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1.
Lancet Respir Med ; 2021 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586183

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Dysregulated inflammation is associated with poor outcomes in COVID-19. We aimed to assess the efficacy of namilumab (a granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor inhibitor) and infliximab (a tumour necrosis factor inhibitor) in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, to prioritise agents for phase 3 trials. METHODS: In this randomised, multicentre, multi-arm, multistage, parallel-group, open-label, adaptive, phase 2, proof-of-concept trial (CATALYST), we recruited patients (aged ≥16 years) admitted to hospital with COVID-19 pneumonia and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations of 40 mg/L or greater, at nine hospitals in the UK. Participants were randomly assigned with equal probability to usual care or usual care plus a single intravenous dose of namilumab (150 mg) or infliximab (5 mg/kg). Randomisation was stratified by care location within the hospital (ward vs intensive care unit [ICU]). Patients and investigators were not masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was improvement in inflammation, measured by CRP concentration over time, analysed using Bayesian multilevel models. This trial is now complete and is registered with ISRCTN, 40580903. FINDINGS: Between June 15, 2020, and Feb 18, 2021, we screened 299 patients and 146 were enrolled and randomly assigned to usual care (n=54), namilumab (n=57), or infliximab (n=35). For the primary outcome, 45 patients in the usual care group were compared with 52 in the namilumab group, and 29 in the usual care group were compared with 28 in the infliximab group. The probabilities that the interventions were superior to usual care alone in reducing CRP concentration over time were 97% for namilumab and 15% for infliximab; the point estimates for treatment-time interactions were -0·09 (95% CI -0·19 to 0·00) for namilumab and 0·06 (-0·05 to 0·17) for infliximab. 134 adverse events occurred in 30 (55%) of 55 patients in the namilumab group compared with 145 in 29 (54%) of 54 in the usual care group. 102 adverse events occurred in 20 (69%) of 29 patients in the infliximab group compared with 112 in 17 (50%) of 34 in the usual care group. Death occurred in six (11%) patients in the namilumab group compared with ten (19%) in the usual care group, and in four (14%) in the infliximab group compared with five (15%) in the usual care group. INTERPRETATION: Namilumab, but not infliximab, showed proof-of-concept evidence for reduction in inflammation-as measured by CRP concentration-in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. Namilumab should be prioritised for further investigation in COVID-19. FUNDING: Medical Research Council.

2.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295496

ABSTRACT

Background: Patients with co-morbidities are particularly vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease. Critically ill patients with COVID-19 frequently experience severe tachycardias and avoidance of these is important in some co-morbidities, for instance cardiovascular disease. There is growing interest in beta blockade in critical illness as their use been associated with improved outcomes in a variety of conditions. We report the real-world use of heart rate management in patients during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. As retrospective data are prone to an Immortal Time Bias, we created a Cohort Trial such as might be used for a future prospective trial and used Time Dependent Covariate Analysis for its analysis. Methods: : Data for all PCR-proven COVID-19 patients ventilated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were extracted from the hospital databases. To compensate for the risk of immortal time bias, we restricted analysis to 144 patients who achieved a heart rate (HR) of 90 beats per minute for more than 12 hours and were treated with norepinephrine. We recorded time from these ‘entry criteria’ to first beta blocker dose. Those patients who did not receive a beta blocker were given a nominal time to beta blocker beyond the censor day. Outcome was mortality censored at 28 days. Results: : In the study group, 83/144 patients (57.6%) received a beta blocker. The median interval from entry criteria to beta blocker was 7.91 days (IQR 3.89, 13.15) and median duration of treatment was 7.00 days (IQR 4.00, 14.00). Twenty-four beta blocker patients (28.9%) died within 28 days compared with 29 (47.5%) who did not (adjusted OR 0.43;95% CI 0.20-0.95, P=0.036). Cox Regression with time-dependent covariate analysis revealed there was an increased, but not significant, risk of death with beta blocker delay (Hazard Ratio 1.42 p=0.264). Mortality was also reduced for each day treated with beta blockade (adjusted Odds Ratio 0.76, 95% CI 0.64-0.91;P=0.002). Conclusions: : In a retrospective analysis of critically ill ventilated patients with COVID-19 who developed a tachycardia >90 beats per minute and were treated with norepinephrine, beta blockade was associated with reduced mortality.

