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ERJ Open Res ; 8(2)2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779592


Background: Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are web-like DNA and protein lattices which are expelled by neutrophils to trap and kill pathogens, but which cause significant damage to the host tissue. NETs have emerged as critical mediators of lung damage, inflammation and thrombosis in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and other diseases, but there are no therapeutics to prevent or reduce NETs that are available to patients. Methods: Neutrophils were isolated from healthy volunteers (n=9) and hospitalised patients with COVID-19 at the acute stage (n=39) and again at 3-4 months post-acute sampling (n=7). NETosis was measured by SYTOX green assays. Results: Here, we show that neutrophils isolated from hospitalised patients with COVID-19 produce significantly more NETs in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) compared to cells from healthy control subjects. A subset of patients was captured at follow-up clinics (3-4 months post-acute sampling), and while LPS-induced NET formation is significantly lower at this time point, it remains elevated compared to healthy controls. LPS- and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-induced NETs were significantly inhibited by the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor ruboxistaurin. Ruboxistaurin-mediated inhibition of NETs in healthy neutrophils reduces NET-induced epithelial cell death. Conclusion: Our findings suggest ruboxistaurin could reduce proinflammatory and tissue-damaging consequences of neutrophils during disease, and since it has completed phase III trials for other indications without safety concerns, it is a promising and novel therapeutic strategy for COVID-19.

BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438096


INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to over 100 million cases worldwide. The UK has had over 4 million cases, 400 000 hospital admissions and 100 000 deaths. Many patients with COVID-19 suffer long-term symptoms, predominantly breathlessness and fatigue whether hospitalised or not. Early data suggest potentially severe long-term consequence of COVID-19 is development of long COVID-19-related interstitial lung disease (LC-ILD). METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The UK Interstitial Lung Disease Consortium (UKILD) will undertake longitudinal observational studies of patients with suspected ILD following COVID-19. The primary objective is to determine ILD prevalence at 12 months following infection and whether clinically severe infection correlates with severity of ILD. Secondary objectives will determine the clinical, genetic, epigenetic and biochemical factors that determine the trajectory of recovery or progression of ILD. Data will be obtained through linkage to the Post-Hospitalisation COVID platform study and community studies. Additional substudies will conduct deep phenotyping. The Xenon MRI investigation of Alveolar dysfunction Substudy will conduct longitudinal xenon alveolar gas transfer and proton perfusion MRI. The POST COVID-19 interstitial lung DiseasE substudy will conduct clinically indicated bronchoalveolar lavage with matched whole blood sampling. Assessments include exploratory single cell RNA and lung microbiomics analysis, gene expression and epigenetic assessment. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: All contributing studies have been granted appropriate ethical approvals. Results from this study will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals. CONCLUSION: This study will ensure the extent and consequences of LC-ILD are established and enable strategies to mitigate progression of LC-ILD.

COVID-19/complications , Lung Diseases, Interstitial , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/epidemiology , Observational Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology
Lancet ; 398(10296): 223-237, 2021 07 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313499


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a multisystem disease and patients who survive might have in-hospital complications. These complications are likely to have important short-term and long-term consequences for patients, health-care utilisation, health-care system preparedness, and society amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim was to characterise the extent and effect of COVID-19 complications, particularly in those who survive, using the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK. METHODS: We did a prospective, multicentre cohort study in 302 UK health-care facilities. Adult patients aged 19 years or older, with confirmed or highly suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection leading to COVID-19 were included in the study. The primary outcome of this study was the incidence of in-hospital complications, defined as organ-specific diagnoses occurring alone or in addition to any hallmarks of COVID-19 illness. We used multilevel logistic regression and survival models to explore associations between these outcomes and in-hospital complications, age, and pre-existing comorbidities. FINDINGS: Between Jan 17 and Aug 4, 2020, 80 388 patients were included in the study. Of the patients admitted to hospital for management of COVID-19, 49·7% (36 367 of 73 197) had at least one complication. The mean age of our cohort was 71·1 years (SD 18·7), with 56·0% (41 025 of 73 197) being male and 81·0% (59 289 of 73 197) having at least one comorbidity. Males and those aged older than 60 years were most likely to have a complication (aged ≥60 years: 54·5% [16 579 of 30 416] in males and 48·2% [11 707 of 24 288] in females; aged <60 years: 48·8% [5179 of 10 609] in males and 36·6% [2814 of 7689] in females). Renal (24·3%, 17 752 of 73 197), complex respiratory (18·4%, 13 486 of 73 197), and systemic (16·3%, 11 895 of 73 197) complications were the most frequent. Cardiovascular (12·3%, 8973 of 73 197), neurological (4·3%, 3115 of 73 197), and gastrointestinal or liver (0·8%, 7901 of 73 197) complications were also reported. INTERPRETATION: Complications and worse functional outcomes in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 are high, even in young, previously healthy individuals. Acute complications are associated with reduced ability to self-care at discharge, with neurological complications being associated with the worst functional outcomes. COVID-19 complications are likely to cause a substantial strain on health and social care in the coming years. These data will help in the design and provision of services aimed at the post-hospitalisation care of patients with COVID-19. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research and the UK Medical Research Council.

COVID-19/complications , Clinical Protocols/standards , Comorbidity , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Nervous System Diseases , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Tract Diseases , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology , World Health Organization