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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860837

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with solid or hematological tumors, neurological and immune-inflammatory disorders are potentially fragile subjects at increased risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 and an inadequate response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. METHODS: We designed a prospective Italian multicentrer study to assess humoral and T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients (n = 378) with solid tumors (ST), hematological malignancies (HM), neurological disorders (ND) and immunorheumatological diseases (ID). A group of healthy controls was also included. We analyzed the immunogenicity of the primary vaccination schedule and booster dose. RESULTS: The overall seroconversion rate in patients after 2 doses was 62.1%. Significantly lower rates were observed in HM (52.4%) and ID (51.9%) than in ST (95.6%) and ND (70.7%); a lower median antibody level was detected in HM and ID versus ST and ND (P < 0.0001). Similar rates of patients with a positive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response were found in all disease groups, with a higher level observed in ND. The booster dose improved the humoral response in all disease groups, although to a lesser extent in HM patients, while the T-cell response increased similarly in all groups. In the multivariable logistic model, independent predictors of seroconversion were disease subgroup, treatment type and age. Ongoing treatment known to affect the immune system was associated with the worst humoral response to vaccination (P < 0.0001) but had no effect on T-cell responses. CONCLUSIONS: Immunosuppressive treatment more than disease type per se is a risk factor for a low humoral response after vaccination. The booster dose can improve both humoral and T-cell responses.

3.
Front Oncol ; 12: 855723, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775732

ABSTRACT

Background: Frail patients are considered at relevant risk of complications due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and, for this reason, are prioritized candidates for vaccination. As these patients were originally not included in the registration trials, fear related to vaccine adverse events and disease worsening was one of the reasons for vaccine hesitancy. Herein, we report the safety profile of the prospective, multicenter, national VAX4FRAIL study (NCT04848493) to evaluate vaccines in a large trans-disease cohort of patients with solid or hematological malignancies and neurological and rheumatological diseases. Methods: Between March 3 and September 2, 2021, 566 patients were evaluable for safety endpoint: 105 received the mRNA-1273 vaccine and 461 the BNT162b2 vaccine. Frail patients were defined per protocol as patients under treatment with hematological malignancies (n = 131), solid tumors (n = 191), immune-rheumatological diseases (n = 86), and neurological diseases (n = 158), including multiple sclerosis and generalized myasthenia. The impact of the vaccination on the health status of patients was assessed through a questionnaire focused on the first week after each vaccine dose. Results: The most frequently reported moderate-severe adverse events were pain at the injection site (60.3% after the first dose, 55.4% after the second), fatigue (30.1%-41.7%), bone pain (27.4%-27.2%), and headache (11.8%-18.9%). Risk factors associated with the occurrence of severe symptoms after vaccine administration were identified through a multivariate logistic regression analysis: age was associated with severe fever presentation (younger patients vs. middle-aged vs. older ones), female individuals presented a higher probability of severe pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, and bone pain; and the mRNA-1237 vaccine was associated with a higher probability of severe pain at the injection site and fever. After the first dose, patients presenting a severe symptom were at a relevant risk of recurrence of the same severe symptom after the second one. Overall, 11 patients (1.9%) after the first dose and 7 (1.2%) after the second one required postponement or suspension of the disease-specific treatment. Finally, two fatal events occurred among our 566 patients. These two events were considered unrelated to the vaccine. Conclusions: Our study reports that mRNA-COVID-19 vaccination is safe also in frail patients; as expected, side effects were manageable and had a minimum impact on patient care path.

4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313801

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is an ongoing global health emergence, but the pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we applied weighted gene co-expression network analysis to comprehensively characterize transcriptional changes in bronchial epithelium cells (NHBE and A549 cells) during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our analysis identified a network highly correlated to COVID-19 pathogenicity based on MX1 , IFIT1 , ISG15 , IFI6 , DDX60 , IRF9 , PARP9 , PGLYRP4 , IL36G , SAA2 and IL-8 hub genes. The results also indicated a unique transcriptional signatures of infected cells including IFI6 and IRF9 as novel gene candidates and suggested their prospective mechanism in COVID-19 pathogenesis. The result of hub genes enrichment showed that the most correlation topic in biological process and KEGG were type I interferon signaling pathway, IL-17 signaling pathway, cytokine mediated signaling pathway, and defense response to virus categories which all play significant roles in restricting viral infection. Also according to the drug-target network, we recognized 54 FDA-approved drug candidates for other indications could potentially use for the treatment of COVID-19 patients through regulation of six hub genes of the co-expression network. Our findings also showed that the 19 experimentally validated miRNAs regulated the co-expression network through 5 hub genes ( SLC19A3 , FAM13A , PLA2G16 , and HRASLS5 ). In conclusion, these hub genes had potential roles in the translational medicine and might become promising therapeutic targets further in vitro and in vivo experimental studies are needed to evaluate the role of above mentioned genes in COVID-19.

