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2.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences ; 23(23):14532, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2123696

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has represented, and still represents, a real challenge from a clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic point of view. During acute infection, the increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are involved in the pathology of disease and the development of SARS-CoV-2-induced acute respiratory disease syndrome, the life-threatening form of this infection, are correlated with patient survival and disease severity. IL-33, a key cytokine involved in both innate and adaptive immune responses in mucosal organs, can increase airway inflammation, mucus secretion and Th2 cytokine synthesis in the lungs, following respiratory infections. Similar to cases of exposure to known respiratory virus infections, exposure to SARS-CoV-2 induces the expression of IL-33, correlating with T-cell activation and lung disease severity. In this work, we analyse current evidence regarding the immunological role of IL-33 in patients affected by COVID-19, to evaluate not only the clinical impact correlated to its production but also to identify possible future immunological therapies that can block the most expressed inflammatory molecules, preventing worsening of the disease and saving patient lives.

3.
BioDrugs ; 36(4): 443-458, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1889095

ABSTRACT

Conventional vaccines have been widely studied, along with their risk of causing allergic reactions. These generally consist of mild local reactions and only rarely severe anaphylaxis. Although all the current COVID-19 vaccines marketed in Europe have been shown to be safe overall in the general population, early post-marketing evidence has shown that mRNA-based vaccines using novel platforms (i.e., lipid nanoparticles) were associated with an increased risk of severe allergic reactions as compared to conventional vaccines. In this paper we performed an updated literature review on frequency, risk factors, and underlying mechanisms of COVID-19 vaccine-related allergies by searching MEDLINE and Google Scholar databases. We also conducted a qualitative search on VigiBase and EudraVigilance databases to identify reports of "Hypersensitivity" and "Anaphylactic reaction" potentially related to COVID-19 vaccines (Comirnaty, Spikevax, Vaxzevria and COVID-19 Janssen Vaccine), and in EudraVigilance to estimate the reporting rates of "Anaphylactic reaction" and "Anaphylactic shock" after COVID-19 vaccination in the European population. We also summarized the scientific societies' and regulatory agencies' recommendations for prevention and management of COVID-19 vaccine-related allergic reactions, especially in those with a history of allergy.


Subject(s)
Anaphylaxis , COVID-19 Vaccines , Anaphylaxis/epidemiology , Anaphylaxis/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Liposomes , Nanoparticles , Risk Factors
4.
Ann Med ; 54(1): 869-874, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764343

ABSTRACT

Background: A higher risk for COVID-19 infection and severity for men compared to women has been described since the beginning of the pandemic. The role of androgens has been recently highlighted as they control two key steps of coronavirus infection mediated through the transmembrane protease serin 2 (TMPRRS2) and the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in the lung tissue. Furthermore, a high incidence of androgenic alopecia among males with COVID-19 disease have been reported.Objective: This study aims to evaluate the telogen effluvium (TE) prevalence and its relationship with clinical and immunologic parameters in a sample of patients consecutively evaluated after recovery from COVID-19 pneumonia in Northern Italy.Methods: Overall 104 patients were recruited within three months from COVID-19 pneumonia recovery; 80 (77%) had been hospitalized in a Respiratory Intensive Care Unit and the remaining ones had been treated at home. The extent of TE was assessed with a visual analogic scale for thick bundle of hairs. Demographic and clinical data and systemic inflammation biomarkers were also evaluated.Results. Thirty-two patients reported a history of TE and their mean TE-VAS score was 5.78 ± 1.72 (range 3-9). Women had about a 5-fold higher risk (odds) of complaining of TE compared to males (OR = 4.69, 95%CI: 1.91, 11.49; p = .001), and the association became stronger when adjusted for COVID-19 severity (hospital admission vs home care: OR = 6.09, 95%CI: 2.34, 15.88; p < .001). Levels of C-reactive protein >1.90 mg/l (ORadj: 2.43, 95%CI 0.85, 7.05, p = 0.096) or IL 1ß > 5 ng/l (ORadj 4.72, 95%CI: 1.31, 23.19, p = .03) were also significantly associated with TE.Conclusion: This exploratory study raises the hypothesis that hair shedding is more strictly related to the severity of COVID-19 disease and the underlying inflammation rather than to patients' hormonal status. KEY MESSAGESThe presence of Telogen effluvium (TE) was significantly more common in women.Higher severity of the Covid-19 disease seems to play a critical role, more important than the hormonal influence, in the development of TE.The severity of inflammation related to TE and Covid-19 could also play a role as suggested by the higher levels of CRP and platelets and IL1ß.


