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1.
J Clin Med ; 11(15)2022 Jul 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969315

ABSTRACT

AIM: "Antimicrobial stewardship" (AMS) is defined as a healthcare-system-wide approach to promoting and monitoring the judicious use of antimicrobials to preserve their future effectiveness. Therefore, we structured an observational study to monitor the hospital trend of antibiotic consumption and related expenditure before the COVID-19 pandemic and to evaluate how much AMS could affect this trend. METHODS: The research covered the antibiotic prescriptions at the University Hospital (U.H.) "San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi d'Aragona", Salerno, Italy, comparing data on the therapies prescribed from 1 January to 31 December 2017 (27,384 patients) with those collected during the same period in 2019 (27,047 patients). RESULTS: Unlike national data, our results highlighted a decreasing trend in the consumption of antibiotics that did not concern only carbapenems and fluoroquinolones, but also the third-generation cephalosporins. Noteworthily, there was also a reduction in 2019 compared with 2017 in the consumption of colistin, an antibiotic towards which an increase in bacterial resistance in animals has been found nationally. In agreement with the national data, our research confirms a trend of an increase (+3.7%) in the total antibiotic consumption corresponding to more than 26% and 29% reductions in the total and therapy per-day costs, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The results show a positive impact of the AMS at the University Hospital "San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi d'Aragona".

2.
J Pers Med ; 12(7)2022 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911444

ABSTRACT

In the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, male sex is a risk factor for severe disease and death, and the reasons for these clinical discrepancies are largely unknown. The aim of this work is to study the influence of sex on the course of infection and the differences in prognostic markers between genders in COVID-19 patients. Our cohort consisted of 64 adult patients (n = 34 men and n = 30 women) with PCR-proven SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further, a group of patients was characterized by a different severity degree (n = 8 high- and n = 8 low-grade individuals for both male and female patients). As expected, the serum concentrations of LDH, fibrinogen, CRP, and leucocyte count in men were significantly higher than in females. When serum concentrations of the inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, IL-2, IP-10 and IL-4 and chemokines like MCP-1, were measured with multiplex ELISA, no significant differences between male and female patients were found. In COVID-19 patients, we recently attributed a new prognostic value to BPIFB4, a natural defensin against dysregulation of the immune responses. Here, we clarify that BPIFB4 is inversely related to the disease degree in men but not in women. Indeed, higher levels of BPIFB4 characterized low-grade male patients compared to high-grade ones. On the contrary, no significant difference was reported between low-grade female patients and high-grade ones. In conclusion, the identification of BPIFB4 as a biomarker of mild/moderate disease and its sex-specific activity would open an interesting field for research to underpin gender-related susceptibility to the disease.

3.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(4): e227970, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1798064

ABSTRACT

Importance: During the COVID-19 pandemic, urgent clinical management of patients has mainly included drugs currently administered for other diseases, referred to as repositioned drugs. As a result, some of these drugs have proved to be not only ineffective but also harmful because of adverse events associated with drug-drug interactions (DDIs). Objective: To identify DDIs that led to adverse clinical outcomes and/or adverse drug reactions in patients with COVID-19 by systematically reviewing the literature and assessing the value of drug interaction checkers in identifying such events. Evidence Review: After identification of the drugs used during the COVID-19 pandemic, the drug interaction checkers Drugs.com, COVID-19 Drug Interactions, LexiComp, Medscape, and WebMD were consulted to analyze theoretical DDI-associated adverse events in patients with COVID-19 from March 1, 2020, through February 28, 2022. A systematic literature review was performed by searching the databases PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane for articles published from March 1, 2020, through February 28, 2022, to retrieve articles describing actual adverse events associated with DDIs. The drug interaction checkers were consulted again to evaluate their potential to assess such events. Findings: The DDIs identified in the reviewed articles involved 46 different drugs. In total, 575 DDIs for 58 drug pairs (305 associated with at least 1 adverse drug reaction) were reported. The drugs most involved in DDIs were lopinavir and ritonavir. Of the 6917 identified studies, 20 met the inclusion criteria. These studies, which enrolled 1297 patients overall, reported 115 DDI-related adverse events: 15 (26%) were identifiable by all tools analyzed, 29 (50%) were identifiable by at least 1 of them, and 14 (24%) remained nonidentifiable. Conclusions and Relevance: The main finding of this systematic review is that the use of drug interaction checkers could have identified several DDI-associated adverse drug reactions, including severe and life-threatening events. Both the interactions between the drugs used to treat COVID-19 and between the COVID-19 drugs and those already used by the patients should be evaluated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions , COVID-19/drug therapy , Databases, Factual , Drug Interactions , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics
4.
J Clin Med ; 11(5)2022 Mar 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732083

