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1.
PLoS Biol ; 20(7): e3001709, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923649

ABSTRACT

Autoantibodies neutralizing the antiviral action of type I interferons (IFNs) have been associated with predisposition to severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we screened for such autoantibodies in 103 critically ill COVID-19 patients in a tertiary intensive care unit (ICU) in Switzerland. Eleven patients (10.7%), but no healthy donors, had neutralizing anti-IFNα or anti-IFNα/anti-IFNω IgG in plasma/serum, but anti-IFN IgM or IgA was rare. One patient had non-neutralizing anti-IFNα IgG. Strikingly, all patients with plasma anti-IFNα IgG also had anti-IFNα IgG in tracheobronchial secretions, identifying these autoantibodies at anatomical sites relevant for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Longitudinal analyses revealed patient heterogeneity in terms of increasing, decreasing, or stable anti-IFN IgG levels throughout the length of hospitalization. Notably, presence of anti-IFN autoantibodies in this critically ill COVID-19 cohort appeared to predict herpesvirus disease (caused by herpes simplex viruses types 1 and 2 (HSV-1/-2) and/or cytomegalovirus (CMV)), which has been linked to worse clinical outcomes. Indeed, all 7 tested COVID-19 patients with anti-IFN IgG in our cohort (100%) suffered from one or more herpesviruses, and analysis revealed that these patients were more likely to experience CMV than COVID-19 patients without anti-IFN autoantibodies, even when adjusting for age, gender, and systemic steroid treatment (odds ratio (OR) 7.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14 to 46.31, p = 0.036). As the IFN system deficiency caused by neutralizing anti-IFN autoantibodies likely directly and indirectly exacerbates the likelihood of latent herpesvirus reactivations in critically ill patients, early diagnosis of anti-IFN IgG could be rapidly used to inform risk-group stratification and treatment options. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04410263.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytomegalovirus Infections , Herpes Simplex , Interferon Type I , Autoantibodies , Critical Illness , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Swiss Med Wkly ; 152: w30183, 2022 06 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911926

ABSTRACT

STUDY AIM: The surge of admissions due to severe COVID-19 increased the patients-to-critical care staffing ratio within the ICUs. We investigated whether the daily level of staffing was associated with an increased risk of ICU mortality (primary endpoint), length of stay (LOS), mechanical ventilation and the evolution of disease (secondary endpoints). METHODS: We employed a retrospective multicentre analysis of the international Risk Stratification in COVID-19 patients in the ICU (RISC-19-ICU) registry, limited to the period between March 1 and May 31, 2020, and to Switzerland. Hierarchical regression models were used to investigate crude and adjusted effects of the critical care staffing ratio on study endpoints. We adjusted for disease severity and weekly caseload. RESULTS: Among the 38 participating Swiss ICUs, 17 recorded staffing information. The study population included 437 patients and 2,342 daily assessments of patient-to-critical care staffing ratio. Median of daily patient-to-nurse ratio started at 1.0 [IQR 0.5-1.5; calendar week 9] and peaked at 2.4 (IQR 0.4-2.0; calendar week 16), while the median of daily patient-to-physician ratio started at 4.0 (IQR 2.1-5.0; calendar week 9) and peaked at 6.8 (IQR 6.3-7.3; calendar week 19). Neither the patient-to-nurse (adjusted OR 1.28, 95% CI 0.85-1.93; doubling of ratio) nor the patient-to-physician ratio (adjusted OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.87-1.32; doubling of ratio) were associated with ICU mortality. We found no association of daily critical care staffing on the secondary endpoints in adjusted models. CONCLUSION: We found no association of reduced availability of critical care staffing resources in Swiss ICUs with overall ICU length of stay nor mortality. Whether long-term outcome of critically ill patients with COVID-19 have been affected remains to be studied.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Critical Care , Critical Illness/therapy , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Retrospective Studies , Switzerland/epidemiology , Workforce
4.
Crit Care Med ; 50(6): e526-e538, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621691

