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Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 564938, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468327


T-cell reduction is an important characteristic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and its immunopathology is a subject of debate. It may be due to the direct effect of the virus on T-cell exhaustion or indirectly due to T cells redistributing to the lungs. HIV/AIDS naturally served as a T-cell exhaustion disease model for recognizing how the immune system works in the course of COVID-19. In this study, we collected the clinical charts, T-lymphocyte analysis, and chest CT of HIV patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection who were admitted to Jin Yin-tan Hospital (Wuhan, China). The median age of the 21 patients was 47 years [interquartile range (IQR) = 40-50 years] and the median CD4 T-cell count was 183 cells/µl (IQR = 96-289 cells/µl). Eleven HIV patients were in the non-AIDS stage and 10 were in the AIDS stage. Nine patients received antiretroviral treatment (ART) and 12 patients did not receive any treatment. Compared to the reported mortality rate (nearly 4%-10%) and severity rate (up to 20%-40%) among COVID-19 patients in hospital, a benign duration with 0% severity and mortality rates was shown by 21 HIV/AIDS patients. The severity rates of COVID-19 were comparable between non-AIDS (median CD4 = 287 cells/µl) and AIDS (median CD4 = 97 cells/µl) patients, despite some of the AIDS patients having baseline lung injury stimulated by HIV: 7 patients (33%) were mild (five in the non-AIDS group and two in the AIDS group) and 14 patients (67%) were moderate (six in the non-AIDS group and eight in the AIDS group). More importantly, we found that a reduction in T-cell number positively correlates with the serum levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP), which is contrary to the reported findings on the immune response of COVID-19 patients (lower CD4 T-cell counts with higher levels of IL-6 and CRP). In HIV/AIDS, a compromised immune system with lower CD4 T-cell counts might waive the clinical symptoms and inflammatory responses, which suggests lymphocyte redistribution as an immunopathology leading to lymphopenia in COVID-19.

COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Adult , Anti-Retroviral Agents , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Lymphocyte Count , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
N Engl J Med ; 382(19): 1787-1799, 2020 05 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-9371


BACKGROUND: No therapeutics have yet been proven effective for the treatment of severe illness caused by SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We conducted a randomized, controlled, open-label trial involving hospitalized adult patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, which causes the respiratory illness Covid-19, and an oxygen saturation (Sao2) of 94% or less while they were breathing ambient air or a ratio of the partial pressure of oxygen (Pao2) to the fraction of inspired oxygen (Fio2) of less than 300 mm Hg. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either lopinavir-ritonavir (400 mg and 100 mg, respectively) twice a day for 14 days, in addition to standard care, or standard care alone. The primary end point was the time to clinical improvement, defined as the time from randomization to either an improvement of two points on a seven-category ordinal scale or discharge from the hospital, whichever came first. RESULTS: A total of 199 patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection underwent randomization; 99 were assigned to the lopinavir-ritonavir group, and 100 to the standard-care group. Treatment with lopinavir-ritonavir was not associated with a difference from standard care in the time to clinical improvement (hazard ratio for clinical improvement, 1.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.80). Mortality at 28 days was similar in the lopinavir-ritonavir group and the standard-care group (19.2% vs. 25.0%; difference, -5.8 percentage points; 95% CI, -17.3 to 5.7). The percentages of patients with detectable viral RNA at various time points were similar. In a modified intention-to-treat analysis, lopinavir-ritonavir led to a median time to clinical improvement that was shorter by 1 day than that observed with standard care (hazard ratio, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.91). Gastrointestinal adverse events were more common in the lopinavir-ritonavir group, but serious adverse events were more common in the standard-care group. Lopinavir-ritonavir treatment was stopped early in 13 patients (13.8%) because of adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: In hospitalized adult patients with severe Covid-19, no benefit was observed with lopinavir-ritonavir treatment beyond standard care. Future trials in patients with severe illness may help to confirm or exclude the possibility of a treatment benefit. (Funded by Major Projects of National Science and Technology on New Drug Creation and Development and others; Chinese Clinical Trial Register number, ChiCTR2000029308.).

Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A Inhibitors/adverse effects , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intention to Treat Analysis , Lopinavir/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Acuity , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Proportional Hazards Models , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Ritonavir/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Time-to-Treatment , Treatment Failure , Viral Load