Subject(s)
Alopecia Areata , COVID-19 , COVID-19/complications , Female , Hair , Humans , Immunotherapy , Inflammation , Male
5.
J Clin Med ; 11(4)2022 Feb 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686844

ABSTRACT

Severe asthma patients are at an increased risk of major complications and they need to be monitored regularly. The COVID-19 pandemic has notably impacted on the health care resources. The telemedicine approach applied to the follow-up of asthmatic patients has been proven to be effective in monitoring their disease and their adherence to the therapy. The aim of our study was to investigate the satisfaction of severe asthma patients before the activation of a telemedicine management, as well as their current experience with self-administration of injection therapy. An ad hoc questionnaire was developed and sent by e-mail to 180 severe asthma patients. Most of subjects, 82%, were confident with the idea of doing self-measurements and self-managing their disease. Further, 77% of subjects favoured to carry out virtual visits and telemedicine. Regarding the home treatment, 93% of patients considered the self-injection therapy easy, 94% of subjects felt safe, and 93% were not worried while self-administering. Only mild adverse events were reported in 22% of patients after self-administration. Our results showed an agreement between what is considered necessary and practicable by healthcare personnel and what is perceived by the severe asthma patients in terms of treatment and monitoring of the disease with Telehealth. Biologics have a safety profile and can be easily self-administred at home.

6.
Clin Chem Lab Med ; 60(3): 307-316, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518385

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF), a pathological outcome of chronic and acute interstitial lung diseases associated to compromised wound healing, is a key component of the "post-acute COVID-19 syndrome" that may severely complicate patients' clinical course. Although inconclusive, available data suggest that more than a third of hospitalized COVID-19 patients develop lung fibrotic abnormalities after their discharge from hospital. The pathogenesis of PF in patients recovering from a severe acute case of COVID-19 is complex, and several hypotheses have been formulated to explain its development. An analysis of the data that is presently available suggests that biomarkers of susceptibility could help to identify subjects with increased probability of developing PF and may represent a means to personalize the management of COVID-19's long-term effects. Our review highlights the importance of both patient-related and disease-related contributing risk factors for PF in COVID-19 survivors and makes it definitely clear the possible use of acute phase and follow-up biomarkers for identifying the patients at greatest risk of developing this disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Fibrosis , Biomarkers , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Pulmonary Fibrosis/virology , Survivors
7.
Clin Mol Allergy ; 19(1): 19, 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496186

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The observation of patients hospitalized for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) led us to note a lower prevalence of patients affected by chronic respiratory disease, in particular asthmatic patients, compared to the general population. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to evaluate the possible protective role of corticosteroid therapy in patients with chronic lung disease, regarding the risk of contracting severe COVID-19. MAIN BODY: SARS-CoV-2 uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors to enter the cells. Considering the high number of these receptors in patients affected by asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the evidence that these patients do not have a high risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 needs further study to understand what the possible protective "factors" are in these patients. In particular, the finding in some studies of reduced coronavirus replication in cell lines treated with steroids, molecules commonly used for treating chronic lung diseases, needs further attention. SHORT CONCLUSION: The hypothesis that corticosteroids, commonly used in treating airways diseases, might modify the severity of SARS-CoV-2 disease has become a key point and a possible predictive factor of a positive outcome of COVID-19 in patients treated everyday with these molecules.

