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2.
Minerva Med ; 2022 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241616

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A prompt set of suitable biomarkers is needed in suspected COVID-19 patients. This study aims to assess patients positive for one or more gene associated with the C reactive protein (CRP) and procalcitonin (PCT) as non-specific pro-inflammatory markers and IgG and IgM kinetic as specific diagnostic and prognostic tools in SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive patients. METHODS: We enrolled 101 patients within a two month time span (March 26, 2020 to May 31, 2020). A reverse transcription-Real-Time PCR assay on nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs was used for SARS-CoV-2 identification. Serum anti-SARS-COV-2 IgM and IgG were measured by enzyme immunoassay , PCT levels by Enzyme linked fluorescent assay (ELFA)and CRP by nephelometry. RESULTS: We found that older patients were significantly associated with a worse prognosis. Serum IgM levels were significantly lower during the late stage of the disease, regardless of the presence of one or three genes and patients' outcome. On the contrary, IgG levels exhibited a higher concentration in the late phases of the illness, regardless of the gene found or patients' prognosis. With the exception of the very first sample tested, an increase in CRP in surviving patients (both one and three genes) and a time-dependent decrease of deceased patients CRP was found. PCT levels were always within the normal reference range. The difference between one gene and three genes patients was significant during late disease stages regarding IgG levels and also between three genes survivors vs. three genesdeceased , where the IgG levels were progressively increasing over time. CONCLUSIONS: The relevant finding of the present study is the significant and consistent increase of IgG and IgM in deceased patients. The associated evaluation of antibody kinetics and non specific inflammatory markers (CRP and PCT) in positive patients stratified according to the presence of one gene or three genes could help the clinician in both the diagnosis and prognosis of COVID-19 patients.

3.
Clin Exp Med ; 2023 Apr 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302770

ABSTRACT

In a convenience sample of 93 patients treated with monoclonal antibodies (moAbs) against SARS-CoV-2, the interleukin-62/lymphocyte count ratio (IL-62/LC) was able to predict clinical worsening both in early stages of COVID-19 and in oxygen-requiring patients. Moreover, we analysed 18 most at-risk patients with asymptomatic or mild disease treated with both moAbs and antiviral treatment and found that only 2 had clinical progression, while patients with a similar risk were reported to have an unfavourable outcome in most cases from recent data. In only one of our 18 patients, clinical progression was attributable to COVID-19, and in the other cases, clinical progression was observed despite IL-62/LC being above the risk cut-off. In conclusion, IL-62/LC may be a valuable method to identify patients requiring more aggressive treatments both in earlier and later stages of the disease; however, most at-risk patients can be protected from clinical worsening by combining moAbs and antivirals, even if levels of the IL-62/LC biomarker are lower than the risk cut-off.

4.
Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther ; : 1-15, 2022 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302839

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The management of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP) represents a major challenge in the field of infectious diseases. It is associated with a high rate of nosocomial infections with a mortality rate that reaches approximately 50%, even when using an effective antimicrobial therapy. Therefore, combined actions addressing infection control and antibiotic stewardship are required to delay the emergence of resistance. Since new antimicrobial agents targeting MDR-GNB bacteria have been produced during the last years and are now available for physicians to treat MDR, it is fundamental to choose appropriate antimicrobial therapy for K. pneumoniae infection. AREAS COVERED: The PubMed database was searched to review the most significant recent literature on the topic, including data from articles coming from endemic areas and from the current European and American Guidelines. EXPERT OPINION: We explore the most effective strategies for prevention of MDR-KP spread and the currently available treatment options, focusing on comparing old strategies and new compounds. We reviewed data concerning newly developed drugs that could play an important role in the future; we also propose a treatment algorithm that could be useful for physicians in daily clinical practice.