ABSTRACT

AIM: Despite huge efforts in developing specific drugs, vaccination represents the only effective strategy against COVID-19. Efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines were established during clinical trials. Nonetheless, it is very important to perform continuous surveillance. This observational study aimed to report potential Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) following the first dose of two different COVID-19 vaccines, BNT162b2 and AZD1222. METHODS AND RESULTS: Subjects who underwent vaccination at the vaccine center of the University Hospital of Salerno, Italy, were interviewed using an ad hoc questionnaire. AZD-vac group (n = 175) who received AZD1222 had a higher number of AEFI than the BNT-vac group (n = 1613) who received BNT162b2 (83% vs. 42%). The most frequent AEFI associated with AZD1222 and BNT162b2 were fever and pain at the injection site, respectively. The AZD-vac group used drugs to contrast AEFI more frequently than the BNT-vac group. In the BNT-vac group, there was a higher incidence of AEFI in women than in men (26.2% vs. 15.8%, p = 0.01), while no gender-related difference was observed in the AZD-vac group. CONCLUSIONS: AZD1222 and BNT162b2 vaccines show a good safety profile. Based on our results and literature data, there are no reasons to justify the reluctance that persists towards immunization.

5.
Expert Opin Drug Discov ; 17(1): 9-18, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366950

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Remdesivir (RDV) is an inhibitor of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerases that are active in some RNA viruses, including the Ebola virus and zoonotic coronaviruses. When severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was identified as the etiologic agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), several investigations have assessed the potential activity of RDV in inhibiting viral replication, giving rise to hope for an effective treatment. AREAS COVERED: In this review, the authors describe the main investigations leading to the discovery of RDV and its subsequent development as an antiviral agent, focusing on the main clinical trials investigating its efficacy in terms of symptom resolution and mortality reduction. EXPERT OPINION: RDV is the most widely investigated antiviral drug for the treatment of COVID-19. This attention on RDV activity against SARS-CoV-2 is justified by promising in vitro studies, which demonstrated that RDV was able to suppress viral replication without significant toxicity. Such activity was confirmed by an investigation in an animal model and by the results of preliminary clinical investigations. Nevertheless, the efficacy of RDV in reducing mortality has not been clearly demonstrated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci ; 76(10): 1775-1783, 2021 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358442