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a potentially lifesaving procedure in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19. Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of clinically silent cerebral microbleeds in patients with COVID-19. Based on this fact, together with the hemotrauma and the requirement of therapeutic anticoagulation on ECMO support, we hypothesized an increased risk of intracranial hemorrhages (ICHs). We analyzed ICH occurrence rate, circumstances and clinical outcome in patients that received ECMO support due to COVID-19-induced ARDS in comparison to viral non-COVID-19-induced ARDS intracerebral hemorrhage. DESIGN: Multicenter, retrospective analysis between January 2010 and May 2021. SETTING: Three tertiary care ECMO centers in Germany and Switzerland. PATIENTS: Two-hundred ten ARDS patients on ECMO support (COVID-19, n = 142 vs viral non-COVID, n = 68). INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Evaluation of ICH occurrence rate, parameters of coagulation and anticoagulation strategies, inflammation, and ICU survival. COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS patients showed comparable disease severity regarding Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score, while the oxygenation index before ECMO cannulation was higher in the COVID group (82 vs 65 mm Hg). Overall, ICH of any severity occurred in 29 of 142 COVID-19 patients (20%) versus four of 68 patients in the control ECMO group (6%). Fifteen of those 29 ICH events in the COVID-19 group were classified as major (52%) including nine fatal cases (9/29, 31%). In the control group, there was only one major ICH event (1/4, 25%). The adjusted subhazard ratio for the occurrence of an ICH in the COVID-19 group was 5.82 (97.5% CI, 1.9-17.8; p = 0.002). The overall ICU mortality in the presence of ICH of any severity was 88%. CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective multicenter analysis showed a six-fold increased adjusted risk for ICH and a 3.5-fold increased incidence of ICH in COVID-19 patients on ECMO. Prospective studies are needed to confirm this observation and to determine whether the bleeding risk can be reduced by adjusting anticoagulation strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/adverse effects , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/methods , Humans , Intracranial Hemorrhages/drug therapy , Intracranial Hemorrhages/epidemiology , Intracranial Hemorrhages/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/epidemiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Retrospective Studies
5.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(12): e1357, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568012

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients are characterised by a severely dysregulated cytokine profile and elevated neutrophil counts, impacting disease severity. However, it remains unclear how neutrophils contribute to pathophysiology during COVID-19. Here, we assessed the impact of the dysregulated cytokine profile on the regulated cell death (RCD) programme of neutrophils. METHODS: Regulated cell death phenotype of neutrophils isolated from critically ill COVID-19 patients or healthy donors and stimulated with COVID-19 or healthy plasma ex vivo was assessed by flow cytometry, time-lapse microscopy and cytokine multiplex analysis. Immunohistochemistry of COVID-19 patients and control biopsies were performed to assess the in situ neutrophil RCD phenotype. Plasma cytokine levels of COVID-19 patients and healthy donors were measured by multiplex analysis. Clinical parameters were correlated to cytokine levels of COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: COVID-19 plasma induced a necroptosis-sensitive neutrophil phenotype, characterised by cell lysis, elevated release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), increased receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase (RIPK) 1 levels and mixed lineage kinase domain-like pseudokinase (MLKL) involvement. The occurrence of neutrophil necroptosis MLKL axis was further confirmed in COVID-19 thrombus and lung biopsies. Necroptosis was induced by the tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFRI)/TNF-α axis. Moreover, reduction of soluble Fas ligand (sFasL) levels in COVID-19 patients and hence decreased signalling to Fas directly increased RIPK1 levels, exacerbated TNF-driven necroptosis and correlated with disease severity, which was abolished in patients treated with glucocorticoids. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest a novel role for sFasL signalling in the TNF-α-induced RCD programme in neutrophils during COVID-19 and a potential therapeutic target to curb inflammation and thus influence disease severity and outcome.

6.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 607594, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325533

ABSTRACT

The continued digitalization of medicine has led to an increased availability of longitudinal patient data that allows the investigation of novel and known diseases in unprecedented detail. However, to accurately describe any underlying pathophysiology and allow inter-patient comparisons, individual patient trajectories have to be synchronized based on temporal markers. In this pilot study, we use longitudinal data from critically ill ICU COVID-19 patients to compare the commonly used alignment markers "onset of symptoms," "hospital admission," and "ICU admission" with a novel objective method based on the peak value of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP). By applying our CRP-based method to align the progression of neutrophils and lymphocytes, we were able to define a pathophysiological window that improved mortality risk stratification in our COVID-19 patient cohort. Our data highlights that proper synchronization of longitudinal patient data is crucial for accurate interpatient comparisons and the definition of relevant subgroups. The use of objective temporal disease markers will facilitate both translational research efforts and multicenter trials.

7.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(4): 100229, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1129218

ABSTRACT

The impact of secondary bacterial infections (superinfections) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not well understood. In this prospective, monocentric cohort study, we aim to investigate the impact of superinfections in COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Patients are assessed for concomitant microbial infections by longitudinal analysis of tracheobronchial secretions, bronchoalveolar lavages, and blood cultures. In 45 critically ill patients, we identify 19 patients with superinfections (42.2%). Superinfections are detected on day 10 after intensive care admission. The proportion of participants alive and off invasive mechanical ventilation at study day 28 (ventilator-free days [VFDs] at 28 days) is substantially lower in patients with superinfection (subhazard ratio 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.15-0.90; p = 0.028). Patients with pulmonary superinfections have a higher incidence of bacteremia, virus reactivations, yeast colonization, and required intensive care treatment for a longer time. Superinfections are frequent and associated with reduced VFDs at 28 days despite a high rate of empirical antibiotic therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Respiration, Artificial , Superinfection/diagnosis , Aged , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/microbiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness , Enterococcus faecalis/isolation & purification , Female , Humans , Incidence , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Pseudomonas aeruginosa/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Superinfection/complications , Superinfection/epidemiology , Time Factors
8.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 10(1): 11, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1028830

