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2.
Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 30(1 SUPPL):177-178, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1880620

ABSTRACT

Background: Treatment guidelines recommend the use of tocilizumab in patients with a current CRP >7.5 mg/dl. Recent data showed that survival benefit might be greater in those with higher CRP levels. We aimed to estimate the causal effect of intensification with tocilizumab on mortality overall and after stratification for PaO2/FiO2 ratio, CRP levels. Methods: Observational cohort study of patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Primary endpoint was day-28 mortality. Survival analysis was conducted to estimate the conditional and average causal effect of tocilizumab intensification vs. glucocorticoids alone using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression models with a time-varying variable for the intervention. Analysis was controlled for age, ethnicity, duration of symptoms, at hospital admission (baseline, BL) PaO2/FiO2 ratio, CRP (BL and current), Charlson comorbidity index and post-BL use of remdesivir and invasive mechanical ventilation. The hypothesis of the existence of effect measure modification by CRP and PaO2/FiO2 ratio was tested by including an interaction term in the model. Results: 992 patients median age 69 years, 72.9% males, 597 (60.2%) treated with monotherapy and 395 (31.8%), adding tocilizumab upon respiratory deterioration were included. At BL, median CRP was 6.0 mg/dl (IQR 3.0-15.0) and median PaO2/FiO2 ratio was 261 mmHg (200-303). The two groups differed for median values of: CRP (6 vs 7 mg/dL;p<.001)), IL-6, (27.6 vs 175.0 mg/L;p<.001) LDH (525 vs 622 U/L;p<.001), lymphocytes (939 vs 835/mm3;p<.001) and PaO2/FiO2 ratio (276 vs 235 mmHg;p<.001) at BL. In the unadjusted analysis there was no statistically significant difference in mortality between the two groups, but there was strong evidence for an effect of the intensification after controlling for key BL and post-BL confounders, consistent with the estimate in trials (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR)=0.59, 95% CI:0.38-0.90). Although the study was not powered to detect interactions (p>0.57) there was a signal for intensification to have a larger effect in subsets, especially participants with high levels of CRP at intensification (Figure). Conclusion: Our data suggest that intensification with tocilizumab confers reduced survival benefit in those intensifying with a CRP of 0-7.5 mg/dl. It also provides substantial benefit even in patients who are intensified with a CRP>15 mg/dl. Large randomised studies are needed to establish an exact cut-off for clinical use.

3.
Pediatric Rheumatology ; 20(SUPPL 1), 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1677521

ABSTRACT

Introduction: During COVID-19 pandemic, acute acral chilblain-like lesions (ACBLL), reminiscent of lupus pernio, were observed during both first and second COVID-19 peak among patients with highly suspected (but mostly unconfirmed) infection with SARS-CoV-2.The aetiology of this phenomenon has not been elucidated yet and pathogenetic mechanism remains unknown. Several studies have investigated cytokine and chemokine profile in patients with COVID-19 but an accurate characterization of ACBLL patients is lacking. Objectives: We aimed to describe the clinical, laboratory and immunological features of children presenting with ACBLL referred to our Institute during the COVID-19 pandemic spread. Methods: We prospectively collected data of children referred to our Institute from April 1st 2020 to February 28th 2021. We investigate the presence of SARS-CoV2 infection through RT-PCR from nasopharingeal swabs and three different serologic kit. All patients underwent a laboratory work-up including coagulation, viral serology and autoantibodies panel. Finally, we analysed peripheral blood IFN signature, a panel of inflammatory biomarkers in serum/plasma by a flow cytometry bead array (CXCL10, CXCL9, IL-6, IL-1β,TNFα) and the presence of SARS-CoV2 T specific lymphocytes. Results: We examined 36 children during the first peak, and 11 children during the second COVID-19 peak (F: 28 median age 12 y), at a median delay of 26 days after symptoms onset (2-73 days). Fifteen patients (31%) presented non-specific systemic symptoms preceding ACBLL onset. Nine patients (19%) reported a possible contagion from a close contact. All patients presented stereotypical features resembling classical chilblains with acral erythematousedematous violaceous plaques and nodules localized on the toes (n= 35, 74%), the fingers (n=5, 10%) or on both sites (n=7, 15%). SARSCoV- 2 RNA detection resulted negative except for 2 patients. Furthermore, ten patients observed during the first wave showed a recurrence during the second (F:6), which developed 1-4 weeks after the second COVID-19 peak the clinical features were comparable to those of the previous episode. Five of them (50%) reported nonspecific systemic symptoms before onset and/or close contact with SARS-CoV2 positive subject. Repeated SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG/IgA tests were negative for all patients except for three cases (two of them with positive swabs). Neither common virus serology nor coagulation studies revealed significative results. Two patients presented positive ANA and anti β2 glycoprotein, respectively. A positive IFN signature was detected in 12/ 33 patients (36%).Among the 35 patients tested, the cytokine array showed high levels of IP10 (n= 35, range 12.4-739 pg/ml, n.v. 0.0-0.2 pg/ml) and a mild increase of IL-6 (n=21, range 2.4-401 pg/ml, n.v. 0.5-2.2pg/ml), without alterations of CXCL9, IL-1β and TNFa. The detection of SARS-CoV2 specific lymphocytes showed the presence of SARS-CoV2 specific lymphocytes in 9/17 (52%) patients tested (validated with positive and negative controls), only one of them with a positive serological test. Conclusion: Albeit the pathogenetic mechanism of ACBLL remains to be elucidated, our preliminary results showed a significant increase in serum IP10 levels, not frankly associated with a peripheral blood IFN signature, which is instead a characteristic of pernio-related chilblains. We also proved the presence of a T-specific memory against in 50% of the tested patients, despite the negativity of coltures and serological tests, strengthening the link between SARS-CoV2 infection and this peculiar clinical manifestation.

