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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-305452

ABSTRACT

Background: Vaccination against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first approved on the 8th of December 2020. Though safe and effective, very rare side effects continue to be identified as global vaccination advances. They do not necessarily leave “a signal” in public registries if the incidence remains below previously reported total incidence levels. Optic neuritis (ON) is a rare but recognised adverse event after immunisation. The risk of post-vaccination ON and visual outcome in the context of global vaccination efforts against SARS-CoV-2 are not known. Methods: A global report on 73 deep-phenotyped individuals with post-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination ON observed in 15 of 55 countries with designated experts between 14 February to 18 July 2021. Statistical analyses were performed on type of vaccine, number of jabs, time to onset of ON, demographics, clinical features and treatment. Paraclinical data included immunological testing for autoantibodies against myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) and aquaporin-4, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and orbits, retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT). The primary outcome was the visual acuity (VA). Findings: The characteristics of the 69 individuals included, differed from pre-COVID whole population-based incidence studies in frequency of bilateral presentation, age distribution and radiological features more commonly found in immune-mediated ON. Most events (67%) occurred after vaccination with AstraZeneca, followed by Pfizer-BioNTech (26%) and Sinovac (7%). In 56 this was after the first and in 13 after the second jab with the same vaccine. Autoantibodies against MOG were present in 15 and not detected for aquaporin-4. The condition was steroid responsive in most (58/62), requiring plasma exchange in a few (5) with spontaneous recovery in the remainder (7). The incidence was highest in the UK (0.036 per 100,000 persons) where vaccination commenced earliest. Importantly, the pattern of presentation in time lagged about 1-5 weeks behind the pattern of national age group vaccination. The median VA at presentation was logMAR 1.0 and recovered to 0.0. Interpretation: Post-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination ON is an extremely rare adverse event with generally good outcome of visual function. The global incidence of post-vaccination ON (0.0017 per 100,000 persons) is lower than for ON (3.74 per 100,000 persons in the UK). A causal relationship is plausible, but the overall risk benefit balance is in favour of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.Funding Information: None.Declaration of Interests: None. Ethics Approval Statement: Reporting of patients was approved by the Institutional Research Board at Moorfields Eye Hospital (study number CaRS_24).

2.
J Neuroinflammation ; 19(1): 19, 2022 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643162

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Comprehensive data on the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) profile in patients with COVID-19 and neurological involvement from large-scale multicenter studies are missing so far. OBJECTIVE: To analyze systematically the CSF profile in COVID-19. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 150 lumbar punctures in 127 patients with PCR-proven COVID-19 and neurological symptoms seen at 17 European university centers RESULTS: The most frequent pathological finding was blood-CSF barrier (BCB) dysfunction (median QAlb 11.4 [6.72-50.8]), which was present in 58/116 (50%) samples from patients without pre-/coexisting CNS diseases (group I). QAlb remained elevated > 14d (47.6%) and even > 30d (55.6%) after neurological onset. CSF total protein was elevated in 54/118 (45.8%) samples (median 65.35 mg/dl [45.3-240.4]) and strongly correlated with QAlb. The CSF white cell count (WCC) was increased in 14/128 (11%) samples (mostly lympho-monocytic; median 10 cells/µl, > 100 in only 4). An albuminocytological dissociation (ACD) was found in 43/115 (37.4%) samples. CSF L-lactate was increased in 26/109 (24%; median 3.04 mmol/l [2.2-4]). CSF-IgG was elevated in 50/100 (50%), but was of peripheral origin, since QIgG was normal in almost all cases, as were QIgA and QIgM. In 58/103 samples (56%) pattern 4 oligoclonal bands (OCB) compatible with systemic inflammation were present, while CSF-restricted OCB were found in only 2/103 (1.9%). SARS-CoV-2-CSF-PCR was negative in 76/76 samples. Routine CSF findings were normal in 35%. Cytokine levels were frequently elevated in the CSF (often associated with BCB dysfunction) and serum, partly remaining positive at high levels for weeks/months (939 tests). Of note, a positive SARS-CoV-2-IgG-antibody index (AI) was found in 2/19 (10.5%) patients which was associated with unusually high WCC in both of them and a strongly increased interleukin-6 (IL-6) index in one (not tested in the other). Anti-neuronal/anti-glial autoantibodies were mostly absent in the CSF and serum (1509 tests). In samples from patients with pre-/coexisting CNS disorders (group II [N = 19]; including multiple sclerosis, JC-virus-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome, HSV/VZV encephalitis/meningitis, CNS lymphoma, anti-Yo syndrome, subarachnoid hemorrhage), CSF findings were mostly representative of the respective disease. CONCLUSIONS: The CSF profile in COVID-19 with neurological symptoms is mainly characterized by BCB disruption in the absence of intrathecal inflammation, compatible with cerebrospinal endotheliopathy. Persistent BCB dysfunction and elevated cytokine levels may contribute to both acute symptoms and 'long COVID'. Direct infection of the CNS with SARS-CoV-2, if occurring at all, seems to be rare. Broad differential diagnostic considerations are recommended to avoid misinterpretation of treatable coexisting neurological disorders as complications of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/cerebrospinal fluid , Adult , Blood-Brain Barrier , COVID-19/complications , Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins/cerebrospinal fluid , Cytokines/cerebrospinal fluid , Europe , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunoglobulin G/cerebrospinal fluid , Lactic Acid/cerebrospinal fluid , Leukocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/cerebrospinal fluid , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Oligoclonal Bands/cerebrospinal fluid , Retrospective Studies , Spinal Puncture
3.
J Clin Med ; 9(12)2020 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-979106