5.
Clin Chem Lab Med ; 61(8): 1518-1524, 2023 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2272224

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Nearly three years into the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 infections are occurring in vaccinated and naturally infected populations. While humoral and cellular responses in COVID-19 are being characterized, novel immune biomarkers also being identified. Recently, an increase in angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expressing (aka, ACE2 positive) circulating exosomes (ExoACE2) were identified in the plasma of COVID-19 patients (El-Shennawy et al.). In this pilot study, we describe a method to characterize the exosome-associated microRNA (exo-miRNA) signature in ACE2-positive and ACE2-negative exosomal populations (non-ExoACE2). METHODS: We performed a sorting protocol using the recombinant biotin-conjugated SARS CoV-2 spike protein containing the receptor binding domain (RBD) on plasma samples from six patients. Following purification, exo-miRNA were characterized for ACE2-positive and ACE2-negative exosome subpopulations by RT-PCR. RESULTS: We identified differential expression of several miRNA. Specifically let-7g-5p and hsa-miR-4454+miR-7975 were upregulated, while hsa-miR-208a-3p and has-miR-323-3p were downregulated in ExoACE2 vs. non-ExoACE2. CONCLUSIONS: The SARS CoV-2 spike-protein guided exosome isolation permits isolation of ExoACE2 exosomes. Such purification facilitates detailed characterization of potential biomarkers (e.g. exo-miRNA) for COVID-19 patients. This method could be used for future studies to further the understanding mechanisms of host response against SARS CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Exosomes , MicroRNAs , Humans , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Exosomes/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Pilot Projects , Biomarkers
6.
BMC Med Educ ; 23(1): 102, 2023 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2245057

ABSTRACT

Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda, has established partnerships with several other institutions worldwide, including the University of Brescia and "Magna Græcia" University, which have agreed to collaborate for the primary purpose of student exchange. Our aim is to comment on students' preparation for away rotations based on the authors' own experiences and opinions alongside a review of selected papers on the preparation of students for global health and ethical collaboration. Medical electives represent a unique opportunity for all medical students, not merely for those who will work in resource-limited settings due to increasing globalization. The emergence of ethical international collaborations is of paramount importance to stimulate these projects and ensure that they are implemented safely and with adequate preparation even and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medicine , Students, Medical , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Uganda , COVID-19/epidemiology , Global Health
7.
PLoS One ; 18(2): e0281444, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2230252

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite an apparent effective vaccination, some patients are admitted to the hospital after SARS-CoV-2 infection. The role of adaptive immunity in COVID-19 is growing; nonetheless, differences in the spike-specific immune responses between patients requiring or not hospitalization for SARS-CoV-2 infection remains to be evaluated. In this study, we aim to evaluate the spike-specific immune response in patients with mild-moderate or severeSARS-CoV-2 infection, after breakthrough infection following two doses of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. METHODS: We included three cohorts of 15 cases which received the two BNT162b2 vaccine doses in previous 4 to 7 months: 1) patients with severe COVID-19; 2) patients with mild-moderate COVID-19 and 3) vaccinated individuals with a negative SARS-CoV-2 molecular pharyngeal swab (healthy subjects). Anti-S1 and anti-S2 specific SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG titers were measured through a chemiluminescence immunoassay technology. In addition, the frequencies of IFNγ-releasing cells were measured by ELISpot. RESULTS: The spike-specific IFNγ-releasing cells were significantly lower in severe patients (8 [0; 26] s.f.c.×106), as compared to mild-moderate patients (135 [64; 159] s.f.c.×106; p<0.001) and healthy subjects (103 [50; 188] s.f.c.×106; p<0.001). The anti-Spike protein IgG levels were similar among the three cohorts of cases (p = 0.098). All cases had an IgM titer below the analytic sensitivity of the test. The Receiver Operating Curve analysis indicated the rate of spike-specific IFNγ-releasing cells can discriminate correctly severe COVID-19 and mild-moderate patients (AUC: 0.9289; 95%CI: 0.8376-1.000; p< 0.0001), with a diagnostic specificity of 100% for s.f.c. > 81.2 x 106. CONCLUSIONS: 2-doses vaccinated patients requiring hospitalization for severe COVID-19 show a cellular-mediated immune response lower than mild-moderate or healthy subjects, despite similar antibody titers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , BNT162 Vaccine , Interferon-gamma , Antibodies, Viral , Immunoglobulin M , Immunoglobulin G , Vaccination
8.
J Infect Public Health ; 16(4): 520-525, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2228453