4.
Pediatric Rheumatology ; 20(SUPPL 1), 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1677513

ABSTRACT

Introduction: COVID-19 severe pneumonia has been associated to systemic inflammation and elevation of blood parameters and reminiscent of cytokine storm syndrome. Stimulation of PBMC from patients with severe COVID-19 have shown a high secretion of IL-1β, a pivotal cytokine driving inflammatory phenotypes, which maturation and secretion is regulated by NLRP3 inflammasome. Steroidal anti-inflammatory therapies have shown efficacy in reducing mortality in critically ill patients, however the mechanisms by which SARS-CoV2 virus triggers such an extensive inflammation remain unexplained. Objectives: The overall objective of this study was to investigate if SARS-CoV2 drives inflammation in COVID-19 patients through NLRP3 inflammasome activation and IL-1β secretion. Methods: Samples from SARS-CoV2 infected patients, were collected at day 0 and at 3 and 7 following treatment with anakinra. Fresh monocytes, purified through adherence, were cultured for 3, 6, 18 h in the presence or absence of LPS (100 ng/ml) and MCC950 (10μM). Release of IL-1β, IL-1Ra, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-18 was quantified by ELISA kit. Relative gene expression analysis of ORF3a gene was performed by RT-qPCR. THP-1 cells were transfected with a plasmid containing ORF3a sequence by nucleofection. NLRP3 inflammasome and ASC speck formation were detected by confocal microscopy and/or by FACS analysis. Results: In the present study we show that circulating monocytes from COVID-19 patients display ASC specks, index of NLRP3 activation, and spontaneously secrete IL-1β in vitro. This spontaneous activation reverts following patient's treatment with the IL-1 receptor antagonist anakinra. Transfection of a monocytic cell line with cDNA coding for the ORF3a SARS-CoV2 protein, resulted in NLRP3- dependent ASC speck formation. The involvement of ORF3a in inflammasome activation was further supported by the detection by RT-PCR of ORF3a in monocytes from COVID-19 patients. Conclusion: In summary, these results provide a mechanistic explanation for the strong inflammatory manifestations associated to COVID-19 and further evidence that NLRP3 and IL-1β targeting could represent an effective strategy in this disease.

6.
Medico e Bambino ; 39(4):223-231, 2020.
Article in Italian | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-726246

ABSTRACT

Covid-19 outbreak is about to reach the peak of infected people in Italy. Huge amount of data is being published on this epidemic in all medical journals, with especial concern on severe cases. Unfortunately, most reports are just descriptive and only a few controlled clinical trials are available to unravel the disease pathology and the best therapeutic option. For this reason, the aim of the present paper is to give an update on what is currently known about the immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, focusing on the possible weakness of adaptive immunity and excesses of inflammation.

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