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1.
J Med Virol ; 2022 Jun 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1877652

ABSTRACT

We aimed to provide in vitro data on the neutralization capacity of different monoclonal antibody (mAb) preparations against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) delta and omicron variant, respectively, and describe the in vivo RNA kinetics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients treated with the respective mAbs. Virus neutralization assays were performed to assess the neutralizing effect of the mAb formulations casirivimab/imdevimab and sotrovimab on the SARS-CoV-2 delta and omicron variant. Additionally, respiratory tract SARS-CoV-2 RNA kinetics are provided for 25 COVID-19 patients infected with either delta variant (n = 18) or omicron variant (n = 7) treated with the respective mAb formulations during their hospital stay. In the virus neutralization assay, sotrovimab exhibits neutralizing capacity at therapeutically achievable concentrations against the SARS-CoV-2 delta and omicron variant. In contrast, casivirimab/imdevimab had neutralizing capacity against the delta variant but failed neutralization against the omicron variant except for a very high concentration above the currently recommended therapeutic dosage. In patients with delta variant infections treated with casivirimab/imdevimab, we observed a rapid decrease of respiratory viral RNA at day 3 after mAb therapy. In contrast, no such prompt decline was observed in patients with delta variant or omicron variant infections receiving sotrovimab.

2.
Genet Med ; 2022 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814430

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Host genetic variants in activating natural killer (NK) cell receptors may contribute to differences in severity of COVID-19. NK cell-mediated antibody-mediated cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) responses play, however, a controversial role in SARS-CoV-2 infections. It is unclear whether proinflammatory and cytotoxic SARS-CoV-2-specific ADCC responses limit disease severity or rather contribute to the immunopathogenesis of severe COVID-19. METHODS: Using a genetic association approach and subsequent in vitro antibody-dependent NK cell activation experiments, we investigated whether genetic variants in the FcγRIIIa-encoding FCGR3A gene, resulting in expression of either a low-affinity or high-affinity variant, and individual SARS-CoV-2-specific ADCC response contribute to COVID-19 severity. RESULTS: In our study, we showed that the high-affinity variant of the FcγRIIIa receptor, 158-V/V, is significantly over-represented in hospitalized and deceased patients with COVID-19, whereas the low-affinity FcγRIIIa-158-F/F variant occurs more frequently in patients with mild COVID-19 (P < .0001). Furthermore, functional SARS-CoV-2 antibody-specific NK cell-mediated ADCC assays revealed that significantly higher proinflammatory ADCC responses occur in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and are especially observed in NK cells expressing the FcγRIIIa-158-V/V variant (P < .0001). CONCLUSION: Our study provides evidence that pronounced SARS-CoV-2-specific NK cell-mediated ADCC responses are influenced by NK cell FcγRIIIa genetic variants and are a hallmark of severe COVID-19.

3.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 8: 779073, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809356

ABSTRACT

Background: The fatal consequences of an infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 are not only caused by severe pneumonia, but also by thrombosis. Platelets are important regulators of thrombosis, but their involvement in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to determine their functional and biochemical profile in patients with COVID-19 in dependence of mortality within 5-days after hospitalization. Methods: The COVID-19-related platelet phenotype was examined by analyzing their basal activation state via integrin αIIbß3 activation using flow cytometry and the proteome by unbiased two-dimensional differential in-gel fluorescence electrophoresis. In total we monitored 98 surviving and 12 non-surviving COVID-19 patients over 5 days of hospital stay and compared them to healthy controls (n = 12). Results: Over the observation period the level of basal αIIbß3 activation on platelets from non-surviving COVID-19 patients decreased compared to survivors. In line with this finding, proteomic analysis revealed a decrease in the total amount of integrin αIIb (ITGA2B), a subunit of αIIbß3, in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy controls; the decline was even more pronounced for the non-survivors. Consumption of the fibrin-stabilizing factor coagulation factor XIIIA (F13A1) was higher in platelets from COVID-19 patients and tended to be higher in non-survivors; plasma concentrations of the latter also differed significantly. Depending on COVID-19 disease status and mortality, increased amounts of annexin A5 (ANXA5), eukaryotic initiation factor 4A-I (EIF4A1), and transaldolase (TALDO1) were found in the platelet proteome and also correlated with the nasopharyngeal viral load. Dysregulation of these proteins may play a role for virus replication. ANXA5 has also been identified as an autoantigen of the antiphospholipid syndrome, which is common in COVID-19 patients. Finally, the levels of two different protein disulfide isomerases, P4HB and PDIA6, which support thrombosis, were increased in the platelets of COVID-19 patients. Conclusion: Platelets from COVID-19 patients showed significant changes in the activation phenotype, in the processing of the final coagulation factor F13A1 and the phospholipid-binding protein ANXA5 compared to healthy subjects. Additionally, these results demonstrate specific alterations in platelets during COVID-19, which are significantly linked to fatal outcome.

