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2.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences ; 23(7):3450, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1762137

ABSTRACT

Pregnancy is characterized by significant immunological changes and a cytokine profile, as well as vitamin deficiencies that can cause problems for the correct development of a fetus. Defensins are small antimicrobial peptides that are part of the innate immune system and are involved in several biological activities. Following that, this study aims to compare the levels of various cytokines and to investigate the role of defensins between pregnant women with confirmed COVID-19 infection and pregnant women without any defined risk factor. TNF-α, TGF-β, IL-2 and IL-10, β-defensins, have been evaluated by gene expression in our population. At the same time, by ELISA assay IL-6, IL-8, defensin alpha 1, defensin beta 1 and defensin beta 4 have been measured. The data obtained show that mothers affected by COVID-19 have an increase in pro-inflammatory factors (TNF-α, TGF-β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8) compared to controls;this increase could generate a sort of 'protection of the fetus';from virus attacks. Contemporarily, we have an increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and an increase in AMPs, which highlights how the mother's body is responding to the viral attack. These results allow us to hypothesize a mechanism of 'trafficking';of antimicrobial peptides from the mother to the fetus that would help the fetus to protect itself from the infection in progress.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307558

ABSTRACT

In Europe, two waves of infections with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) have been observed to date. Here, we have investigated whether common patterns of cytokines could be detected in individuals with mild and severe forms of COVID-19 in the two pandemic waves, and whether machine learning approach could be useful to identify the best predictors. An increasing trend of multiple cytokines was observed in patients with mild or severe/critical symptoms of COVID-19, compared with healthy volunteers. Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) clearly recognized the three groups based on cytokine patterns. Classification and Regression Tree (CART) further indicated that IL-6 discriminated controls and COVID-19 patients, whilst IL-8 defined disease severity. During the second wave of pandemics, a less intense cytokine storm was observed. CART analysis revealed that IL-6 was the most robust predictor of infection and discriminated moderate COVID-19 patients from healthy controls, regardless of epidemic peak curve. Thus, serum cytokine patterns provide non-invasive biomarkers useful for COVID-19 diagnosis and prognosis. Further definition of individual cytokines may allow to envision novel therapeutic options and pave the way to set up innovative diagnostic tools.

4.
Mediastinum (Hong Kong, China) ; 5, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1668568

ABSTRACT

Background Thymic epithelial tumors (TETs) are rare malignancies associated with dysregulation of the immune system with humoral and cell mediated immunity abnormalities. Anti-syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine is effective at preventing COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. No published data are available regarding the immunization in TET patients. The aim of our study is evaluating immunization in TET patients, who received both doses of mRNA vaccine, by longitudinal serological detection of SARS-COV-2 spike-binding IgG antibody. Methods Starting from 14 April 2021, we enrolled 50 TET patients (pts), who received COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2 by Pfizer-BioNTech). SARS-CoV-2 spike-binding IgG antibody serological levels were analysed by chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) at different time-points: T0 (before the first vaccine dose), T1 (1 week after second dose), T2 (4 weeks after second dose), and late monitoring T3, T4, T5, T6 (at 3, 6, 9, 12 months after second dose, respectively). Preliminary data relative to12 pts, collected at T0, T1 and T2, were available for this report. Local ethical committee approved this study and all enrolled patients signed informed consent. Results Among the 12 patients, 8 were female and 4 males;9 pts had thymoma and 3 thymic carcinomas;myasthenia gravis (autoimmunity) was diagnosed in one patient, and 4 patients suffered from Good Syndrome (immunodeficiency). None had COVID-19 infection prior to immunization. All 12 pts had received both vaccine doses by the time of this analysis. At baseline, all pts were negative for the serological antibody titers (method range, 3.80–400 AU/mL, positivity for titer >25);at T1, 11 pts (92%) were negative;at T2, 10 pts (84%) remained negative. Interestingly, the only 2 pts with positive titers at T2 were both in remission of disease. Conclusions Our preliminary data showed that the majority of TET patients enrolled in this study had no seroconversion after 4 weeks from the second dose of COVID 19 vaccine. Despite preliminary, our data might have important implications for the immunization of TET patients.

