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1.
The Lancet Respiratory Medicine ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1996826

ABSTRACT

Summary Background Influenza-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (IAPA) and COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) affect about 15% of critically ill patients with influenza or COVID-19, respectively. These viral–fungal coinfections are difficult to diagnose and are associated with increased mortality, but data on their pathophysiology are scarce. We aimed to explore the role of lung epithelial and myeloid innate immunity in patients with IAPA or CAPA. Methods In this observational study, we retrospectively recruited patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, requiring non-invasive or invasive ventilation because of severe influenza or COVID-19, with or without aspergillosis, between Jan 1, 2011, and March 31, 2021, whose bronchoalveolar lavage samples were available at the hospital biobank. Additionally, biobanked in vivo tracheobronchial biopsy samples from patients with IAPA or CAPA and invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis admitted to ICUs requiring invasive ventilation between the same dates were collected from University Hospitals Leuven, Hospital Network Antwerp (Belgium), and Amiens-Picardie University Hospital (France). We did nCounter gene expression analysis of 755 genes linked to myeloid innate immunity and protein analysis of 47 cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors on the bronchoalveolar lavage samples. Gene expression data were used to infer cell fractions by use of CIBERSORTx, to perform hypergeometric enrichment pathway analysis and gene set enrichment analysis, and to calculate pathway module scores for the IL-1β, TNF-α, type I IFN, and type II IFN (IFNγ) pathways. We did RNAScope targeting influenza virus or SARS-CoV-2 RNA and GeoMx spatial transcriptomics on the tracheobronchial biopsy samples. Findings Biobanked bronchoalveolar lavage samples were retrieved from 166 eligible patients, of whom 40 had IAPA, 52 had influenza without aspergillosis, 33 had CAPA, and 41 had COVID-19 without aspergillosis. We did nCounter gene expression analysis on bronchoalveolar lavage samples from 134 patients, protein analysis on samples from 162 patients, and both types of analysis on samples from 130 patients. We performed RNAScope and spatial transcriptomics on the tracheobronchial biopsy samples from two patients with IAPA plus invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis and two patients with CAPA plus invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis. We observed a downregulation of genes associated with antifungal effector functions in patients with IAPA and, to a lesser extent, in patients with CAPA. We found a downregulated expression of several genes encoding proteins with functions in the opsonisation, recognition, and killing of conidia in patients with IAPA versus influenza only and in patients with CAPA versus COVID-19 only. Several genes related to LC3-associated phagocytosis, autophagy, or both were differentially expressed. Patients with CAPA had significantly lower neutrophil cell fractions than did patients with COVID-19 only. Patients with IAPA or CAPA had downregulated IFNγ signalling compared with patients with influenza only or COVID-19 only, respectively. The concentrations of several fibrosis-related growth factors were significantly elevated in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from patients with IAPA versus influenza only and from patients with CAPA versus COVID-19 only. In one patient with CAPA, we visualised an active or very recent SARS-CoV-2 infection disrupting the epithelial barrier, facilitating tissue-invasive aspergillosis. Interpretation Our results reveal a three-level breach in antifungal immunity in IAPA and CAPA, affecting the integrity of the epithelial barrier, the capacity to phagocytise and kill Aspergillus spores, and the ability to destroy Aspergillus hyphae, which is mainly mediated by neutrophils. The potential of adjuvant IFNγ in the treatment of IAPA and CAPA should be investigated. Funding Research Foundation Flanders, Coronafonds, the Max Planck Society, the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, the European Regional Development Fund, “la Caixa” Foundation, and Horizon 2020.

2.
EBioMedicine ; 83: 104195, 2022 Aug 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1977201

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) binds to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, a critical component of the kallikrein-kinin system. Its dysregulation may lead to increased vascular permeability and release of inflammatory chemokines. Interactions between the kallikrein-kinin and the coagulation system might further contribute to thromboembolic complications in COVID-19. METHODS: In this observational study, we measured plasma and tissue kallikrein hydrolytic activity, levels of kinin peptides, and myeloperoxidase (MPO)-DNA complexes as a biomarker for neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid from patients with and without COVID-19. FINDINGS: In BAL fluid from patients with severe COVID-19 (n = 21, of which 19 were mechanically ventilated), we observed higher tissue kallikrein activity (18·2 pM [1·2-1535·0], median [range], n = 9 vs 3·8 [0·0-22·0], n = 11; p = 0·030), higher levels of the kinin peptide bradykinin-(1-5) (89·6 [0·0-2425·0], n = 21 vs 0·0 [0·0-374·0], n = 19, p = 0·001), and higher levels of MPO-DNA complexes (699·0 ng/mL [66·0-142621·0], n = 21 vs 70·5 [9·9-960·0], n = 19, p < 0·001) compared to patients without COVID-19. INTERPRETATION: Our observations support the hypothesis that dysregulation of the kallikrein-kinin system might occur in mechanically ventilated patients with severe pulmonary disease, which might help to explain the clinical presentation of patients with severe COVID-19 developing pulmonary oedema and thromboembolic complications. Therefore, targeting the kallikrein-kinin system should be further explored as a potential treatment option for patients with severe COVID-19. FUNDING: Research Foundation-Flanders (G0G4720N, 1843418N), KU Leuven COVID research fund.