8.
J Clin Med ; 10(19)2021 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444244

ABSTRACT

The most common hereditary disorder in adults, α1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), is characterized by reduced plasma levels or the abnormal functioning of α1-antitrypsin (AAT), a major human blood serine protease inhibitor, which is encoded by the SERine Protein INhibitor-A1 (SERPINA1) gene and produced in the liver. Recently, it has been hypothesized that the geographic differences in COVID-19 infection and fatality rates may be partially explained by ethnic differences in SERPINA1 allele frequencies. In our review, we examined epidemiological data on the correlation between the distribution of AATD, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and COVID-19 mortality rates. Moreover, we described shared pathogenetic pathways that may provide a theoretical basis for our epidemiological findings. We also considered the potential use of AAT augmentation therapy in patients with COVID-19.

9.
Biomedicines ; 9(9)2021 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390533

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has represented an unprecedented challenge for humankind from health, economic, and social viewpoints. In February 2020, Italy was the first western country to be deeply hit by the pandemic and suffered the highest case/fatality rate among western countries. Brand new anti-COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and made available in <1-year from the viral sequence publication. Patients with compromised immune systems, such as autoimmune-autoinflammatory disorders (AIAIDs), primary (PIDs) and secondary (SIDs) immunodeficiencies, have received careful attention for a long time regarding their capacity to safely respond to traditional vaccines. The Italian Immunological Societies, therefore, have promptly faced the issues of safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy/effectiveness of the innovative COVID-19 vaccines, as well as priority to vaccine access, in patients with AIADs, PIDs, and SIDs, by organizing an ad-hoc Task Force. Patients with AIADs, PIDs, and SIDs: (1) Do not present contraindications to COVID-19 vaccines if a mRNA vaccine is used and administered in a stabilized disease phase without active infection. (2) Should usually not discontinue immunosuppressive therapy, which may be modulated depending on the patient's clinical condition. (3) When eligible, should have a priority access to vaccination. In fact, immunizing these patients may have relevant social/health consequences, since these patients, if infected, may develop chronic infection, which prolongs viral spread and facilitates the emergence of viral variants.

10.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(8)2021 Aug 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341735

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccination has been recommended for severe asthmatics. We aimed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and impact on disease control and patient's quality of life of the mRNA SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccine in severe asthma patients regarding biologic treatment. METHODS: Severe asthmatic patients regularly managed by two big allergy and respiratory referral centers were offered to undergo Pfizer COVID 19 vaccination at the hospital site. Patients filled in an adverse events questionnaire after the first and second dose, as well as the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ). RESULTS: Overall, 253 patients were vaccinated; only 16 patients refused. No serious events were detected. Less than 20% of patients reported side effects, most of which were classified as very common side effects. No differences were reported according to the ongoing biologic drug. A significant improvement in both ACT and AQLQ was observed between the first and the second dose administration. CONCLUSIONS: Our data confirm the optimal safety and tolerability profile of mRNA SARS- CoV-2/COVID-19 in severe asthma patients on biologic treatment, as well as their positive attitude towards COVID-19 vaccination. The negligible proportion of patients reporting side effects and the absence of asthma exacerbations are relevant to support the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in severe asthma patients worldwide.

11.
Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol ; 21(5): 411-417, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337288

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Anaphylactic reactions reported after Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) RNA vaccines were expected to be more frequent in atopic subjects and attributed to its polyethylene glycol component. RECENT FINDINGS: Anaphylaxis to SARS-CoV2 RNA vaccines is no more frequent than in any vaccine and direct proofs for the role of its polyethylene glycol component are lacking. SUMMARY: Vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are an essential global intervention to control the current pandemic situation. Anaphylactic reactions have rapidly been reported after SARS-CoV2 RNA vaccines. This risk is now measured at 2.5-11/1 000 000 in the context of vaccine safety surveillance programs and only one case was documented to be due to polyethylene glycol. Suggestions for its role are indirect. The COVID-19 vaccination is rolling out vastly and surveillance programs are key to monitor severe adverse reactions, such as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis due to vaccine is extremely rare and specific cases should receive individualized investigation and care, highlighting the key role of allergists in the vaccination programmes.