7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 704110, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376699

ABSTRACT

Patients diagnosed with malignancy, neurological and immunological disorders, i.e., fragile patients, have been excluded from COVID-19 vaccine trials. However, this population may present immune response abnormalities, and relative reduced vaccine responsiveness. Here we review the limited current evidence on the immune responses to vaccination of patients with different underlying diseases. To address open questions we present the VAX4FRAIL study aimed at assessing immune responses to vaccination in a large transdisease cohort of patients with cancer, neurological and rheumatological diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Clinical Protocols , Humans , Immune System Diseases/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Neoplasms/immunology , Nervous System Diseases/immunology , Patient Selection , Prospective Studies
8.
J Clin Med ; 10(16)2021 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355000

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused an enormous loss of lives. Various clinical trials of vaccines and drugs are being conducted worldwide; nevertheless, as of today, no effective drug exists for COVID-19. The identification of key genes and pathways in this disease may lead to finding potential drug targets and biomarkers. Here, we applied weighted gene co-expression network analysis and LIME as an explainable artificial intelligence algorithm to comprehensively characterize transcriptional changes in bronchial epithelium cells (primary human lung epithelium (NHBE) and transformed lung alveolar (A549) cells) during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Our study detected a network that significantly correlated to the pathogenicity of COVID-19 infection based on identified hub genes in each cell line separately. The novel hub gene signature that was detected in our study, including PGLYRP4 and HEPHL1, may shed light on the pathogenesis of COVID-19, holding promise for future prognostic and therapeutic approaches. The enrichment analysis of hub genes showed that the most relevant biological process and KEGG pathways were the type I interferon signaling pathway, IL-17 signaling pathway, cytokine-mediated signaling pathway, and defense response to virus categories, all of which play significant roles in restricting viral infection. Moreover, according to the drug-target network, we identified 17 novel FDA-approved candidate drugs, which could potentially be used to treat COVID-19 patients through the regulation of four hub genes of the co-expression network. In conclusion, the aforementioned hub genes might play potential roles in translational medicine and might become promising therapeutic targets. Further in vitro and in vivo experimental studies are needed to evaluate the role of these hub genes in COVID-19.

9.
Front Oncol ; 10: 572329, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264350

ABSTRACT

The recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China, which spread to the rest of the world, led the World Health Organization to classify it as a global pandemic. COVID-19 belongs to the Bettacoronavirus genus of the Coronaviridae family, and it mainly spreads through the respiratory tract. Studies have now confirmed a human-to-human transmission as the primary pathway of spread. COVID-19 patients with a history of diseases such as respiratory system diseases, immune deficiency, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are prone to adverse events (admission to the intensive care unit requiring invasive ventilation or even death). The current focus has been on the development of novel therapeutics, including antivirals, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines. However, although there is undoubtedly an urgent need to identify effective treatment options against infection with COVID-19, it is equally important to clarify management protocols for the other significant diseases from which these patients may suffer, including cancer. This review summarizes the current evidence regarding the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and management of patients with COVID-19. It also aims to provide the reader with insights into COVID-19 in pregnant patients and those with cancer, outlining necessary precautions relevant to cancer patients. Finally, we provide the available evidence on the latest potent antiviral drugs and vaccines of COVID-19 and the ongoing drug trials.