4.
Front Mol Biosci ; 9: 801309, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793001

ABSTRACT

RT-qPCR-based diagnostic tests play important roles in combating virus-caused pandemics such as Covid-19. However, their dependence on sophisticated equipment and the associated costs often limits their widespread use. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification after reverse transcription (RT-LAMP) is an alternative nucleic acid detection method that overcomes these limitations. Here, we present a rapid, robust, and sensitive RT-LAMP-based SARS-CoV-2 detection assay. Our 40-min procedure bypasses the RNA isolation step, is insensitive to carryover contamination, and uses a colorimetric readout that enables robust SARS-CoV-2 detection from various sample types. Based on this assay, we have increased sensitivity and scalability by adding a nucleic acid enrichment step (Bead-LAMP), developed a version for home testing (HomeDip-LAMP), and identified open-source RT-LAMP enzymes that can be produced in any molecular biology laboratory. On a dedicated website, rtlamp.org (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.6033689), we provide detailed protocols and videos. Our optimized, general-purpose RT-LAMP assay is an important step toward population-scale SARS-CoV-2 testing.

5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-333086

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged Omicron variant is the most antigenically distinct SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern to date. As the heavily mutated spike protein enables escape from neutralizing antibodies, we studied the neutralizing activities of sera after Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 infections of naïve and vaccinated individuals. We show that primary BA.1 infections yielded reduced neutralizing antibody titers against wildtype (WT), Delta, and BA.2, while serum samples from individuals after BA.2 infection showed no cross-neutralization against the other variants. Fully vaccinated individuals were still able to neutralize both Omicron sub-lineages up to three months after vaccination, and Omicron-breakthrough infections showed equal cross-neutralizing activities against WT, Delta, BA.1, and BA.2. Our data demonstrate that Omicron variants are able to enhance cross-neutralizing antibodies in pre-immune individuals. Primary infections with one of the Omicron sub-lineages, however, induced variant-specific neutralizing antibodies. In particular, BA.2 infections generated a sub-lineage-specific response, emphasizing its antigenic distance.

6.
Med Klin Intensivmed Notfmed ; 117(3): 177-186, 2022 Apr.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1763329

ABSTRACT

Treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is particularly challenging due to the rapid scientific advances and the often significant hypoxemia. Use of high-flow oxygen, noninvasive mask ventilation, and the technique of awake proning can sometimes avoid the need for intubation. Mechanical ventilation follows the principles of ventilation for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS; lung protective ventilation) and is generally supplemented by consequent positioning therapy (with at least 16 h in prone position in multiple cycles). Antiviral therapy options such as remdesivir usually come too late for patients with COVID-19 in the ICU, the only exception being the administration of monoclonal antibodies for patients without seroconversion. The value of immunomodulatory therapy such as dexamethasone is undisputed. Interleukin­6 antagonists, on the other hand, are rather problematic for ICU patients, and for Janus kinase inhibitors, data and experience are still insufficient in this context.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Noninvasive Ventilation , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Noninvasive Ventilation/methods , Prone Position , Respiration, Artificial
7.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 133(23-24): 1310-1317, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756806

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Diagnosis and treatment of influenza patients are often provided across several medical specialties. We compared patient outcomes at an infectious diseases (ID), a rheumatology (Rheu) and a pulmonology (Pul) department. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this prospective observational multicenter study we included all influenza positive adults who were hospitalized and treated at flu isolation wards in three hospitals in Vienna during the season 2018/2019. RESULTS: A total of 490 patients (49% female) with a median age of 73 years (interquartile range [IQR] 61-82) were included. No differences regarding age, sex and most underlying diseases were present at admission. Frequencies of the most common complications differed: acute kidney failure (ID 12.7%, Rheu 21.2%, Pulm 37.1%, p < 0.001), acute heart failure (ID 4.3%, Rheu 17.1%, Pulm 14.4%, p < 0.001) and respiratory insufficiency (ID 45.1%, Rheu 41.5%, Pulm 56.3%, p = 0.030). Oseltamivir prescription was lowest at the pulmonology flu ward (ID 79.6%, Rheu 90.5%, Pulm 61.7%, p < 0.001). In total 176 patients (35.9%) developed pneumonia. Antibiotic selection varied between the departments: amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (ID 28.9%, Rheu 63.8%, Pulm 5.9%, p < 0.001), cefuroxime (ID 28.9%, Rheu 1.3%, Pulm 0%, p < 0.001), 3rd generation cephalosporins (ID 4.4%, Rheu 5%, Pulm 72.5%, p < 0.001), doxycycline (ID 17.8%, Rheu 0%, Pulm 0%, p < 0.001). The median length of stay was significantly different between wards: ID 6 days (IQR 5-8), Rheu 6 days (IQR 5-7) and Pulm 7 days (IQR 5-9.5, p = 0.034). In-hospital mortality was 4.3% and did not differ between specialties. CONCLUSION: We detected differences in oseltamivir usage, length of in-hospital stay and antibiotic choices for pneumonia. Influenza-associated mortality was unaffected by specialty.