5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20793, 2021 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1479813

ABSTRACT

In Europe, multiple waves of infections with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) have been observed. Here, we have investigated whether common patterns of cytokines could be detected in individuals with mild and severe forms of COVID-19 in two pandemic waves, and whether machine learning approach could be useful to identify the best predictors. An increasing trend of multiple cytokines was observed in patients with mild or severe/critical symptoms of COVID-19, compared with healthy volunteers. Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) clearly recognized the three groups based on cytokine patterns. Classification and Regression Tree (CART) further indicated that IL-6 discriminated controls and COVID-19 patients, whilst IL-8 defined disease severity. During the second wave of pandemics, a less intense cytokine storm was observed, as compared with the first. IL-6 was the most robust predictor of infection and discriminated moderate COVID-19 patients from healthy controls, regardless of epidemic peak curve. Thus, serum cytokine patterns provide biomarkers useful for COVID-19 diagnosis and prognosis. Further definition of individual cytokines may allow to envision novel therapeutic options and pave the way to set up innovative diagnostic tools.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cytokines/blood , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19 Testing , Case-Control Studies , Cytokines/metabolism , Discriminant Analysis , Female , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Interleukin-8/metabolism , Italy/epidemiology , Machine Learning , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Regression Analysis , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(7)2021 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314782

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research is to demonstrate the release of SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) antibodies in human milk samples obtained by patients who have been vaccinated with mRNABNT162b2 vaccine. METHODS: Milk and serum samples were collected in 10 volunteers 20 days after the first dose and 7 seven days after the second dose of the mRNABNT162b2 vaccine. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibodies were measured by the Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S ECLIA assay (Roche Diagnostics AG, Rotkreuz, Switzerland), a quantitative electrochemiluminescence immunometric method. RESULTS: At first sample, anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibodies were detected in all serum samples (103.9 ± 54.9 U/mL) and only in two (40%) milk samples with a low concentration (1.2 ± 0.3 U/mL). At the second sample, collected 7 days after the second dose, anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibodies were detected in all serum samples (3875.7 ± 3504.6 UI/mL) and in all milk samples (41.5 ± 47.5 UI/mL). No correlation was found between the level of serum and milk antibodies; the milk antibodies/serum antibodies ratio was on average 2% (range: 0.2-8.4%). CONCLUSION: We demonstrated a release of anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibodies in the breast milk of women vaccinated with mRNABNT162b2. Vaccinating breastfeeding women could be a strategy to protect their infants from COVID-19 infection.

7.
J Transl Med ; 19(1): 246, 2021 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259200

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the first complete genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 in December 2019, more than 550,000 genomes have been submitted into the GISAID database. Sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome might allow identification of variants with increased contagiousness, different clinical patterns and/or different response to vaccines. A highly automated next generation sequencing (NGS)-based method might facilitate an active genomic surveillance of the virus. METHODS: RNA was extracted from 27 nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from citizens of the Italian Campania region in March-April 2020 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Following viral RNA quantification, sequencing was performed using the Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel on the Genexus Integrated Sequencer, an automated technology for library preparation and sequencing. The SARS-CoV-2 complete genomes were built using the pipeline SARS-CoV-2 RECoVERY (REconstruction of COronaVirus gEnomes & Rapid analYsis) and analysed by IQ-TREE software. RESULTS: The complete genome (100%) of SARS-CoV-2 was successfully obtained for 21/27 samples. In particular, the complete genome was fully sequenced for all 15 samples with high viral titer (> 200 copies/µl), for the two samples with a viral genome copy number < 200 but greater than 20, and for 4/10 samples with a viral load < 20 viral copies. The complete genome sequences classified into the B.1 and B.1.1 SARS-CoV-2 lineages. In comparison to the reference strain Wuhan-Hu-1, 48 total nucleotide variants were observed with 26 non-synonymous substitutions, 18 synonymous and 4 reported in untranslated regions (UTRs). Ten of the 26 non-synonymous variants were observed in ORF1ab, 7 in S, 1 in ORF3a, 2 in M and 6 in N genes. CONCLUSIONS: The Genexus system resulted successful for SARS-CoV-2 complete genome sequencing, also in cases with low viral copies. The use of this highly automated system might facilitate the standardization of SARS-CoV-2 sequencing protocols and make faster the identification of novel variants during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Italy , Whole Genome Sequencing
8.
Front Public Health ; 9: 649781, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231426