3.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293006

ABSTRACT

Antibodies specific for the spike glycoprotein (S) and nucleocapsid (N) SARS-CoV-2 proteins are typically present during severe COVID-19, and induced to S after vaccination. The binding of viral antigens by antibody can initiate the classical complement pathway. Since complement could play pathological or protective roles at distinct times during SARS-CoV-2 infection we determined levels of antibody-dependent complement activation along the complement cascade. Here, we used an ELISA assay to assess complement protein binding (C1q) and the deposition of C4b, C3b, and C5b to S and N antigens in the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from different test groups: non-infected, single and double vaccinees, non-hospitalised convalescent (NHC) COVID-19 patients and convalescent hospitalised (ITU-CONV) COVID-19 patients. C1q binding correlates strongly with antibody responses, especially IgG1 levels. However, detection of downstream complement components, C4b, C3b and C5b shows some variability associated with the antigen and subjects studied. In the ITU-CONV, detection of C3b-C5b to S was observed consistently, but this was not the case in the NHC group. This is in contrast to responses to N, where median levels of complement deposition did not differ between the NHC and ITU-CONV groups. Moreover, for S but not N, downstream complement components were only detected in sera with higher IgG1 levels. Therefore, the classical pathway is activated by antibodies to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens, but the downstream effects of this activation may differ depending on the specific antigen targeted and the disease status of the subject.

4.
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e050202, 2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515299

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Severe SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a dysregulated immune response. Inflammatory monocytes and macrophages are crucial, promoting injurious, proinflammatory sequelae. Immunomodulation is, therefore, an attractive therapeutic strategy and we sought to test licensed and novel candidate drugs. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The CATALYST trial is a multiarm, open-label, multicentre, phase II platform trial designed to identify candidate novel treatments to improve outcomes of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 compared with usual care. Treatments with evidence of biomarker improvements will be put forward for larger-scale testing by current national phase III platform trials. Hospitalised patients >16 years with a clinical picture strongly suggestive of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia (confirmed by chest X-ray or CT scan, with or without a positive reverse transcription PCR assay) and a C reactive protein (CRP) ≥40 mg/L are eligible. The primary outcome measure is CRP, measured serially from admission to day 14, hospital discharge or death. Secondary outcomes include the WHO Clinical Progression Improvement Scale as a principal efficacy assessment. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The protocol was approved by the East Midlands-Nottingham 2 Research Ethics Committee (20/EM/0115) and given urgent public health status; initial approval was received on 5 May 2020, current protocol version (V.6.0) approval on 12 October 2020. The MHRA also approved all protocol versions. The results of this trial will be disseminated through national and international presentations and peer-reviewed publications. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBERS: EudraCT2020-001684-89, ISRCTN40580903.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Hospitalization , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Research , SARS-CoV-2
5.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci ; 2021 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450390

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Ageing affects immunity, potentially altering fever response to infection. We assess effects of biological variables on basal temperature, and during COVID-19 infection, proposing an updated temperature threshold for older adults ≥65 years. METHODS: Participants were from four cohorts: 1089 unaffected adult TwinsUK volunteers; 520 adults with emergency admission to a London hospital with RT-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection; 757 adults with emergency admission to a Birmingham hospital with RT-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and 3972 adult community-based COVID Symptom Study participants self-reporting a positive RT-PCR test. Heritability was assessed using saturated and univariate ACE models; mixed-effect and multivariable linear regression examined associations between temperature, age, sex and BMI; multivariable logistic regression examined associations between fever (≥37.8°C) and age; receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to identify temperature threshold for adults ≥ 65 years. RESULTS: Among unaffected volunteers, lower BMI (p=0.001), and increasing age (p<0.001) associated with lower basal temperature. Basal temperature showed a heritability of 47% 95% Confidence Interval 18-57%). In COVID-19+ participants, increasing age was associated with lower temperatures in Birmingham and community-based cohorts (p<0.001). For each additional year of age, participants were 1% less likely to demonstrate a fever ≥37.8°C (OR 0.99; p<0.001). Combining healthy and COVID-19+ participants, a temperature of 37.4°C in adults ≥65 years had similar sensitivity and specificity to 37.8°C in adults <65 years for discriminating infection. CONCLUSIONS: Ageing affects temperature in health and acute infection, with significant heritability, indicating genetic factors contribute to temperature regulation. Our observations suggest a lower threshold (37.4°C/97.3°F) for identifying fever in older adults ≥65 years.