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is a scarcity of information in literature regarding the clinical differences and comorbidities of patients affected by Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which could clarify the different prevalence of the outcomes (composite and only death) between several Italian regions. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the heterogeneity of clinical features of patients with COVID-19 upon hospital admission and disease outcomes in the northern, central, and southern Italian regions. METHODS: An observational cohort multicenter retrospective study including 1210 patients who were admitted for COVID-19 in Infectious diseases, Pulmonology, Endocrinology, Geriatrics and Internal Medicine Units in Italian cities stratified between north (263 patients); center (320 patients); and south (627 patients), during the first and second pandemic waves of SARS-CoV-2 (from February 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021). The data, obtained from clinical charts and collected in a single database, comprehended demographic characteristics, comorbidities, hospital and home pharmacological therapies, oxygen therapy, laboratory values, discharge, death and Intensive care Unit (ICU) transfer. Death or ICU transfer were defined as composite outcomes. RESULTS: Male patients were more frequent in the northern Italian region than in the central and southern regions. Diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension, chronic pulmonary and chronic kidney diseases were the comorbidities more frequent in the southern region; cancer, heart failure, stroke and atrial fibrillation were more frequent in the central region. The prevalence of the composite outcome was recorded more frequently in the southern region. Multivariable analysis showed a direct association between the combined event and age, ischemic cardiac disease, and chronic kidney disease, in addition to the geographical area. CONCLUSIONS: Statistically significant heterogeneity was observed in patients with COVID-19 characteristics at admission and outcomes from northern to southern Italy. The higher frequency of ICU transfer and death in the southern region may depend on the wider hospital admission of frail patients for the availability of more beds since the burden of COVID-19 on the healthcare system was less intense in southern region. In any case, predictive analysis of clinical outcomes should consider that the geographical differences that may reflect clinical differences in patient characteristics, are also related to access to health-care facilities and care modalities. Overall, the present results caution against generalizability of prognostic scores in COVID-19 patients derived from hospital cohorts in different settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Italy/epidemiology
9.
Viruses ; 15(2)2023 01 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2225682

ABSTRACT

We investigated the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 spread in Calabria, Southern Italy, in 2022. A total of 272 RNA isolates from nasopharyngeal swabs of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 were sequenced by whole genome sequencing (N = 172) and/or Sanger sequencing (N = 100). Analysis of diffusion of Omicron variants in Calabria revealed the prevalence of 10 different sub-lineages (recombinant BA.1/BA.2, BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.2.9, BA.2.10, BA.2.12.1, BA.4, BA.5, BE.1). We observed that Omicron spread in Calabria presented a similar trend as in Italy, with some notable exceptions: BA.1 disappeared in April in Calabria but not in the rest of Italy; recombinant BA.1/BA.2 showed higher frequency in Calabria (13%) than in the rest of Italy (0.02%); BA.2.9, BA.4 and BA.5 emerged in Calabria later than in other Italian regions. In addition, Calabria Omicron presented 16 non-canonical mutations in the S protein and 151 non-canonical mutations in non-structural proteins. Most non-canonical mutations in the S protein occurred mainly in BA.5 whereas non-canonical mutations in non-structural or accessory proteins (ORF1ab, ORF3a, ORF8 and N) were identified in BA.2 and BA.5 sub-lineages. In conclusion, the data reported here underscore the importance of monitoring the entire SARS-CoV-2 genome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Italy/epidemiology
10.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 793, 2022 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079395

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and antivirals have been approved for early therapy of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), however, in the real-life setting, there are difficulties to prescribe these therapies within few days from symptom onset as recommended, and effectiveness of combined use of these drugs have been hypothesised in most-at-risk patients (such as those immunocompromised) but data supporting this strategy are limited. METHODS: We describe the real-life experience of SARS-CoV-2 antivirals and/or monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and focus on the hospitalisation rate due to the progression of COVID-19. Clinical results obtained through our risk-stratification algorithm and benefits achieved through a strategic proximity territorial centre are provided. We also report a case series with an in-depth evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 genome in relationship with treatment strategy and clinical evolution of patients. RESULTS: Two hundred eighty-eight patients were analysed; 94/288 (32.6%) patients were treated with mAb monotherapy, 171/288 (59.4%) patients were treated with antivirals, and 23/288 (8%) patients received both mAbs and one antiviral drug. Haematological malignancies were more frequent in patients treated with combination therapy than in the other groups (p = 0.0003). There was a substantial increase in the number of treated patients since the opening of the centre dedicated to early therapies for COVID-19. The provided disease-management and treatment appeared to be effective since 98.6% patients recovered without hospital admission. Moreover, combination therapy with mAbs and antivirals seemed successful because all patients admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 did not receive such therapies, while none of the most-at-risk patients treated with combination therapy were hospitalized or reported adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: A low rate of COVID-19 progression requiring hospital admission was observed in patients included in this study. The dedicated COVID-19 proximity territorial service appeared to strengthen the regional sanitary system, avoiding the overwhelming of other services. Importantly, our results also support early combination therapy: it is possible that this strategy reduces the emergence of escape mutants of SARS-CoV-2, thereby increasing efficacy of early treatment, especially in immunocompromised individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Secondary Prevention , Retrospective Studies , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use
11.
J Clin Med ; 11(19)2022 Oct 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066206