ABSTRACT

The onset of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus encouraged the development of new serologic tests that could be additional and complementary to real-time RT-PCR-based assays. In such a context, the study of performances of available tests is urgently needed, as their use has just been initiated for seroprevalence assessment. The aim of this study was to compare four chemiluminescence immunoassays and one immunochromatography test for SARS-Cov-2 antibodies for the evaluation of the degree of diffusion of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Salerno Province (Campania Region, Italy). A total of 3,185 specimens from citizens were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies as part of a screening program. Four automated immunoassays (Abbott and Liaison SARS-CoV-2 CLIA IgG and Roche and Siemens SARS-CoV-2 CLIA IgM/IgG/IgA assays) and one lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA Technogenetics IgG-IgM COVID-19) were used. Seroprevalence in the entire cohort was 2.41, 2.10, 1.82, and 1.85% according to the Liaison IgG, Abbott IgG, Siemens, and Roche total Ig tests, respectively. When we explored the agreement among the rapid tests and the serologic assays, we reported good agreement for Abbott, Siemens, and Roche (Cohen's Kappa coefficient 0.69, 0.67, and 0.67, respectively), whereas we found moderate agreement for Liaison (Cohen's kappa coefficient 0.58). Our study showed that Abbott and Liaison SARS-CoV-2 CLIA IgG, Roche and Siemens SARS-CoV-2 CLIA IgM/IgG/IgA assays, and LFIA Technogenetics IgG-IgM COVID-19 have good agreement in seroprevalence assessment. In addition, our findings indicate that the prevalence of IgG and total Ig antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 at the time of the study was as low as around 3%, likely explaining the amplitude of the current second wave.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunoglobulin M , Italy , Luminescence , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies
9.
J Clin Pathol ; 2021 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175184

ABSTRACT

AIMS: To date, reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) on nasopharyngeal swabs is the 'gold standard' approach for the diagnosis of COVID-19. The need to develop easy to use, rapid, robust and with minimal hands-on time approaches are warranted. In this setting, the Idylla SARS-CoV-2 Test may be a valuable option. The aim of our study is to evaluate the analytical and clinical performance of this assay on previously tested SARS-CoV-2 people by conventional RT-PCR based approach in different settings, including initial diagnosis and clinical follow-up. METHODS: To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the Idylla SARS-CoV-2 Test, we retrieved 55 nasopharyngeal swabs, previously analysed by a fully validated assay, from symptomatic patients or from people who have been in close contact with COVID-19 positive cases. Discordant or high discrepant cases were further analysed by a third technique. In addition, a second subset of 14 nasopharyngeal swab samples with uncertain results (cycle threshold between 37 and 40), by using the fully validated assay, from patients with viral infection beyond day 21, were retrieved. RESULTS: Overall, Idylla showed a sensitivity of 93.9% and a specificity of 100.0%. In addition, in the additional 14 nasopharyngeal swab samples, only five (35.7%) featured a positive result by the Idylla SARS-CoV-2 Test. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that the Idylla SARS-CoV-2 Test may represent a valid, fast, highly sensitive and specific RT-PCR test for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