10.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(6)2021 May 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256436

ABSTRACT

Health-care workers (HCW) are at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and, if asymptomatic, for transmitting the virus to fragile cancer patients. We monitored all asymptomatic HCWs of a cancer institute (94% of all employees agreed to enter the study) with the rapid serological test, VivaDiagTM, identifying SARS-CoV-2 associated-IgM/IgG. The tests were performed at time 0 (n = 606) and after 14 days (n = 393). Overall, the VivaDiagTM results of nine HCWs (1.5%) were positive, with one confirmed to be SARS-CoV-2-positive after oropharyngeal swab testing by RT-PCR. At time 0, all nine cases showed IgM expression while IgG was detected in only one. After 14 days, IgM persisted in all the cases, while IgG became evident in four. A chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) confirmed IgM positivity in 5/13 VivaDiagTM positive cases and IgG positivity in 4/5 VivaDiagTM positive cases. Our study suggests that the VivaDiagTM test can be of help in identifying SARS-CoV-2 infected people in cohorts of subjects with a high prevalence.

11.
Cancers (Basel) ; 13(8)2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186896

ABSTRACT

Since the start of the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, cancer patients were identified as a specifically susceptible subgroup of the patient population. Several reports have shown that cancer patients have an increased risk of both contracting the infection and of experiencing a more severe disease course, with a rapidly evolving picture associated with higher mortality. The assumption of cancer patients as "COVID-19 vulnerable" has led, irretrievably, to profound changes in the decision making of oncological treatments. Potential justifications for such concerns encompass the cancer-dependent suppression of the immune response, as well as the influence of administration of systemic anticancer treatments, including chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Nevertheless, to date, it is not clear whether the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in cancer patients is safe, given their modulating effects on the immune system, or that they may rather conceal detrimental consequences. Theoretically, on the one hand, ICIs may enhance the immunological control of viral infections through their immunostimulating mechanisms; on the other hand, they could contribute to the hyper-inflammatory phase of COVID-19, worsening its clinical outcomes. In this study, we report the foremost clinical observations on the safety of ICI administration in cancer patients affected by COVID-19.

12.
J Clin Med ; 10(5)2021 Mar 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1124853

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been declared a global pandemic. It is well-established that SARS-CoV-2 infection can lead to dysregulated immune responses. Arginase-1 (Arg1), which has a pivotal role in immune cells, can be expressed in most of the myeloid cells, e.g., neutrophils and macrophages. Arg1 has been associated with the suppression of antiviral immune responses. METHODS: Whole blood was taken from 21 COVID-19 patients and 21 healthy individuals, and after RNA extraction and complementary DNA (cDNA) synthesis, gene expression of Arg1 was measured by real-time PCR. RESULTS: The qPCR results showed that the expression of Arg1 was significantly increased in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy individuals (p < 0.01). The relative expression analysis demonstrated there were approximately 2.3 times increased Arg1 expression in the whole blood of COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis showed a considerable diagnostic value for Arg1 expression in COVID-19 (p = 0.0002 and AUC = 0.8401). CONCLUSION: Arg1 might be a promising marker in the pathogenesis of the disease, and it could be a valuable diagnostic tool.

14.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 625176, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069728

ABSTRACT

Background: Timely assessment of COVID-19 severity is crucial for the rapid provision of appropriate treatments. Definitive criteria for the early identification of severe COVID-19 cases that require intensive care unit admission are lacking. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective case-control study of 95 consecutive adults admitted to the intensive care unit (cases) or a medical ward (controls) for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Clinical data were collected and changes in laboratory test results were calculated between presentation at the emergency department and admission. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression was performed to calculate odds ratios for intensive care unit admission according to changes in laboratory variables. Results: Of the 95 adults with COVID-19, 25 were admitted to intensive care and 70 to a medical ward after a median 6 h stay in the emergency department. During this interval, neutrophil counts increased in cases and decreased in controls (median, 934 vs. -295 × 106/L; P = 0.006), while lymphocyte counts decreased in cases and increased in controls (median, -184 vs. 109 × 106/L; P < 0.001). In cases, the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio increased 6-fold and the urea-to-creatinine ratio increased 20-fold during the emergency department stay, but these ratios did not change in controls (P < 0.001 for both comparisons). By multivariable logistic regression, short-term increases in the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (OR = 1.43; 95% CI, 1.16-1.76) and urea-to-creatinine ratio (OR = 1.72; 95% CI, 1.20-2.66) were independent predictors of intensive care unit admission. Conclusion: Short-time changes in neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and urea-to-creatinine ratio emerged as stand-alone parameters able to identify patients with aggressive disease at an early stage.