Subject(s)
Influenza, Human , Adult , Aged , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Influenza, Human/drug therapy , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Oseltamivir , Seasons
8.
J Gen Intern Med ; 37(6): 1494-1500, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750819

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Point-of-care antigen tests (AgTs) for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) enable the rapid testing of infected individuals and are easy-to-use. However, there are few studies evaluating their clinical use. OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to evaluate and compare the clinical performance characteristics of various commercial SARS-CoV-2 AgTs. DESIGN: The sensitivity of five AgTs, comprising four rapid antigen tests (RAT; AMP Rapid Test SARS-CoV-2 Ag, NADAL COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test, CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test, and Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test) and one sandwich chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA; LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 Assay), were evaluated in 300 nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs. Reverse transcriptase (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used as a reference method. PARTICIPANTS: NP swabs were collected from patients admitted to hospital due to COVID-19. KEY RESULTS: Sensitivities of the AgTs ranged from 64.9 to 91.7% for samples with RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values lower than 30 and were 100% for cycle threshold (Ct) values lower than 20. The highest sensitivity was observed for CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test, and Roche SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test. Multivariate analysis using time from symptom onset and the Ct value for AgT sensitivity showed an inverse correlation. Further, the female sex was an independent factor of lower RAT sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS: Antigen tests from NP swab samples show high sensitivity in patients with a Ct value < 20. The best clinical sensitivity can be obtained using AgTs within the first 6 days after symptom onset.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
9.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329587

ABSTRACT

Introduction: SARS-CoV-2 gains cell entry via angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) 2, a membrane-bound enzyme of the “alternative” (alt) renin-angiotensin system (RAS). ACE2 counteracts angiotensin II by converting it to potentially protective angiotensin 1-7. Methods: : Using mass spectrometry, we assessed key metabolites of the classical RAS (angiotensins I–II) and alt-RAS (angiotensins 1-7 and 1-5) pathways as well as ACE and ACE2 concentrations in 159 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, stratified by disease severity (severe, n=76;non-severe, n=83). Plasma renin activity (PRA-S) was calculated as the sum of RAS metabolites. We estimated ACE activity using the angiotensin II:I ratio (ACE-S) and estimated systemic alt-RAS activation using the ratio of alt-RAS axis metabolites to PRA-S (ALT-S). We applied mixed linear models to assess how PRA-S and ACE/ACE2 concentrations affected ALT-S, ACE-S, and angiotensins II and 1-7. Results: : Median angiotensin I and II levels were higher with severe versus non-severe COVID-19 (both p<0.05), demonstrating activation of classical RAS. The difference disappeared with analysis limited to patients not taking a RAS inhibitor. ALT-S in severe COVID-19 increased with time (days 1–6: 0.12;days 11–16: 0.22) and correlated with ACE2 concentration (r=0.831). ACE-S was lower in severe versus non-severe COVID-19 (p<0.001), but ACE concentrations were similar between groups and weakly correlated with ACE-S (r=0.232). In mixed linear models, renin activity most strongly predicted angiotensin II and 1-7 levels. ACE2 also predicted angiotensin 1-7 levels and ALT-S. No single factor or the combined model, however, could fully explain ACE-S. Conclusions: : Angiotensin II was elevated in severe COVID-19 but markedly influenced by RAS inhibitors and driven by overall RAS activation. ACE-S was significantly lower with severe COVID-19 and did not correlate with ACE concentrations. A shift to the alt-RAS axis because of increased ACE2 could partially explain the relative reduction in angiotensin II levels.

