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Viruses ; 14(4):787, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1786081


Risk stratification of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) patients by simple markers is critical to guide treatment. We studied the predictive value of soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) for the early identification of patients at risk of developing severe clinical outcomes. sIL-2R levels were measured in 197 patients (60.9% males;median age 61 years;moderate disease, n = 65;severe, n = 132, intubated and/or died, n = 42). All patients received combined immunotherapies (anakinra ±corticosteroids ±intravenous immunoglobulin ±tocilizumab) according to our local treatment algorithm. The endpoint was the composite event of intubation due to severe respiratory failure (SRF) or mortality. Median (interquartile range) sIL-2R levels were significantly higher in patients with severe disease, compared with those with moderate disease (6 (6.2) vs. 5.2 (3.4) ng/mL, p = 0.017). sIL-2R was the strongest laboratory predictive factor for intubation/death (hazard ratio 1.749, 95%CI 1.041–2.939, p = 0.035) after adjustment for other known risk factors. Youden's index revealed optimal sIL-2R cut-off for predicting intubation/death at 9 ng/mL (sensitivity: 67%;specificity: 86%;positive and negative predictive value: 57% and 91%, respectively). Delta sIL-2R between the day of event or discharge minus admission date was higher in patients that intubated/died than in those who did not experience an event (2.91 (10.42) vs. 0.44 (2.88) ng/mL;p = 0.08)). sIL-2R on admission and its dynamic changes during follow-up may reflect disease severity and predict the development of SRF and mortality.

Immunobiology ; 226(6): 152136, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433398


The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the greatest challenges in modern medicine. The disease is characterized by a variable clinical phenotype, ranging from asymptomatic carriage to severe and/or critical disease, which bears poor prognosis and outcome because of the development of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS) requiring ICU hospitalization, multi-organ failure and death. Therefore, the determination of risk factors predisposing to disease phenotype is of outmost importance. The aim of our study was to evaluate which predisposing factors, including MBL2 genotyping, affected clinical phenotype in 264 COVID-19 patients. We demonstrated that older age along with underlying comorbidities, primarily obesity, chronic inflammatory disorders and diabetes mellitus, represent the most important risk factors related to hospitalization, the development of pneumonia and SARS. Moreover, we found that the presence of the MBL deficiency-causing B allele (rs1800450) was significantly associated with almost 2-fold increased risk for developing pneumonia and requiring hospitalization, suggesting its usage as a molecular predictor of severe disease in SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals.

COVID-19/genetics , Mannose-Binding Lectin/genetics , Adult , Aged , Alleles , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Phenotype , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
Eur J Intern Med ; 88: 52-62, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157261


Aims Infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) may lead to the development of severe respiratory failure. In hospitalized-patients, prompt interruption of the virus-driven inflammatory process by using combination treatments seems theoretically of outmost importance. Our aim was to investigate the hypothesis of multifaceted management of these patients. Methods A treatment algorithm based on ferritin was applied in 311 patients (67.2% males; median age 63-years; moderate disease, n=101; severe, n=210). Patients with ferritin <500ng/ml received anakinra 2-4mg/kg/day ± corticosteroids (Arm A, n=142) while those with ≥500ng/ml received anakinra 5-8mg/kg/day with corticosteroids and γ-globulins (Arm B, n=169). In case of no improvement a single dose of tocilizumab (8mg/kg; maximum 800mg) was administered with the potential of additional second and/or third pulses. Treatment endpoints were the rate of the development of respiratory failure necessitating intubation and the SARS-CoV-2-related mortality. The proposed algorithm was also validated in matched hospitalized-patients treated with standard-of-care during the same period. Results In overall, intubation and mortality rates were 5.8% and 5.1% (0% in moderate; 8.6% and 7.6% in severe). Low baseline pO2/FiO2 and older age were independent risk factors. Comparators had significantly higher intubation (HR=7.4; 95%CI: 4.1-13.4; p<0.001) and death rates (HR=4.5, 95%CI: 2.1-9.4, p<0.001). Significant adverse events were rare, including severe secondary infections in only 7/311 (2.3%). Conclusions Early administration of personalized combinations of immunomodulatory agents may be life-saving in hospitalized-patients with COVID-19. An immediate intervention (the sooner the better) could be helpful to avoid development of full-blown acute respiratory distress syndrome and improve survival.

COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Respiratory Insufficiency , Aged , Female , Humans , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
Elife ; 102021 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121691


Background: It was studied if early suPAR-guided anakinra treatment can prevent severe respiratory failure (SRF) of COVID-19. Methods: A total of 130 patients with suPAR ≥6 ng/ml were assigned to subcutaneous anakinra 100 mg once daily for 10 days. Primary outcome was SRF incidence by day 14 defined as any respiratory ratio below 150 mmHg necessitating mechanical or non-invasive ventilation. Main secondary outcomes were 30-day mortality and inflammatory mediators; 28-day WHO-CPS was explored. Propensity-matched standard-of care comparators were studied. Results: 22.3% with anakinra treatment and 59.2% comparators (hazard ratio, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.20-0.46) progressed into SRF; 30-day mortality was 11.5% and 22.3% respectively (hazard ratio 0.49; 95% CI 0.25-0.97). Anakinra was associated with decrease in circulating interleukin (IL)-6, sCD163 and sIL2-R; IL-10/IL-6 ratio on day 7 was inversely associated with SOFA score; patients were allocated to less severe WHO-CPS strata. Conclusions: Early suPAR-guided anakinra decreased SRF and restored the pro-/anti-inflammatory balance. Funding: This study was funded by the Hellenic Institute for the Study of Sepsis, Technomar Shipping Inc, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, and the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. Clinical trial number: NCT04357366.

People infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, can develop severe respiratory failure and require a ventilator to keep breathing, but this does not happen to every infected individual. Measuring a blood protein called suPAR (soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor) may help identify patients at the greatest risk of developing severe respiratory failure and requiring a ventilator. Previous investigations have suggested that measuring suPAR can identify pneumonia patients at highest risk for developing respiratory failure. The protein can be measured by taking a blood sample, and its levels provide a snapshot of how the body's immune system is reacting to infection, and of how it may respond to treatment. Anakinra is a drug that forms part of a class of medications called interleukin antagonists. It is commonly prescribed alone or in combination with other medications to reduce pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Kyriazopoulou et al. investigated whether treating COVID-19 patients who had developed pneumonia with anakinra could prevent the use of a ventilator and lower the risk of death. The findings show that treating COVID-19 patients with an injection of 100 milligrams of anakinra for ten days may be an effective approach because the drug combats inflammation. Kyriazopoulou et al. examined various markers of the immune response and discovered that anakinra was able to improve immune function, protecting a significant number of patients from going on a ventilator. The drug was also found to be safe and cause no significant adverse side effects. Administering anakinra decreased of the risk of progression into severe respiratory failure by 70%, and reduced death rates significantly. These results suggest that it may be beneficial to use suPAR as an early biomarker for identifying those individuals at highest risk for severe respiratory failure, and then treat them with anakinra. While the findings are promising, they must be validated in larger studies.

Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/administration & dosage , Respiratory Insufficiency/prevention & control , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antigens, CD/blood , Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic/blood , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Humans , Incidence , Injections, Subcutaneous , Interleukin-10/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, Cell Surface/blood , Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator/blood , Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator/metabolism , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Insufficiency/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Standard of Care , Treatment Outcome