisms that could affect sex dependent disease outcome are yet unknown. Here, we identified the CYP19A1 gene encoding for the testosterone-to-estradiol metabolizing enzyme CYP19A1 (alias aromatase) as a male abundant host factor that contributes to worsened disease outcome in SARS-CoV-2 infected male hamsters. Pulmonary CYP19A1 transcription is further elevated upon viral infection in males correlating with reduced testosterone and increased estradiol levels. Dysregulated circulating sex hormone levels in male golden hamsters are associated with reduced lung function compared to females. Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected hamsters with letrozole, a clinically approved CYP19A1 inhibitor, supported recovery of dysregulated plasma sex hormone levels and was associated with improved lung function and health in male but not female animals compared to placebo controls. Whole human exome sequencing data analysis using a Machine Learning approach revealed a CYP19A1 activity increasing mutation being associated with the development of severe COVID-19 for men. In human autopsy-derived lungs CYP19A1 was expressed to higher levels in men who died of COVID-19, at a time point when most viral RNA was cleared. Our findings highlight the role of the lung as a yet unrecognized but critical organ regulating metabolic responses upon respiratory virus infection. Furthermore, inhibition of CYP19A1 by the clinically approved drug letrozole may pose a new therapeutic strategy to reduce poor long-term COVID-19 outcome.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296455

ABSTRACT

Obesity increases the risk for poor outcome in patients with coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). However, the role of adipose tissue for viral propagation and potential metabolic implications are not understood. We detected SARS-CoV-2 in adipose tissue of overweight but not lean male COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2 replicates to high titres in cultured mature adipocytes, a process depending on lipid accumulation and mobilization. After intranasal inoculation, we observed high viral replication in fat depots of Golden Syrian hamsters, demonstrating dissemination from the respiratory tract and subsequent propagation in adipose tissue. Following induction of pro-inflammatory responses, expression of de novo lipogenesis enzymes was suppressed in adipose tissue. This specific down-regulation was reflected by lipidomic alterations in plasma of SARS-CoV-2 infected hamsters as well as in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Overall, our study highlights that adipose tissue is an important site of SARS-CoV-2 replication, contributing to dysregulation of systemic lipid metabolism.<br><br>Funding: This study was supported by a rapid response grant from the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG;ZMV I 1-2520COR501 to GG), by DFG grants SCHE522/4-1 (LS) and SFB1328, project- ID:335447727 (JH). As part of the National Network University Medicine (NUM) funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Germany), this work was funded within the research consortium DEFEAT PANDEMIcs, grant number 01KX2021 (FH, PL, KP, BO).<br><br>Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.<br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: The Ethics Committee of the Hamburg Chamber of Physicians reviewed and approved the studies (PV7311, 2020-10353-BO-ff, WF-051/20, WF-053/20). For the preparation of primary human white adipocytes, biopsies of subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissues were taken during bariatric surgery at the Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. All participants signed an informed consent and the study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Hamburg Chamber of Physicians (PV4889).

7.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 1807-1818, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360311

ABSTRACT

Male sex was repeatedly identified as a risk factor for death and intensive care admission. However, it is yet unclear whether sex hormones are associated with disease severity in COVID-19 patients. In this study, we analysed sex hormone levels (estradiol and testosterone) of male and female COVID-19 patients (n = 50) admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) in comparison to control non-COVID-19 patients at the ICU (n = 42), non-COVID-19 patients with the most prevalent comorbidity (coronary heart diseases) present within the COVID-19 cohort (n = 39) and healthy individuals (n = 50). We detected significantly elevated estradiol levels in critically ill male COVID-19 patients compared to all control cohorts. Testosterone levels were significantly reduced in critically ill male COVID-19 patients compared to control cohorts. No statistically significant differences in sex hormone levels were detected in critically ill female COVID-19 patients, albeit similar trends towards elevated estradiol levels were observed. Linear regression analysis revealed that among a broad range of cytokines and chemokines analysed, IFN-γ levels are positively associated with estradiol levels in male and female COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, male COVID-19 patients with elevated estradiol levels were more likely to receive ECMO treatment. Thus, we herein identified that disturbance of sex hormone metabolism might present a hallmark in critically ill male COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Estradiol/blood , Testosterone/blood , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , Critical Care , Critical Illness , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Female , Humans , Hypogonadism/pathology , Intensive Care Units , Interferon-gamma/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Distribution
8.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(4): 1077-1086, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067634

ABSTRACT

Pneumonia caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 emerged in China at the end of 2019. Because of the severe immunomodulation and lymphocyte depletion caused by this virus and the subsequent administration of drugs directed at the immune system, we anticipated that patients might experience fungal superinfection. We collected data from 186 patients who had coronavirus disease-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) worldwide during March-August 2020. Overall, 182 patients were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), including 180 with acute respiratory distress syndrome and 175 who received mechanical ventilation. CAPA was diagnosed a median of 10 days after coronavirus disease diagnosis. Aspergillus fumigatus was identified in 80.3% of patient cultures, 4 of which were azole-resistant. Most (52.7%) patients received voriconazole. In total, 52.2% of patients died; of the deaths, 33.0% were attributed to CAPA. We found that the cumulative incidence of CAPA in the ICU ranged from 1.0% to 39.1%.


Subject(s)
Aspergillus fumigatus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Voriconazole/therapeutic use , Aged , Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Immunologic Factors/administration & dosage , Immunologic Factors/adverse effects , Incidence , International Cooperation , Male , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/drug therapy , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/mortality , Registries , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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