Subject(s)
Anaphylaxis/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems , Anaphylaxis/epidemiology , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Humans , Hypersensitivity/immunology , Male , Polyethylene Glycols/adverse effects , Sex Characteristics
12.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(3)2021 Mar 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158368

ABSTRACT

The cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) provides an objective assessment of ventilatory limitation, related to the exercise minute ventilation (VE) coupled to carbon dioxide output (VCO2) (VE/VCO2); high values of VE/VCO2 slope define an exercise ventilatory inefficiency (EVin). In subjects recovered from hospitalised COVID-19, we explored the methodology of CPET in order to evaluate the presence of cardiopulmonary alterations. Our prospective study (RESPICOVID) has been proposed to evaluate pulmonary damage's clinical impact in post-COVID subjects. In a subgroup of subjects (RESPICOVID2) without baseline confounders, we performed the CPET. According to the VE/VCO2 slope, subjects were divided into having EVin and exercise ventilatory efficiency (EVef). Data concerning general variables, hospitalisation, lung function, and gas-analysis were also collected. The RESPICOVID2 enrolled 28 subjects, of whom 8 (29%) had EVin. As compared to subjects with EVef, subjects with EVin showed a reduction in heart rate (HR) recovery. VE/VCO2 slope was inversely correlated with HR recovery; this correlation was confirmed in a subgroup of older, non-smoking male subjects, regardless of the presence of arterial hypertension. More than one-fourth of subjects recovered from hospitalised COVID-19 have EVin. The relationship between EVin and HR recovery may represent a novel hallmark of post-COVID cardiopulmonary alterations.

13.
J Clin Med ; 10(5)2021 Mar 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125394

ABSTRACT

Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 show persistent symptoms and lung function alterations with a restrictive ventilatory pattern. Few data are available evaluating an extended period of COVID-19 clinical progression. The RESPICOVID study has been designed to evaluate patients' pulmonary damage previously hospitalised for interstitial pneumonia due to COVID-19. We focused on the arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis variables due to the initial observation that some patients had hypocapnia (arterial partial carbon dioxide pressure-PaCO2 ≤ 35 mmHg). Therefore, we aimed to characterise patients with hypocapnia compared to patients with normocapnia (PaCO2 > 35 mmHg). Data concerning demographic and anthropometric variables, clinical symptoms, hospitalisation, lung function and gas-analysis were collected. Our study comprised 81 patients, of whom 19 (24%) had hypocapnia as compared to the remaining (n = 62, 76%), and defined by lower levels of PaCO2, serum bicarbonate (HCO3-), carbon monoxide diffusion capacity (DLCO), and carbon monoxide transfer coefficient (KCO) with an increased level of pH and arterial partial oxygen pressure (PaO2). KCO was directly correlated with PaCO2 and inversely with pH. In our preliminary report, hypocapnia is associated with a residual lung function impairment in diffusing capacity. We focus on ABG analysis's informativeness in the follow-up of post-COVID patients.

15.
World Allergy Organ J ; 14(2): 100517, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062632

ABSTRACT

Vaccines against COVID-19 (and its emerging variants) are an essential global intervention to control the current pandemic situation. Vaccines often cause adverse events; however, the vast majority of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) are a consequence of the vaccine stimulating a protective immune response, and not allergic in etiology. Anaphylaxis as an AEFI is uncommon, occurring at a rate of less than 1 per million doses for most vaccines. However, within the first days of initiating mass vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2, there were reports of anaphylaxis from the United Kingdom and United States. More recent data imply an incidence of anaphylaxis closer to 1:200,000 doses with respect to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. In this position paper, we discuss the background to reactions to the current COVID-19 vaccines and relevant steps to mitigate against the risk of anaphylaxis as an AEFI. We propose a global surveillance strategy led by allergists in order to understand the potential risk and generate data to inform evidence-based guidance, and thus provide reassurance to public health bodies and members of the public.