10.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323355

ABSTRACT

Patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 may show mild infection or may develop severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In the present study, we investigated whether there is an association between the severity of COVID-19 and the naturally occurring human genetic variants in the natural killer (NK) cell NKG2C receptor (NKG2C wt/del ) and its cellular ligand HLA-E (HLA-E*0101/0103). Both factors are essential components of the NKG2C + NK cell response and important parts of the defence against pulmonary viral infection. NKG2C del and HLA-E*0101 were significantly overrepresented in hospitalized patients (p=0.0006 and p=0.01, respectively) and particularly in critically ill patients requiring intensive care (p<0.0001 and p=0.01, respectively), compared to patients with mild symptoms or healthy controls. Both genetic variants were found to be independent risk factors for severe COVID-19. The data highlight that specific NKG2C + NK cell responses play an important role against SARS-CoV-2 and that variations thereof may significantly influence the severity of disease.

11.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 8: 802566, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686459

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) induces a hypercoagulatory state that frequently leads to thromboembolic complications. Whereas anticoagulation is associated with reduced mortality, the role of antiplatelet therapy in COVID-19 is less clear. We retrospectively analyzed the effect of anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy in 578 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and prospectively monitored 110 patients for circulating microthrombi and plasma markers of coagulation in the first week of admission. Moreover, we determined platelet shape change and also thrombi in postmortem lung biopsies in a subset of patients with COVID-19. We observed no association of antiplatelet therapy with COVID-19 survival. Adverse outcome in COVID-19 was associated with increased activation of the coagulation cascade, whereas circulating microthrombi did not increase in aggravated disease. This was in line with analysis of postmortem lung biopsies of patients with COVID-19, which revealed generally fibrin(ogen)-rich and platelet-low thrombi. Platelet spreading was normal in severe COVID-19 cases; however, plasma from patients with COVID-19 mediated an outcome-dependent inhibitory effect on naïve platelets. Antiplatelet medication disproportionally exacerbated this platelet impairment in plasma of patients with fatal outcome. Taken together, this study shows that unfavorable outcome in COVID-19 is associated with a profound dysregulation of the coagulation system, whereas the contribution of platelets to thrombotic complications is less clear. Adverse outcome may be associated with impaired platelet function or platelet exhaustion. In line, antiplatelet therapy was not associated with beneficial outcome.

12.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 795026, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686455

ABSTRACT

Objective: To develop and validate a prognostic model for in-hospital mortality after four days based on age, fever at admission and five haematological parameters routinely measured in hospitalized Covid-19 patients during the first four days after admission. Methods: Haematological parameters measured during the first 4 days after admission were subjected to a linear mixed model to obtain patient-specific intercepts and slopes for each parameter. A prediction model was built using logistic regression with variable selection and shrinkage factor estimation supported by bootstrapping. Model development was based on 481 survivors and 97 non-survivors, hospitalized before the occurrence of mutations. Internal validation was done by 10-fold cross-validation. The model was temporally-externally validated in 299 survivors and 42 non-survivors hospitalized when the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) was prevalent. Results: The final model included age, fever on admission as well as the slope or intercept of lactate dehydrogenase, platelet count, C-reactive protein, and creatinine. Tenfold cross validation resulted in a mean area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of 0.92, a mean calibration slope of 1.0023 and a Brier score of 0.076. At temporal-external validation, application of the previously developed model showed an AUROC of 0.88, a calibration slope of 0.95 and a Brier score of 0.073. Regarding the relative importance of the variables, the (apparent) variation in mortality explained by the six variables deduced from the haematological parameters measured during the first four days is higher (explained variation 0.295) than that of age (0.210). Conclusions: The presented model requires only variables routinely acquired in hospitals, which allows immediate and wide-spread use as a decision support for earlier discharge of low-risk patients to reduce the burden on the health care system. Clinical Trial Registration: Austrian Coronavirus Adaptive Clinical Trial (ACOVACT); ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier NCT04351724.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Retrospective Studies
13.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0202921, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673365