ABSTRACT

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) still represents one of the most important worldwide health care problems. Since 2011, direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs have increased the number of people who have achieved a sustained virological response (SVR). Even if the program to eradicate HCV by 2030 is still ongoing, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has created a delay due to the reallocation of public health resources. HCV is characterized by high genetic variability and is responsible for hepatic and extra-hepatic diseases. Depending on the HCV genotype/subtype and comorbidities of patients, tailored treatment is necessary. Recently, it has been shown that liver damage impacts gut microbiota, altering the microbial community (dysbiosis) during persistent viral replication. An increasing number of studies are trying to clarify the role of the gut-liver axis during HCV chronic infection. DAA therapy, by restoring the gut microbiota equilibrium, seems to improve liver disease progression in both naïve and treated HCV-positive patients. In this review, we aim to discuss a snapshot of selected peer-reviewed papers concerning the interplay between HCV and the gut-liver axis.

12.
Int J Infect Dis ; 124: 55-64, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2031341

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (moAbs) improves clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 when administered during the initial days of infection. The action of moAbs may impair the generation or maintenance of effective immune memory, similar to that demonstrated in other viral diseases. We aimed to evaluate short-term memory T-cell responses in patients effectively treated with bamlanivimab/etesevimab, casirivimab/imdevimab, or sotrovimab (SOT). METHODS: Spike (S)-specific T-cell responses were analyzed in 23 patients with COVID-19 (vaccinated or unvaccinated) before and after a median of 50 (range: 28-93) days from moAb treatment, compared with 11 vaccinated healthy controls. T-cell responses were measured by interferon-γ-enzyme-linked immunospot and flow cytometric activation-induced marker assay. RESULTS: No statistically significant difference in S-specific T-cell responses was observed between patients treated with moAb and vaccinated healthy controls. Bamlanivimab/etesevimab and casirivimab/imdevimab groups showed significant increases in cellular responses in paired baseline/postrecovery series, as well as vaccinated patients receiving SOT. In contrast, unvaccinated patients prescribed SOT presented no statistically significant increases in T-cell-responses, suggesting diverse impacts of different moAbs on the evolution of S-specific T-cell responses in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients. CONCLUSION: The moAbs did not hinder short-term memory S-specific T-cell responses in the overall group of patients; however, differences among moAbs must be further investigated both in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral
13.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 12(9)2022 Sep 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009977

ABSTRACT

Early recognition and prompt management are crucial for improving survival in COVID-19 patients, and after 2 years of the pandemic, many efforts have been made to obtain an early diagnosis. A key factor is the use of fast microbiological techniques, considering also that COVID-19 patients may show no peculiar signs and symptoms that may differentiate COVID-19 from other infective or non-infective diseases. These techniques were developed to promptly identify SARS-CoV-2 infection and to prevent viral spread and transmission. However, recent data about clinical, radiological and laboratory features of COVID-19 at time of hospitalization could help physicians in early suspicion of SARS-CoV-2 infection and distinguishing it from other etiologies. The knowledge of clinical features and microbiological techniques will be crucial in the next years when the endemic circulation of SARS-CoV-2 will be probably associated with clusters of infection. In this review we provide a state of the art about new advances in microbiological and clinical findings of SARS-CoV-2 infection in hospitalized patients with a focus on pulmonary and extrapulmonary characteristics, including the role of gut microbiota.

