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1.
Euro Surveill ; 26(43)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496928

ABSTRACT

BackgroundIn the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, viral genomes are available at unprecedented speed, but spatio-temporal bias in genome sequence sampling precludes phylogeographical inference without additional contextual data.AimWe applied genomic epidemiology to trace SARS-CoV-2 spread on an international, national and local level, to illustrate how transmission chains can be resolved to the level of a single event and single person using integrated sequence data and spatio-temporal metadata.MethodsWe investigated 289 COVID-19 cases at a university hospital in Munich, Germany, between 29 February and 27 May 2020. Using the ARTIC protocol, we obtained near full-length viral genomes from 174 SARS-CoV-2-positive respiratory samples. Phylogenetic analyses using the Auspice software were employed in combination with anamnestic reporting of travel history, interpersonal interactions and perceived high-risk exposures among patients and healthcare workers to characterise cluster outbreaks and establish likely scenarios and timelines of transmission.ResultsWe identified multiple independent introductions in the Munich Metropolitan Region during the first weeks of the first pandemic wave, mainly by travellers returning from popular skiing areas in the Alps. In these early weeks, the rate of presumable hospital-acquired infections among patients and in particular healthcare workers was high (9.6% and 54%, respectively) and we illustrated how transmission chains can be dissected at high resolution combining virus sequences and spatio-temporal networks of human interactions.ConclusionsEarly spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe was catalysed by superspreading events and regional hotspots during the winter holiday season. Genomic epidemiology can be employed to trace viral spread and inform effective containment strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Case Rep Crit Care ; 2021: 9937499, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467759

ABSTRACT

Accumulating evidence suggests that a patient subgroup with severe COVID-19 develops a cytokine release syndrome leading to capillary leakage and organ injury. Recent publications addressing therapy of cytokine storms recommended new extracorporeal therapies such as hemoadsorption. This case report describes a 59-year-old SARS-CoV-2-positive patient with severe ARDS. Due to severe hyperinflammation with concomitant hemodynamic instability and progressive renal failure, combination of continuous renal replacement and CytoSorb® hemoadsorption therapy was initiated. Treatment resulted immediately in a control of the hyperinflammatory response. Simultaneously, lung function continued to improve accompanied by profound hemodynamic stabilization. We report the successful utilization of CytoSorb® hemoadsorption in the treatment of a patient with SARS-CoV-2-induced cytokine storm syndrome.

4.
Anaesthesist ; 70(7): 573-581, 2021 07.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453676

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In a pandemic situation the overall mortality rate is of considerable interest; however, these data must always be seen in relation to the given healthcare system and the availability of local level of care. A recently published German data evaluation of more than 10,000 COVID-19 patients treated in 920 hospitals showed a high mortality rate of 22% in hospitalized patients and of more than 50% in patients requiring invasive ventilation. Because of the high infection rates in Bavaria, a large number of COVID-19 patients with considerable severity of disease were treated at the intensive care units of the LMU hospital. The LMU hospital is a university hospital and a specialized referral center for the treatment of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). OBJECTIVE: Data of LMU intensive care unit (ICU) patients were systematically evaluated and compared with the recently published German data. METHODS: Data of all COVID-19 patients with invasive and noninvasive ventilation and with completed admission at the ICU of the LMU hospital until 31 July 2020 were collected. Data were processed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: In total 70 critically ill patients were included in the data evaluation. The median SAPS II on admission to the ICU was 62 points. The median age was 66 years and 81% of the patients were male. More than 90% were diagnosed with ARDS and received invasive ventilation. Treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was necessary in 10% of the patients. The median duration of ventilation was 16 days, whereby 34.3% of patients required a tracheostomy. Of the patients 27.1% were transferred to the LMU hospital from external hospitals with reference to our ARDS/ECMO program. Patients from external hospitals had ARDS of higher severity than the total study population. In total, nine different substances were used for virus-specific treatment of COVID-19. The most frequently used substances were hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. Immunomodulatory treatment, such as Cytosorb® (18.6%) and methylprednisolone (25.7%) were also frequently used. The overall in-hospital mortality rate of ICU patients requiring ventilation was 28.6%. The mortality rates of patients from external hospitals, patients with renal replacement therapy and patients with ECMO therapy were 47.4%, 56.7% and 85.7%, respectively. CONCLUSION: The mortality rate in the ventilated COVID-19 intensive care patients was considerably different from the general rate in Germany. The data showed that treatment in an ARDS referral center could result in a lower mortality rate. Low-dose administration of steroids may be another factor to improve patient outcome in a preselected patient population. In the authors' opinion, critically ill COVID-19 patients should be treated in an ARDS center provided that sufficient resources are available.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Critical Illness/therapy , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Female , Germany , Hospital Mortality , Hospitals, University , Humans , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Transfer , Renal Replacement Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Treatment Outcome
5.
Eur Respir J ; 58(1)2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105685