ABSTRACT

Aging and comorbidities make individuals at greatest risk of COVID-19 serious illness and mortality due to senescence-related events and deleterious inflammation. Long-living individuals (LLIs) are less susceptible to inflammation and develop more resiliency to COVID-19. As demonstrated, LLIs are characterized by high circulating levels of BPIFB4, a protein involved in homeostatic response to inflammatory stimuli. Also, LLIs show enrichment of homozygous genotype for the minor alleles of a 4 missense single-nucleotide polymorphism haplotype (longevity-associated variant [LAV]) in BPIFB4, able to counteract progression of diseases in animal models. Thus, the present study was designed to assess the presence and significance of BPIFB4 level in COVID-19 patients and the potential therapeutic use of LAV-BPIFB4 in fighting COVID-19. BPIFB4 plasma concentration was found significantly higher in LLIs compared to old healthy controls while it significantly decreased in 64 COVID-19 patients. Further, the drop in BPIFB4 values correlated with disease severity. Accordingly to the LAV-BPIFB4 immunomodulatory role, while lysates of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells induced an inflammatory response in healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro, the co-treatment with recombinant protein (rh) LAV-BPIFB4 resulted in a protective and self-limiting reaction, culminating in the downregulation of CD69 activating-marker for T cells (both TCD4+ and TCD8+) and in MCP-1 reduction. On the contrary, rhLAV-BPIFB4 induced a rapid increase in IL-18 and IL-1b levels, shown largely protective during the early stages of the virus infection. This evidence, along with the ability of rhLAV-BPIFB4 to counteract the cytotoxicity induced by SARS-CoV-2 lysate in selected target cell lines, corroborates BPIFB4 prognostic value and open new therapeutic possibilities in more vulnerable people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins , Longevity/immunology , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Cytokines/blood , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic/drug effects , Female , Humans , Immunologic Factors/immunology , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/immunology , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/blood , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/immunology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Prognosis , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
7.
J Pers Med ; 11(7)2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295869

ABSTRACT

Data supporting the use of Tocilizumab (TCZ) in COVID-19 are contrasting and inconclusive. This meta-analysis aimed to assess TCZ effectiveness in reducing the mortality rate in COVID-19 patients. PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Cochrane, WILEY, and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched to evaluate observational studies and RCTs. The outcome was the mortality rate. Forty observational studies and seven RCTs, involving 9640 and 5556 subjects treated with Standard Therapy (ST) + TCZ or ST alone, respectively, were included. In patients treated with ST+TCZ, a higher survival (Log odds ratio = -0.41; 95% CI: -0.68 -0.14; p < 0.001) was found. Subgroups analyses were performed to better identify the possible interference of some parameters in modifying the efficacy of TCZ therapy on COVID-19 mortality. Separating observational from RCTs, no statistically significant (p = 0.70) TCZ-related reduction of mortality regarding RCTs was found, while a significant reduction (Log odds ratio = -0.52; 95% CI: -0.82 -0.22, p < 0.001) was achieved regarding the observational studies. Stratifying for the use of Invasive Mechanic Ventilation (IMV), a higher survival was found in patients treated with TCZ in the No-IMV and IMV groups (both p < 0.001), but not in the No-IMV/IMV group. Meta-regression analyses were also performed. The meta-analysis of observational studies reveals that TCZ is associated with reducing the mortality rate in both severe and critically ill patients. Although the largest RCT, RECOVERY, is in line with this result, the meta-analysis of RCTs failed to found any difference between ST + TCZ and ST. It is crucial to personalize the therapy considering the patients' characteristics.

8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 695242, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282388

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached direct and indirect medical and social consequences with a subset of patients who rapidly worsen and die from severe-critical manifestations. As a result, there is still an urgent need to identify prognostic biomarkers and effective therapeutic approaches. Severe-critical manifestations of COVID-19 are caused by a dysregulated immune response. Immune checkpoint molecules such as Programmed death-1 (PD-1) and its ligand programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) play an important role in regulating the host immune response and several lines of evidence underly the role of PD-1 modulation in COVID-19. Here, by analyzing blood sample collection from both hospitalized COVID-19 patients and healthy donors, as well as levels of PD-L1 RNA expression in a variety of model systems of SARS-CoV-2, including in vitro tissue cultures, ex-vivo infections of primary epithelial cells and biological samples obtained from tissue biopsies and blood sample collection of COVID-19 and healthy individuals, we demonstrate that serum levels of PD-L1 have a prognostic role in COVID-19 patients and that PD-L1 dysregulation is associated to COVID-19 pathogenesis. Specifically, PD-L1 upregulation is induced by SARS-CoV-2 in infected epithelial cells and is dysregulated in several types of immune cells of COVID-19 patients including monocytes, neutrophils, gamma delta T cells and CD4+ T cells. These results have clinical significance since highlighted the potential role of PD-1/PD-L1 axis in COVID-19, suggest a prognostic role of PD-L1 and provide a further rationale to implement novel clinical studies in COVID-19 patients with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors.