3.
Res Pract Thromb Haemost ; 6(3): e12683, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1772842

ABSTRACT

Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) frequently occurs in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The optimal dose of anticoagulation for thromboprophylaxis in COVID-19 is unknown. Aims: To report VTE incidence and bleeding before and after implementing a hospital-wide intensified thromboprophylactic protocol in patients with COVID-19. Methods: On March 31, 2020, we implemented an intensified thromboprophylactic protocol consisting of 50 IU anti-Xa low molecular weight heparin (LMWH)/kg once daily at the ward, twice daily at the intensive care unit (ICU). We included all patients hospitalized in a tertiary care hospital with symptomatic COVID-19 between March 7 and July 1, 2020. The primary outcome was the incidence of symptomatic or subclinical VTE and major bleeding during admission. Routine ultrasound screening for VTE was performed whenever logistically possible. Results: We included 412 patients, of which 116 were admitted to the ICU. Of 219 patients with standard a prophylactic dose of LMWH, 16 (7.3%) had VTE, 10 of which were symptomatic (4.6%). Of 193 patients with intensified thromboprophylaxis, there were no symptomatic VTE cases, three incidental deep venous thrombosis cases (1.6%), and one incidental pulmonary embolism (0.5%). The major bleeding rate was 1.2% in patients with intensified thromboprophylaxis and 7.7% when therapeutic anticoagulation was needed. Conclusion: In hospitalized patients with COVID-19, there were no additional symptomatic VTEs and a reduction in incidental deep vein thrombosis after implementing systematic thromboprophylaxis with weight-adjusted prophylactic (ward) to intermediate (ICU), but not therapeutic dosed anticoagulation. This intensified thromboprophylaxis was associated with a lower risk of major bleeding compared with therapeutic dosed anticoagulation.

4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323197

ABSTRACT

Epidemiological and clinical reports have indicated that the host immune response to SARS-CoV-2, more so than viral factors, determines COVID-19 disease severity. To elucidate the immunopathology underlying COVID-19 severity, cytokine and multiplex immune profiling was performed in mild-moderate and critically-ill COVID-19 patients. Hypercytokinemia in COVID-19 differed from the IFN-γ-driven cytokine storm in macrophage activation syndrome, and was more pronounced in critical versus mild-moderate COVID-19. Systems modelling of cytokine levels followed by deep-immune profiling showed that classical monocytes drive this hyper-inflammatory phenotype and that a reduction in T-lymphocytes correlates with disease severity, with CD8+ cells being disproportionately affected. Expression of antigen presenting machinery was reduced in critical disease, while also neutrophils contributed to disease severity and local tissue damage by amplifying hypercytokinemia and neutrophil extracellular trap formation. We suggest a myeloid-driven immunopathology, in which hyperactivated neutrophils and an ineffective adaptive immune system act as mediators of COVID-19 disease severity.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323191

ABSTRACT

Background: The peak of the global COVID-19 pandemic has not yet been reached and many countries face the prospect of a second wave of infections before effective vaccinations will be available. After an initial phase of viral replication, some patients develop a second illness phase in which the host thrombotic and inflammatory responses seems to drive complications. Severe COVID-19 disease is linked to high mortality, hyperinflammation, and a remarkably high incidence of thrombotic events. We hypothesize a crucial pathophysiological role for the contact pathway of coagulation and the kallikrein-bradykinin pathway. Therefore, drugs that modulate this excessive thromboinflammatory response should be investigated in severe COVID-19. Methods: In this adaptive, open-label multicenter randomized clinical trial we compare low molecular weight heparins at 50 IU anti-Xa/kg twice daily - or 75 IU anti-Xa twice daily for intensive care (ICU) patients - in combination with aprotinin to standard thromboprophylaxis in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. In the case of hyperinflammation, the interleukin-1-receptor antagonist anakinra will be added on top of the drugs in the interventional arm. In a pilot phase, the effect of the intervention on thrombotic markers (D-dimer) will be assessed. In the full trial, the primary outcome is defined as the effect of the interventional drugs on clinical status as defined by the WHO ordinal scale for clinical improvement. Discussion: In this trial we target the thromboinflammatory response at multiple levels. We intensify the dose of low molecular weight heparins to reduce thrombotic complications. Aprotinin is a potent kallikrein pathway inhibitor that reduces fibrinolysis, activation of the contact pathway of coagulation, and local inflammatory response. Additionally, aprotinin has shown in vitro inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV-2 cellular entry. Because the excessive thromboinflammatory response is one of the most adverse prognostic factors in COVID-19, we will add anakinra, a recombinant interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, to the regimen in case of severely increased inflammatory parameters. This way, we hope to modulate the systemic response to SARS-CoV-2 and avoid disease progressions with a potentially fatal outcome. Trial registration This trial is registered in the EU Clinical Trials Register. Registration number: 2020-001739-28. Registered on 2020-04-10.