7.
Immunology ; 164(1): 135-147, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295026

ABSTRACT

Detecting antibody responses during and after SARS-CoV-2 infection is essential in determining the seroepidemiology of the virus and the potential role of antibody in disease. Scalable, sensitive and specific serological assays are essential to this process. The detection of antibody in hospitalized patients with severe disease has proven relatively straightforward; detecting responses in subjects with mild disease and asymptomatic infections has proven less reliable. We hypothesized that the suboptimal sensitivity of antibody assays and the compartmentalization of the antibody response may contribute to this effect. We systematically developed an ELISA, optimizing different antigens and amplification steps, in serum and saliva from non-hospitalized SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects. Using trimeric spike glycoprotein, rather than nucleocapsid, enabled detection of responses in individuals with low antibody responses. IgG1 and IgG3 predominate to both antigens, but more anti-spike IgG1 than IgG3 was detectable. All antigens were effective for detecting responses in hospitalized patients. Anti-spike IgG, IgA and IgM antibody responses were readily detectable in saliva from a minority of RT-PCR confirmed, non-hospitalized symptomatic individuals, and these were mostly subjects who had the highest levels of anti-spike serum antibodies. Therefore, detecting antibody responses in both saliva and serum can contribute to determining virus exposure and understanding immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Saliva
8.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 205(2): 99-105, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273082

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) has been associated with both transient and persistent systemic symptoms that do not appear to be a direct consequence of viral infection. The generation of autoantibodies has been proposed as a mechanism to explain these symptoms. To understand the prevalence of autoantibodies associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, we investigated the frequency and specificity of clinically relevant autoantibodies in 84 individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, suffering from COVID-19 of varying severity in both the acute and convalescent setting. These were compared with results from 32 individuals who were on the intensive therapy unit (ITU) for non-COVID reasons. We demonstrate a higher frequency of autoantibodies in the COVID-19 ITU group compared with non-COVID-19 ITU disease control patients and that autoantibodies were also found in the serum 3-5 months post-COVID-19 infection. Non-COVID patients displayed a diverse pattern of autoantibodies; in contrast, the COVID-19 groups had a more restricted panel of autoantibodies including skin, skeletal muscle and cardiac antibodies. Our results demonstrate that respiratory viral infection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with the detection of a limited profile of tissue-specific autoantibodies, detectable using routine clinical immunology assays. Further studies are required to determine whether these autoantibodies are specific to SARS-CoV-2 or a phenomenon arising from severe viral infections and to determine the clinical significance of these autoantibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibody Specificity , Autoantibodies , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Autoantibodies/blood , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Specificity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index
9.
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 28(4): 791-800, 2021 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142659

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Risk prediction models are widely used to inform evidence-based clinical decision making. However, few models developed from single cohorts can perform consistently well at population level where diverse prognoses exist (such as the SARS-CoV-2 [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2] pandemic). This study aims at tackling this challenge by synergizing prediction models from the literature using ensemble learning. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this study, we selected and reimplemented 7 prediction models for COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) that were derived from diverse cohorts and used different implementation techniques. A novel ensemble learning framework was proposed to synergize them for realizing personalized predictions for individual patients. Four diverse international cohorts (2 from the United Kingdom and 2 from China; N = 5394) were used to validate all 8 models on discrimination, calibration, and clinical usefulness. RESULTS: Results showed that individual prediction models could perform well on some cohorts while poorly on others. Conversely, the ensemble model achieved the best performances consistently on all metrics quantifying discrimination, calibration, and clinical usefulness. Performance disparities were observed in cohorts from the 2 countries: all models achieved better performances on the China cohorts. DISCUSSION: When individual models were learned from complementary cohorts, the synergized model had the potential to achieve better performances than any individual model. Results indicate that blood parameters and physiological measurements might have better predictive powers when collected early, which remains to be confirmed by further studies. CONCLUSIONS: Combining a diverse set of individual prediction models, the ensemble method can synergize a robust and well-performing model by choosing the most competent ones for individual patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Models, Statistical , Prognosis , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Assessment/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
10.
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 28(4): 791-800, 2021 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-970031

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Risk prediction models are widely used to inform evidence-based clinical decision making. However, few models developed from single cohorts can perform consistently well at population level where diverse prognoses exist (such as the SARS-CoV-2 [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2] pandemic). This study aims at tackling this challenge by synergizing prediction models from the literature using ensemble learning. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this study, we selected and reimplemented 7 prediction models for COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) that were derived from diverse cohorts and used different implementation techniques. A novel ensemble learning framework was proposed to synergize them for realizing personalized predictions for individual patients. Four diverse international cohorts (2 from the United Kingdom and 2 from China; N = 5394) were used to validate all 8 models on discrimination, calibration, and clinical usefulness. RESULTS: Results showed that individual prediction models could perform well on some cohorts while poorly on others. Conversely, the ensemble model achieved the best performances consistently on all metrics quantifying discrimination, calibration, and clinical usefulness. Performance disparities were observed in cohorts from the 2 countries: all models achieved better performances on the China cohorts. DISCUSSION: When individual models were learned from complementary cohorts, the synergized model had the potential to achieve better performances than any individual model. Results indicate that blood parameters and physiological measurements might have better predictive powers when collected early, which remains to be confirmed by further studies. CONCLUSIONS: Combining a diverse set of individual prediction models, the ensemble method can synergize a robust and well-performing model by choosing the most competent ones for individual patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Models, Statistical , Prognosis , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Assessment/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
11.
BMJ Open Qual ; 9(4)2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-961077