Subject(s)
B7-H1 Antigen/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Female , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Up-Regulation
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(8)2021 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194641

ABSTRACT

Recent events in prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic showed how the health situation and overcrowding in prisons are a source of high risk to the health and physical and mental well-being of the prison population and how this has become an important medical problem. The original purpose of this study, which was initially planned to last 6 months, was to examine the effects of a training program on cardio-respiratory capacity, resistance to dynamic strength of the upper and lower body and muscle mass. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the purpose was subsequently modified by highlighting whether and which deficiencies occurred as a result of the absence of physical activity. Forty adult men between 35 and 55 years of age with more than 1 year of detention were selected and randomly divided into two groups: the experimental group and control group. The fitness training protocol of the experimental group consisted of three weekly sessions lasting 90 min, while control group subjects followed a walk of 30-60 min three days a week without running or resistance training. The unpaired and paired t-tests revealed significant effects of both health status and fitness level (p < 0.05; p < 0.01) on group training. The results of this research show that prisoners can improve their fitness and health through participation in physical education programs. This conclusion is especially important for prisoners who have to serve very long prison sentences and who are at great risk of showing poor physical condition levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Prisoners , Adult , Health Status , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Prisons , SARS-CoV-2
10.
J Exp Pharmacol ; 13: 1-13, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1029637

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus infectious disease-2019 (COVID-19) has overwhelmed like a shock wave in a completely unprepared world. Despite coronavirus infections were involved in previous epidemic outbreaks, no antiviral agent was developed for specific treatment. As a consequence, since the beginning of this pandemic, both repositioned and experimental drugs were used to treat the infected patients without evidence of clinical efficacy. Just based on experience coming from the use of antiviral agents to treat other viruses (eg, lopinavir/ritonavir, remdesivir) and supposed antiviral or immunomodulatory activities of drugs with no approved antiviral indications (eg hydroxychloroquine, tocilizumab), clinicians have faced the ongoing pandemic. Currently, after about 9 months from the COVID-19 spread, there is still no antiviral agent capable of ensuring the cure of this syndrome. Clinical trials are beginning to confirm the benefits of some drugs, while for other compounds, efficacy and safety have not yet been confirmed. Randomized clinical trials (RCT) have denied or downsized the beneficial effects attributed to certain molecules, such as aminoquinolines, largely used in clinical practice at the beginning of COVID-19 spread. Conversely, at the same time, they have provided evidence for unexpected effectiveness of other agents that have been underutilized, such as steroids, which were not used in SARS treatment because of the threatened effect on viral replication. Evidence deriving from pathologic studies have demonstrated that the prothrombotic effects of SARS-CoV-2 can be prevented by heparin prophylaxis, underlining the need for personalized treatment for patients with severe disease. The main aim of this review is to synthesize the available information and evidence on both repositioned and experimental drugs for the treatment of COVID-19, focusing on the need to exercise caution on the use of unproven medical therapies.

11.
Front Pharmacol ; 11: 857, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615557

ABSTRACT

To date, there are no specific therapeutic strategies for treatment of COVID-19. Based on the hypothesis that complement and coagulation cascades are activated by viral infection, and might trigger an acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), we report clinical outcomes of 17 consecutive cases of SARS-CoV-2-related ARDS treated (N = 7) with the novel combination of ruxolitinib, a JAK1/2 inhibitor, 10 mg/twice daily for 14 days and eculizumab, an anti-C5a complement monoclonal antibody, 900 mg IV/weekly for a maximum of three weeks, or with the best available therapy (N = 10). Patients treated with the combination showed significant improvements in respiratory symptoms and radiographic pulmonary lesions and decrease in circulating D-dimer levels compared to the best available therapy group. Our results support the use of combined ruxolitinib and eculizumab for treatment of severe SARS-CoV-2-related ARDS by simultaneously turning off abnormal innate and adaptive immune responses.

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