14.
Frontiers in microbiology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1989478

ABSTRACT

In this study, we report on the results of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance performed in an area of Southern Italy for 12 months (from March 2021 to February 2022). To this study, we have sequenced RNA from 609 isolates. We have identified circulating VOCs by Sanger sequencing of the S gene and defined their genotypes by whole-genome NGS sequencing of 157 representative isolates. Our results indicated that B.1 and Alpha were the only circulating lineages in Calabria in March 2021;while Alpha remained the most common variant between April 2021 and May 2021 (90 and 73%, respectively), we observed a concomitant decrease in B.1 cases and appearance of Gamma cases (6 and 21%, respectively);C.36.3 and Delta appeared in June 2021 (6 and 3%, respectively);Delta became dominant in July 2021 while Alpha continued to reduce (46 and 48%, respectively). In August 2021, Delta became the only circulating variant until the end of December 2021. As of January 2022, Omicron emerged and took over Delta (72 and 28%, respectively). No patient carrying Beta, Iota, Mu, or Eta variants was identified in this survey. Among the genomes identified in this study, some were distributed all over Europe (B1_S477N, Alpha_L5F, Delta_T95, Delta_G181V, and Delta_A222V), some were distributed in the majority of Italian regions (B1_S477N, B1_Q675H, Delta_T95I and Delta_A222V), and some were present mainly in Calabria (B1_S477N_T29I, B1_S477N_T29I_E484Q, Alpha_A67S, Alpha_A701S, and Alpha_T724I). Prediction analysis of the effects of mutations on the immune response (i.e., binding to class I MHC and/or recognition of T cells) indicated that T29I in B.1 variant;A701S in Alpha variant;and T19R in Delta variant were predicted to impair binding to class I MHC whereas the mutations A67S identified in Alpha;E484K identified in Gamma;and E156G and ΔF157/R158 identified in Delta were predicted to impair recognition by T cells. In conclusion, we report on the results of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in Regione Calabria in the period between March 2021 and February 2022, identified variants that were enriched mainly in Calabria, and predicted the effects of identified mutations on host immune response.

15.
JAC Antimicrob Resist ; 4(3): dlac064, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1961072

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To describe clinical characteristics and outcomes of COVID-19 patients who developed secondary infections due to carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE). Methods: Retrospective observational study including COVID-19 patients admitted to 12 Italian hospitals from March to December 2020 who developed a superinfection by CRE. Superinfection was defined as the occurrence of documented bacterial infection >48 h from admission. Patients with polymicrobial infections were excluded. Demographic, clinical characteristics and outcome were collected. Isolates were classified as KPC, metallo-ß-lactamase (MBL) and OXA-48-producing CRE. A Cox regression analysis was performed to identify factors independently associated with 30 day mortality. Results: Overall, 123 patients (median age 66 years, IQR 59-75) were included. The majority of infections occurred in the ICU (81, 65.9%), while 42 (34.1%) in medical wards. The most common types of infection were bloodstream infections (BSI) (n = 64, 52%), followed by urinary-tract infections (UTI) (n = 28, 22.8%), hospital-acquired/ventilator-associated pneumonia (HAP/VAP) (n = 28, 22.8%), intra-abdominal infections (n = 2, 1.6%) and skin infections (n = 1, 0.8%). Sixty-three (51.2%) infections were caused by KPC-, 54 (43.9%) by MBL-, and 6 (4.8%) by OXA-48-producing CRE. Thirty-day mortality was 33.3% (41/123). On Cox regression analysis, HAP/VAP compared with UTI (HR 7.23, 95% CI 2.09-24.97, P = 0.004), BSI compared with UTI (HR 3.96, 95% CI, 1.33-11.77, P = 0.004), lymphopenia on admission (HR 3, 95% CI 1.44-6.26, P = 0.003) and age (HR 1.05, 95% CI 1.02-1.08, P = 0.002) were predictors of 30 day mortality. Conclusions: Superinfections by CRE were associated with high risk of 30 day mortality in patients with COVID-19. HAP/VAP was the strongest predictor of death in these patients.