15.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(10): e19152, 2020 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-982931

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for the identification of viral nucleic acid is the current standard for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but technical issues limit its utilization for large-scale screening. Serological immunoglobulin M (IgM)/IgG testing has been proposed as a useful tool for detecting SARS-CoV-2 exposure. OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to compare the results of the rapid serological VivaDiag test for SARS-CoV-2-related IgM/IgG detection with those of the standard RT-PCR laboratory test for identifying SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid. METHODS: We simultaneously performed both serological and molecular tests with a consecutive series of 191 symptomatic patients. The results provided by a new rapid serological colorimetric test for analyzing IgM/IgG expression were compared with those of RT-PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 detection. RESULTS: Of the 191 subjects, 70 (36.6%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 based on RT-PCR results, while 34 (17.3%) tested positive based on serological IgM/IgG expression. Additionally, 13 (6.8%) subjects tested positive based on serological test results, but also tested negative based on RT-PCR results. The rapid serological test had a sensitivity of 30% and a specificity of 89% compared to the standard RT-PCR assay. Interestingly, the performance of both assays improved 8 days after symptom appearance. After 10 days had passed since symptom appearance, the predictive value of the rapid serological test was higher than that of the standard molecular assay (proportion of positive results: 40% vs 20%). Multivariate analysis showed that age >58 years (P<.01) and period of >15 days after symptom onset (P<.02) were significant and independent factors associated with serological test positivity. CONCLUSIONS: The rapid serological test analyzed in this study seems limited in terms of usefulness when diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, it may be useful for providing relevant information on people's immunoreaction to COVID-19 exposure.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Serologic Tests/methods , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/analysis , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
17.
Front Genet ; 11: 641, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615473

ABSTRACT

The latest member of the Coronaviridae family, called SARS-CoV-2, causes the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The disease has caused a pandemic and is threatening global health. Similar to SARS-CoV, this new virus can potentially infect lower respiratory tract cells and can go on to cause severe acute respiratory tract syndrome, followed by pneumonia and even death in many nations. The molecular mechanism of the disease has not yet been evaluated until now. We analyzed the GSE1739 microarray dataset including 10 SARS-positive PBMC and four normal PBMC. Co-expression network analysis by WGCNA suggested that highly preserved 833 turquoise module with genes were significantly related to SARS-CoV infection. ELANE, ORM2, RETN, BPI, ARG1, DEFA4, CXCL1, and CAMP were the most important genes involved in this disease according to GEO2R analysis as well. The GO analysis demonstrated that neutrophil activation and neutrophil degranulation are the most activated biological processes in the SARS infection as well as the neutrophilia, basophilia, and lymphopenia predicted by deconvolution analysis of samples. Thus, using Serpins and Arginase inhibitors during SARS-CoV infection may be beneficial for increasing the survival of SARS-positive patients. Regarding the high similarity of SARS-CoV-2 to SARS-CoV, the use of such inhibitors might be beneficial for COVID-19 patients.

18.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res ; 39(1): 109, 2020 Jun 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-593372

ABSTRACT

If we focus our attention on seven main features of COVID-19 infection (heterogeneity, fragility, lack of effective treatments and vaccines, "miraculous cures", psychological suffering, deprivation, and globalization), we may establish parallelism with the challenges faced in the steep road to the understanding and treatment of neoplastic diseases. How the similarities between these two conditions can help us cope with the emergency effort represented by the management of cancer patients in the COVID-19 era, today and in the future? In a manner similar to the Cancer Moonshot initiative in the United States, we can hypothesize a multinational moonshot project towards the management of cancer patients during COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we believe that the main road to elaborate meaningful scientific evidence is represented by the collection of all the data on COVID-19 and cancer comorbidity that are and will become available in cancer centers, coupled with the design of large clinical studies. To address this goal, it is essential to identify the entity that can produce this scientific evidences and the potentially most successful research strategy to undertake. The largest Italian organization for cancer research, Alliance Against Cancer (Alleanza Contro il Cancro, ACC), is called to play a scientific leadership in addressing these challenges, which requires the coordination of oncology teams at regional, national, and international levels. To fulfill this commitment, ACC will create a liaison with health government agencies in order to develop "dynamic" indications able to fight such an unpredictable pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Medical Oncology/trends , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Government Agencies , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/pathology , Neoplasms/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
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