10.
ACS Sens ; 5(10): 3043-3048, 2020 10 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-801107

ABSTRACT

Mass testing is fundamental to face the pandemic caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 discovered at the end of 2019. To this aim, it is necessary to establish reliable, fast, and cheap tools to detect viral particles in biological material so to identify the people capable of spreading the infection. We demonstrate that a colorimetric biosensor based on gold nanoparticle (AuNP) interaction induced by SARS-CoV-2 lends itself as an outstanding tool for detecting viral particles in nasal and throat swabs. The extinction spectrum of a colloidal solution of multiple viral-target gold nanoparticles-AuNPs functionalized with antibodies targeting three surface proteins of SARS-CoV-2 (spike, envelope, and membrane)-is red-shifted in few minutes when mixed with a solution containing the viral particle. The optical density of the mixed solution measured at 560 nm was compared to the threshold cycle (Ct) of a real-time PCR (gold standard for detecting the presence of viruses) finding that the colorimetric method is able to detect very low viral load with a detection limit approaching that of the real-time PCR. Since the method is sensitive to the infecting viral particle rather than to its RNA, the achievements reported here open a new perspective not only in the context of the current and possible future pandemics, but also in microbiology, as the biosensor proves itself to be a powerful though simple tool for measuring the viral particle concentration.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Colorimetry/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Pharynx/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Gold , Humans , Membrane Proteins/chemistry , Metal Nanoparticles , Pandemics , Photochemistry , Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Specimen Handling , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Threshold Limit Values , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry
11.
Front Oncol ; 10: 1556, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-782027

ABSTRACT

On March 11, 2020, the WHO has declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic. As the last few months have profoundly changed the delivery of health care in the world, we should recognize the effort of numerous comprehensive cancer centers to share experiences and knowledge to develop best practices to care for oncological patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients as well as physicians must be aware of all these constraints and profound social, personal, and medical challenges posed by the tackling of this deadly disease in everyday life in order to adjust to such a completely novel scenario. This review will discuss facing the challenges and the current approaches that cancer centers in Italy and United States are adopting in order to cope with clinical and research activities.

12.
Urol Int ; 104(7-8): 510-522, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-592075

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The new severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak is a huge health, social and economic issue and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Bladder cancer, on the contrary, is a well-known disease burdened by a high rate of affected patients and risk of recurrence, progression and death. SUMMARY: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV) often involves mild clinical symptoms but in some cases, it can lead to pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiorgan dysfunction. Factors associated with developing a more severe disease are increased age, obesity, smoking and chronic underlying comorbidities (including diabetes mellitus). High-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) progression and worse prognosis are also characterized by a higher incidence in patients with risk factors similar to COVID-19. Immune system response and inflammation have been found as a common hallmark of both diseases. Most severe cases of COVID-19 and high-risk NMIBC patients at higher recurrence and progression risk are characterized by innate and adaptive immune activation followed by inflammation and cytokine/chemokine storm (interleukin [IL]-2, IL-6, IL-8). Alterations in neutrophils, lymphocytes and platelets accompany the systemic inflammatory response to cancer and infections. Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio for example have been recognized as factors related to poor prognosis for many solid tumors, including bladder cancer, and their role has been found important even for the prognosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Key Messages: All these mechanisms should be further analyzed in order to find new therapeutic agents and new strategies to block infection and cancer progression. Further than commonly used therapies, controlling cytokine production and inflammatory response is a promising field.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Urinary Bladder Neoplasms/physiopathology , Aging , Betacoronavirus , Body Mass Index , COVID-19 , Cellular Senescence , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Diabetes Complications , Disease Progression , Humans , Inflammation , Neoplasm Recurrence, Local , Obesity/complications , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Prevalence , Prognosis , Recurrence , Risk , SARS-CoV-2 , Smoking/adverse effects , Urinary Bladder Neoplasms/complications
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