6.
JCI Insight ; 7(1)2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523122

ABSTRACT

Neutrophils are recognized as important circulating effector cells in the pathophysiology of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, their role within the inflamed lungs is incompletely understood. Here, we collected bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids and parallel blood samples of critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation and compared BAL fluid parameters with those of mechanically ventilated patients with influenza, as a non-COVID-19 viral pneumonia cohort. Compared with those of patients with influenza, BAL fluids of patients with COVID-19 contained increased numbers of hyperactivated degranulating neutrophils and elevated concentrations of the cytokines IL-1ß, IL-1RA, IL-17A, TNF-α, and G-CSF; the chemokines CCL7, CXCL1, CXCL8, CXCL11, and CXCL12α; and the protease inhibitors elafin, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 1. In contrast, α-1 antitrypsin levels and net proteolytic activity were comparable in COVID-19 and influenza BAL fluids. During antibiotic treatment for bacterial coinfections, increased BAL fluid levels of several activating and chemotactic factors for monocytes, lymphocytes, and NK cells were detected in patients with COVID-19 whereas concentrations tended to decrease in patients with influenza, highlighting the persistent immunological response to coinfections in COVID-19. Finally, the high proteolytic activity in COVID-19 lungs suggests considering protease inhibitors as a treatment option.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Infections , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , COVID-19 , Coinfection , Influenza, Human , Adult , Aged , Bacterial Infections/complications , Bacterial Infections/immunology , Bacterial Infections/metabolism , Bacterial Infections/pathology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/chemistry , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Coinfection/immunology , Coinfection/metabolism , Coinfection/pathology , Cytokines/analysis , Female , Humans , Inflammation , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/pathology , Lung/immunology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged
7.
Semin Thromb Hemost ; 47(4): 362-371, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203471

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a frequent complication of COVID-19, so that the importance of adequate in-hospital thromboprophylaxis in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is well established. However, the incidence of VTE after discharge and whether postdischarge thromboprophylaxis is beneficial and safe are unclear. In this prospective observational single-center study, we report the incidence of VTE 6 weeks after hospitalization and the use of postdischarge thromboprophylaxis. METHODS: Patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 were invited to a multidisciplinary follow-up clinic 6 weeks after discharge. D-dimer and C-reactive protein were measured, and all patients were screened for deep vein thrombosis with venous duplex-ultrasound. Additionally, selected high-risk patients received computed tomography pulmonary angiogram or ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scan to screen for incidental pulmonary embolism. RESULTS: Of 485 consecutive patients hospitalized from March through June 2020, 146 patients were analyzed, of which 39% had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Postdischarge thromboprophylaxis was prescribed in 28% of patients, but was used more frequently after ICU stay (61%) and in patients with higher maximal D-dimer and C-reactive protein levels during hospitalization. Six weeks after discharge, elevated D-dimer values were present in 32% of ward and 42% of ICU patients. Only one asymptomatic deep vein thrombosis (0.7%) and one symptomatic pulmonary embolism (0.7%) were diagnosed with systematic screening. No bleedings were reported. CONCLUSION: In patients who had been hospitalized with COVID-19, systematic screening for VTE 6 weeks after discharge revealed a low incidence of VTE. A strategy of selectively providing postdischarge thromboprophylaxis in high-risk patients seems safe and potentially effective.


Subject(s)
C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19 , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Patient Discharge , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Venous Thromboembolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Pulmonary Embolism/blood , Pulmonary Embolism/etiology , Pulmonary Embolism/mortality , Pulmonary Embolism/prevention & control , Venous Thromboembolism/blood , Venous Thromboembolism/etiology , Venous Thromboembolism/mortality , Venous Thromboembolism/prevention & control , Venous Thrombosis/blood , Venous Thrombosis/etiology , Venous Thrombosis/mortality , Venous Thrombosis/prevention & control
9.
Dig Endosc ; 32(5): 723-731, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-116360

ABSTRACT

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a subsequent impact on the entire world and health care system. Since the causing Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 houses in the aerodigestive tract, activities in the gastrointestinal outpatient clinic and endoscopy unit should be limited to emergencies only. Health care professionals are faced with the need to perform endoscopic or endoluminal emergency procedures in patients with a confirmed positive or unknown COVID-19 status. With this report, we aim to provide recommendations and practical relevant information for gastroenterologists based on the limited amount of available data and local experience, to guarantee a high-quality patient care and adequate infection prevention in the gastroenterology clinic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal/standards , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Occupational Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , COVID-19 , Emergencies , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal/methods , Female , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Male , Patient Safety , World Health Organization
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