16.
Biomedicines ; 10(7)2022 Jun 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917283

ABSTRACT

The hyperinflammatory phase represents the main cause for the clinical worsening of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), leading to the hypothesis that steroid therapy could be a mainstream treatment in COVID-19 patients. This is an observational study including all consecutive patients admitted to two Italian University Hospitals for COVID-19 from March 2020 to December 2021. The aim of this study was to describe clinical characteristics and outcome parameters of hospitalized COVID-19 patients treated with dexamethasone 6 mg once daily (standard-dose group) or methylprednisolone 40 mg twice daily (high-dose group). The primary outcome was the impact of these different steroid treatments on 30-day mortality. During the study period, 990 patients were evaluated: 695 (70.2%) receiving standard dosage of dexamethasone and 295 (29.8%) receiving a high dose of methylprednisolone. Cox regression analysis showed that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (HR 1.98, CI95% 1.34-9.81, p = 0.002), chronic kidney disease (HR 5.21, CI95% 1.48-22.23, p = 0.001), oncologic disease (HR 2.81, CI95% 1.45-19.8, p = 0.005) and high-flow nasal cannula, continuous positive airway pressure or non-invasive ventilation oxygen therapy (HR 61.1, CI95% 5.12-511.1, p < 0.001) were independently associated with 30-day mortality; conversely, high-dose steroid therapy was associated with survival (HR 0.42, CI95% 0.38-0.86, p = 0.002) at 30 days. Kaplan-Meier curves for 30-day survival displayed a statistically significant better survival rate in patients treated with high-dose steroid therapy (p = 0.018). The results of this study highlighted that the use of high-dose methylprednisolone, compared to dexamethasone 6 mg once daily, in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 may be associated with a significant reduction in mortality.

17.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 12(6)2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869515

ABSTRACT

During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a higher incidence of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis was observed in patients affected by Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), leading to the delineation of a new entity named COVID-19 associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA). A predisposition to invasive infection caused by Aspergillus spp. in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients can be ascribed either to the direct viral-mediated damage of the respiratory epithelium, as already observed in influenza H1N1 virus infections, or to the dysregulated immunity associated with COVID-19. This narrative review focuses on the impact of immune impairment, particularly due to cytokine dysregulation caused by Aspergillus spp. superinfection in COVID-19 for a more in-depth understanding of the molecular pathways implicated in CAPA. As immune competence has proven to be essential in protecting against CAPA onset, a role already threatened by SARS-CoV-2 infection itself, preventive strategies should focus on reducing factors that could further target the host immune system. We also aimed to focus on well-known and less-known risk factors for IPA in COVID-19 patients, related to the main causes of immune suppression, both virus-mediated and iatrogenic, including treatments currently indicated for COVID-19. Lastly, possible preventive strategies aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality due to CAPA could be implemented.

18.
Microorganisms ; 10(5)2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820338

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic may have had an effect on antimicrobial resistance. We compared the prevalence of ESKAPE multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections in COVID-19 affected/unaffected patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU) or infectious disease units at the "Mater Domini" University Hospital of Catanzaro between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2021. Moreover, an analysis of MDR rates in ICU comparing the pre-pandemic period with the pandemic period was performed, and the possible consequence on in-hospital mortality was explored. One hundred and eighty-four ESKAPE isolates were analyzed from 362 SARS-CoV-2 positive and 199 negative patients. In total, 116 out of 171 Gram-negative isolates were classified as MDR, and a higher frequency was observed in COVID-19 compared with non-COVID-19 patients (74.2% vs. 60.3%; p = 0.052). A higher rate of MDR ESKAPE bacteria was observed in COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU compared with COVID-19 unaffected patients admitted to the same ward in 2019 (88% vs. 80.4%; p = 0.186). Acinetobacter baumannii was the main pathogen in COVID-19 patients (58.7%), where it was the most frequent cause of bloodstream infection with the highest mortality rate (68.7%). Increase in MDR appeared to be associated with COVID-19 but only in the ICU setting. Acinetobacter baumannii was associated with the risk of death, indicating the importance of implementing infection control measures urgently.

19.
J Clin Med ; 11(9)2022 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792636

ABSTRACT

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation were admitted to intensive care units (ICU) for COVID-19-related severe respiratory failure. As a matter of fact, ICU admission and invasive ventilation increased the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), which is associated with high mortality rate and a considerable burden on length of ICU stay and healthcare costs. The objective of this review was to evaluate data about VAP in COVID-19 patients admitted to ICU that developed VAP, including their etiology (limiting to bacteria), clinical characteristics, and outcomes. The analysis was limited to the most recent waves of the epidemic. The main conclusions of this review are the following: (i) P. aeruginosa, Enterobacterales, and S. aureus are more frequently involved as etiology of VAP; (ii) obesity is an important risk factor for the development of VAP; and (iii) data are still scarce and increasing efforts should be put in place to optimize the clinical management and preventative strategies for this complex and life-threatening disease.

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