16.
World Allergy Organ J ; 14(2): 100515, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1057468

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreak brought an unprecedented challenge to the world. Knowledge in the field has been increasing exponentially and the main allergy societies have produced guidance documents for better management of allergic patients during this period. However, few publications so far have provided real-life data from the allergy community concerning allergy practice during the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, we proposed an international survey on the management of allergic patients during the current pandemic. METHODS: We performed an online survey undertaken to reach out the worldwide allergy community by e-mail and social media. The web-based questionnaire contained 24 questions covering demographic data from the participants, clinical practice during this period, and questions related to the new international classification and coding tools addressed for COVID-19. It was circulated for 8 weeks and had anonymous and volunteer context. RESULTS: Data are presented for 635 participants from 78 countries of all continents. Allergists with long-term professional experience were the main audience. As expected, we received many responses as "I have no data" or "I don't know" to the questions of the survey. However, most with more experience on managing allergic patients during the pandemic agreed that patients suffering from allergic or hypersensitivity conditions have no increased risk of contracting COVID-19 or developing SARS CoV-2. Also, participants mentioned that none of the allergy treatments (inhaled corticosteroids, allergen immunotherapy, biological agents) increased the risk of contracting COVID-19 infection including severe presentations. CONCLUSION: The data presented are a starting point in the process of getting feedback on all the recommendations provided by the allergy societies; it could also be the basis of new strategies to support health professionals while new COVID-19 specific treatments and vaccines are being explored. The information here presented intends to be helpful to the community but represents a course of action in a highly specific situation due to the state of emergency, and it should be helpful to health systems.

17.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(1)2021 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1022027

ABSTRACT

The vaccination campaign against the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (Sars-Cov-2) started on 8 December 2020 in UK, after the approval of BNT162b2 by the Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) [...].

18.
Respir Med ; 176: 106261, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-943576

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Asthma prevalence among COVID-19 patients seems to be surprisingly low. However the clinical profile of COVID-19 asthmatic patients and potential determinants of higher susceptibility/worse outcome have been scarcely investigated. We aimed to describe the prevalence and features of asthmatic patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and to explore the association between their clinical asthma profile and COVID-19 severity. METHODS: Medical records of patients admitted to COVID-Units of six Italian cities major hospitals were reviewed. Demographic and clinical data were analyzed and compared according to the COVID-19 outcome (death/need for ventilation vs discharge at home without requiring invasive procedures). RESULTS: Within the COVID-Units population (n = 2000) asthma prevalence was 2.1%. Among the asthmatics the mean age was 61.1 years and 60% were females. Around half of patients were atopic, blood eosinophilia was normal in most of patients. An asthma exacerbation in the 6 months before the Covid-Unit admittance was reported by 18% of patients. 24% suffered from GINA step 4-5 asthma, and 5% were under biologic treatment. 31% of patients were not on regular treatment and a negligible use of oral steroid was recorded. Within the worse outcome group, a prevalence of males was detected (64 vs 29%, p = 0.026); they suffered from more severe asthma (43 vs 14%, p = 0.040) and were more frequently current or former smokers (62 vs 25%, p = 0.038). CONCLUSIONS: Our report, the first including a large COVID-19 hospitalized Italian population, confirms the low prevalence of asthma. On the other side patients with GINA 4/5 asthma, and those not adequately treated, should be considered at higher risk.


Subject(s)
Asthma/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , Adult , Aged , Asthma/therapy , Asthma/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index
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