ABSTRACT

A fraction of COVID-19 patients progress to a severe disease manifestation with respiratory failure and the necessity of mechanical ventilation. Identifying patients at risk is critical for optimised care and early therapeutic interventions. We investigated the dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) shedding relative to disease severity.We analysed nasopharyngeal and tracheal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 in 92 patients with diagnosed COVID-19. Upon admission, standardised nasopharyngeal swab or sputum samples were collected. If patients were mechanically ventilated, endotracheal aspirate samples were additionally obtained. Viral shedding was quantified by real-time PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.45% (41 out of 92) of COVID-19 patients had a severe disease course with the need for mechanical ventilation (severe group). At week 1, the initial viral shedding determined from nasopharyngeal swabs showed no significant difference between nonsevere and severe cases. At week 2, a difference could be observed as the viral shedding remained elevated in severely ill patients. A time-course of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and procalcitonin revealed an even more protracted inflammatory response following the delayed drop of virus shedding load in severely ill patients. A significant proportion (47.8%) of patients showed evidence of prolonged viral shedding (>17 days), which was associated with severe disease courses (73.2%).We report that viral shedding does not differ significantly between severe and nonsevere COVID-19 cases upon admission to the hospital. Elevated SARS-CoV-2 shedding in the second week of hospitalisation, a systemic inflammatory reaction peaking between the second and third week, and prolonged viral shedding are associated with a more severe disease course.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , RNA, Viral , Respiratory System , Severity of Illness Index , Virus Shedding
6.
J Thromb Haemost ; 19(2): 574-581, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939789

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can lead to severe pneumonia, but also thrombotic complications and non-pulmonary organ failure. Recent studies suggest intravascular neutrophil activation and subsequent immune cell-triggered immunothrombosis as a central pathomechanism linking the heterogenous clinical picture of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We sought to study whether immunothrombosis is a pathognomonic factor in COVID-19 or a general feature of (viral) pneumonia, as well as to better understand its upstream regulation. APPROACH AND RESULTS: By comparing histopathological specimens of SARS-CoV-2 with influenza-affected lungs, we show that vascular neutrophil recruitment, NETosis, and subsequent immunothrombosis are typical features of severe COVID-19, but less prominent in influenza pneumonia. Activated neutrophils were typically found in physical association with monocytes. To explore this further, we combined clinical data of COVID-19 cases with comprehensive immune cell phenotyping and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid scRNA-seq data. We show that a HLADRlow CD9low monocyte population expands in severe COVID-19, which releases neutrophil chemokines in the lungs, and might in turn explain neutrophil expansion and pulmonary recruitment in the late stages of severe COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Our data underline an innate immune cell axis causing vascular inflammation and immunothrombosis in severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Influenza, Human/immunology , Lung/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Thrombosis/immunology , Vasculitis/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Diagnosis, Differential , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Neutrophils/virology , Predictive Value of Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thrombosis/virology , Vasculitis/virology
7.
Circulation ; 142(12): 1176-1189, 2020 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696368

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 infection causes severe pneumonia (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]), but the mechanisms of subsequent respiratory failure and complicating renal and myocardial involvement are poorly understood. In addition, a systemic prothrombotic phenotype has been reported in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: A total of 62 subjects were included in our study (n=38 patients with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 and n=24 non-COVID-19 controls). We performed histopathologic assessment of autopsy cases, surface marker-based phenotyping of neutrophils and platelets, and functional assays for platelet, neutrophil functions, and coagulation tests, as well. RESULTS: We provide evidence that organ involvement and prothrombotic features in COVID-19 are linked by immunothrombosis. We show that, in COVID-19, inflammatory microvascular thrombi are present in the lung, kidney, and heart, containing neutrophil extracellular traps associated with platelets and fibrin. Patients with COVID-19 also present with neutrophil-platelet aggregates and a distinct neutrophil and platelet activation pattern in blood, which changes with disease severity. Whereas cases of intermediate severity show an exhausted platelet and hyporeactive neutrophil phenotype, patients severely affected with COVID-19 are characterized by excessive platelet and neutrophil activation in comparison with healthy controls and non-COVID-19 pneumonia. Dysregulated immunothrombosis in severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 pneumonia is linked to both acute respiratory distress syndrome and systemic hypercoagulability. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data point to immunothrombotic dysregulation as a key marker of disease severity in COVID-19. Further work is necessary to determine the role of immunothrombosis in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Blood Coagulation Disorders/diagnosis , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , Blood Platelets/cytology , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Blood Platelets/pathology , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Humans , Kidney/pathology , Lung/pathology , Neutrophils/cytology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Neutrophils/pathology , Pandemics , Phenotype , Platelet Activation , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/diagnosis
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