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In intensive care units (ICUs) treating patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) invasive ventilation poses a high risk for aerosol and droplet formation. Surface contamination of severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or bacteria can result in nosocomial transmission. METHODS: Two tertiary care COVID-19 intensive care units treating 53 patients for 870 patient days were sampled after terminal cleaning and preparation for regular use to treat non-COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: A total of 176 swabs were sampled of defined locations covering both ICUs. No SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA) was detected. Gram-negative bacterial contamination was mainly linked to sinks and siphons. Skin flora was isolated from most swabbed areas and Enterococcus faecium was detected on two keyboards. CONCLUSIONS: After basic cleaning with standard disinfection measures no remaining SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected. Bacterial contamination was low and mainly localised in sinks and siphons.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/isolation & purification , COVID-19/therapy , Disinfection/methods , Equipment Contamination/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Aerosols/analysis , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/growth & development , COVID-19/virology , Cross Infection/microbiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Cross Infection/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tertiary Healthcare/statistics & numerical data
9.
EBioMedicine ; 63: 103182, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1014448

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19 disease) can induce systemic vascular involvement contributing to morbidity and mortality. SARS-CoV-2 targets epithelial and endothelial cells through the ACE2 receptor. The anatomical involvement of the coronary tree is not explored yet. METHODS: Cardiac autopsy tissue of the entire coronary tree (main coronary arteries, epicardial arterioles/venules, epicardial capillaries) and epicardial nerves were analyzed in COVID-19 patients (n = 6). All anatomical regions were immunohistochemically tested for ACE2, TMPRSS2, CD147, CD45, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD68 and IL-6. COVID-19 negative patients with cardiovascular disease (n = 3) and influenza A (n = 6) served as controls. FINDINGS: COVID-19 positive patients showed strong ACE2 / TMPRSS2 expression in capillaries and less in arterioles/venules. The main coronary arteries were virtually devoid of ACE2 receptor and had only mild intimal inflammation. Epicardial capillaries had a prominent lympho-monocytic endotheliitis, which was less pronounced in arterioles/venules. The lymphocytic-monocytic infiltrate strongly expressed CD4, CD45, CD68. Peri/epicardial nerves had strong ACE2 expression and lympho-monocytic inflammation. COVID-19 negative patients showed minimal vascular ACE2 expression and lacked endotheliitis or inflammatory reaction. INTERPRETATION: ACE2 / TMPRSS2 expression and lymphomonocytic inflammation in COVID-19 disease increases crescentically towards the small vessels suggesting that COVID-19-induced endotheliitis is a small vessel vasculitis not involving the main coronaries. The inflammatory neuropathy of epicardial nerves in COVID-19 disease provides further evidence of an angio- and neurotrophic affinity of SARS-COV2 and might potentially contribute to the understanding of the high prevalence of cardiac complications such as myocardial injury and arrhythmias in COVID-19. FUNDING: No external funding was necessary for this study.


Subject(s)
Capillaries/pathology , Coronary Vessels/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Capillaries/metabolism , Coronary Vessels/metabolism , Female , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Male , Microscopy, Fluorescence , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
10.
J Pathol Clin Res ; 7(2): 135-143, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-921715

ABSTRACT

Similar to the influenza A pandemic in 1918/1919, the new Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread globally. The causes of death in COVID-19 are frequently compared to a seasonal influenza outbreak. Complete COVID-19 autopsy studies were almost non-existent in the first months of the outbreak and are still rare with respect to the number of deaths. It has been recently reported that capillary microthrombi are significantly more prevalent in patients with COVID-19 than in patients with influenza A. To date, the contribution of macrothrombi, i.e. visible thrombi in pulmonary arteries, to the death of patients with influenza A in comparison to COVID-19 remains unaddressed. Here, we report autopsy findings in 411 patients who died from the 'Spanish' influenza A pandemic between May 1918 and April 1919 at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. We compare these results with influenza A autopsies from 2009 to 2020, other influenza A autopsy series and all COVID-19 autopsies published to date. No descriptions of any macroscopic thromboembolic events were mentioned in influenza A autopsy reports. In 75 published COVID-19 autopsies, pulmonary artery thrombosis/embolism was reported in 36%. The direct comparison of macroscopic autopsy findings suggests a significantly greater degree of grossly visible pulmonary macrothrombi in patients with COVID-19 in comparison to influenza A autopsies even though most patients received empiric thromboprophylaxis. This is consistent with the concept of a SARS-related de novo coagulopathy with generalised in situ clot formation, which could explain the high incidence of pulmonary thrombosis/embolism with or without underlying deep vein thrombosis and in the absence of a history of venous thromboembolic events.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/pathology , Pulmonary Embolism/epidemiology , Pulmonary Embolism/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Autopsy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Cause of Death , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Influenza, Human/mortality , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Pulmonary Embolism/pathology , Thrombosis/pathology , Thrombosis/virology , Young Adult
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