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To safely expand and adapt the normal workings of a large critical care unit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: In April 2020, UK health systems were challenged to expand critical care capacity rapidly during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic so that they could accommodate patients with respiratory and multiple organ failure. Here, we describe the preparation and adaptive responses of a large critical care unit to the oncoming burden of disease. Our changes were similar to the revolution in manufacturing brought about by 'Long Shops' of 1853 when Richard Garrett and Sons of Leiston started mass manufacture of traction engines. This innovation broke the whole process into smaller parts and increased productivity. When applied to COVID-19 preparations, an assembly line approach had the advantage that our ICU became easily scalable to manage an influx of additional staff as well as the increase in admissions. Healthcare professionals could be replaced in case of absence and training focused on a smaller number of tasks. RESULTS: Compared with the equivalent period in 2019, the ICU provided 30.9% more patient days (2599 to 3402), 1845 of which were ventilated days (compared with 694 in 2019, 165.8% increase) while time from first referral to ICU admission reduced from 193.8±123.8 min (±SD) to 110.7±76.75 min (±SD). Throughout, ICU maintained adequate capacity and also accepted patients from neighbouring hospitals. This was done by managing an additional 205 doctors (70% increase), 168 nurses who had previously worked in ICU and another 261 nurses deployed from other parts of the hospital (82% increase).Our large tertiary hospital ensured a dedicated non-COVID ICU was staffed and equipped to take regional emergency referrals so that those patients requiring specialist surgery and treatment were treated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: We report how the challenge of managing a huge influx of patients and redeployed staff was met by deconstructing ICU care into its constituent parts. Although reported from the largest colocated ICU in the UK, we believe that this offers solutions to ICUs of all sizes and may provide a generalisable model for critical care pandemic surge planning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Care , Hospitalization , Intensive Care Units , Pandemics , Surge Capacity , Tertiary Care Centers , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Critical Care/methods , Critical Care/organization & administration , Emergency Service, Hospital , Health Personnel , Humans , Models, Organizational , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Ann Am Thorac Soc ; 18(1): 122-129, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-760721

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Patients with severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have complex organ support needs that necessitate prolonged stays in the intensive care unit (ICU), likely to result in a high incidence of neuromuscular weakness and loss of well-being. Early and structured rehabilitation has been associated with improved outcomes for patients requiring prolonged periods of mechanical ventilation, but at present no data are available to describe similar interventions or outcomes in COVID-19 populations.Objectives: To describe the demographics, clinical status, level of rehabilitation, and mobility status at ICU discharge of patients with COVID-19.Methods: Adults admitted to the ICU with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and mechanically ventilated for >24 hours were included. Rehabilitation status was measured daily using the Manchester Mobility Score to identify the time taken to first mobilize (defined as sitting on the edge of the bed or higher) and highest level of mobility achieved at ICU discharge.Results: A total of n = 177 patients were identified, of whom n = 110 survived to ICU discharge and were included in the subsequent analysis. While on ICU, patients required prolonged periods of mechanical ventilation (mean 19 ± 10 d), most received neuromuscular blockade (90%) and 67% were placed in the prone position on at least one occasion. The mean ± standard deviation time to first mobilize was 14 ± 7 days, with a median Manchester Mobility Score at ICU discharge of 5 (interquartile range: 4-6), which represents participants able to stand and step around to a chair with or without assistance. Time to mobilize was significantly longer in those with higher body mass index (P < 0.001), and older patients (P = 0.012) and those with more comorbidities (P = 0.017) were more likely to require further rehabilitation after discharge.Conclusions: The early experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom resembles the experience in other countries, with high acuity of illness and prolonged period of mechanical ventilation required for those patients admitted to the ICU. Although the time to commence rehabilitation was delayed owing to this severity of illness, rehabilitation was possible within the ICU and led to increased levels of mobility from waking before ICU discharge.Clinical trial registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04396197).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/rehabilitation , Critical Care/methods , Pandemics , Respiration, Artificial/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Length of Stay/trends , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Treatment Outcome , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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