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is a challenge for all participants in the healthcare system. At the beginning of the pandemic, many physicians asked themselves what risk their patients, especially those with chronic diseases, were exposed to. We present an overview of all patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and SARS-CoV-2 infection published in the literature so far. In total, there are publications on 873 SARS-CoV-2 positive MS patients and information on the outcome can be given for 700 patients. With regard to the different disease modifying therapies (DMTs), by far the most cases were described under anti-CD20 treatment (n = 317). The mortality rate of all MS patients was 4% and a further 3% required invasive or non-invasive ventilation. When looking at the severe and fatal cases, it is particularly noticeable that patients without DMTs, with previous cardiovascular diseases, or with a severe degree of disability are at risk. Immunosuppressive therapy itself does not appear to be a substantial risk factor. Rather, it is reasonable to assume that the therapies could be protective, either directly, by mitigating the cytokine storm, or indirectly, by reducing the disease activity of MS.

5.
Front Immunol ; 11: 1059, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-468036

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic keeps the world in suspense. In addition to the fundamental challenges for the health care system, the individual departments must decide how to deal with patients at risk. Neurologists are confronted with the question, how they should advise their patients regarding immunosuppressive treatment. In particular, the large number of different disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in the treatment of neuroimmunological diseases such as multiple sclerosis poses a challenge. To a limited extent, it might be useful to transfer knowledge from previous SARS- and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus outbreaks in 2002/2003 and 2012 to the current situation. Overall, immunosuppressive therapy does neither seem to have a major impact on infection with SARS- and MERS-CoV nor does it seem to lead to a severe disease course in many cases. Considering the immunological responses against infections with novel coronaviruses in humans, interferons, glatiramer acetate, and teriflunomide appear to be safe. As lymphopenia seems to be associated with a more severe disease course, all DMTs causing lymphopenia, such as cladribine, alemtuzumab, and dimethyl fumarate, need to be reviewed more thoroughly. As they are, in general, associated with a higher risk of infection, depleting anti-CD20 antibodies may be problematic drugs. However, it has to be differentiated between the depletion phase and the phase of immune reconstitution. In summary, previous coronavirus outbreaks have not shown an increased risk for immunocompromised patients. Patients with severe neuroimmunological diseases should be kept from hasty discontinuation of immunotherapy.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Multiple Sclerosis/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Age Factors , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Sex Factors
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