ABSTRACT

The objective of our study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of rapid antigen detection tests versus those of reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) using oral, anterior nasal, and nasopharyngeal swabs. The underlying prospective, diagnostic case-control-type accuracy study included 87 hospitalized and nonhospitalized participants in a positive and a negative sample cohort between 16 March and 14 May 2021 in two hospitals in Vienna. SARS-CoV-2 infection status was confirmed by RT-PCR. Participants self-performed one oral and one anterior nasal swab for the rapid antigen test, immediately followed by two nasopharyngeal swabs for the rapid antigen test and RT-PCR by the investigator. Test results were read after 15 min, and participants completed a questionnaire in the meantime. Test parameters were calculated based on the evaluation of 87 participants. The overall sensitivity of rapid antigen detection tests versus that of RT-PCR with oral, anterior nasal, and nasopharyngeal samples was 18.18% (95% confidence interval [CI] 8.19% to 32.71%), 63.04% (95% CI 47.55% to 76.79%), and 73.33% (95% CI 58.06% to 85.4%), respectively. All sampling methods had a test specificity of 100% regardless of the cycle threshold (CT) value. Rapid antigen detection tests using self-collected anterior nasal swabs proved to be as sensitive as and more tolerable than professionally collected nasopharyngeal swabs for CT values up to 30 determined by RT-PCR. This finding illustrates the reliability of tests obtained by adequate self-collected anterior nasal specimen. Sensitivity was dependent upon the CT value for each sampling method. While the main advantage of rapid antigen detection tests is the immediate availability of results, PCR should be preferred in crucial settings wherever possible. IMPORTANCE Rapid antigen detection devices for SARS-CoV-2 represent a valuable tool for monitoring the spread of infection. However, the reliability of the tests depends largely on the test performance and the respective sampling method. Nasopharyngeal swabs mark the gold standard for sample collection in suspected respiratory tract infections but are unsuitable for widespread application, as they must be performed by medically trained personnel. With the underlying study, the head-to-head test performance and the usability of self-collected samples for SARS-CoV-2 detection using rapid antigen detection devices were evaluated. The results confirm similar sensitivity of self-collected anterior nasal swabs to that of professionally collected nasopharyngeal swabs for patients with a CT of < 30 determined by RT-PCR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Mouth/virology , Nasopharynx/virology , Nose/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
14.
Cells ; 10(12)2021 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613627

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically highlighted the vulnerability of the elderly population towards viral and other infectious threats, illustrating that aging is accompanied by dysregulated immune responses currently summarized in terms like inflammaging and immunoparalysis. To gain a better understanding on the underlying mechanisms of the age-associated risk of adverse outcome in individuals experiencing a SARS-CoV-2 infection, we analyzed the impact of age on circulating monocyte phenotypes, activation markers and inflammatory cytokines including interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in the context of COVID-19 disease progression and outcome in 110 patients. Our data indicate no age-associated differences in peripheral monocyte counts or subset composition. However, age and outcome are associated with differences in monocyte activation status. Moreover, a distinct cytokine pattern of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF in elderly survivors versus non-survivors, which consolidates over the time of hospitalization, suggests that older patients with adverse outcomes experience an inappropriate immune response, reminiscent of an inflammaging driven immunoparalysis. Our study underscores the value, necessity and importance of longitudinal monitoring in elderly COVID-19 patients, as dynamic changes after symptom onset can be observed, which allow for a differentiated insight into confounding factors that impact the complex pathogenesis following an infection with SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Aging/pathology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Monocytes/pathology , Acute Disease , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/metabolism , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/metabolism , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
15.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3411-3417, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Since the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, several reports indicated neurological involvement in COVID-19 disease. Muscle involvement has also been reported as evidenced by creatine kinase (CK) elevations and reports of myalgia. METHODS: Creatine kinase, markers of inflammation, pre-existing diseases and statin use were extracted from records of Austrian hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Disease severity was classified as severe in case of intensive care unit (ICU) admission or mortality. COVID-19 patients were additionally compared to an historical group of hospitalised influenza patients. RESULTS: Three hundred fifty-one patients with SARS-CoV-2 and 258 with influenza were included in the final analysis. CK was elevated in 27% of COVID-19 and in 28% of influenza patients. CK was higher in severe COVID-19 as were markers of inflammation. CK correlated significantly with inflammation markers, which had an independent impact on CK when adjusted for demographic variables and disease severity. Compared to influenza patients, COVID-19 patients were older, more frequently male, had more comorbidities, and more frequently had a severe disease course. Nevertheless, influenza patients had higher baseline CK than COVID-19, and 35.7% of intensive care unit (ICU)-admitted patients had CK levels >1,000 U/L compared to only 4.7% of ICU-admitted COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSIONS: HyperCKemia occurs in a similar frequency in COVID-19 and influenza infection. CK levels were lower in COVID-19 than in influenza in mild and severe disease. CK levels strongly correlate with disease severity and markers of inflammation. To date, it remains unclear whether hyperCKemia is due to a virus-triggered inflammatory response or direct muscle toxicity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Humans , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Muscles , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 8: 795624, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597865

ABSTRACT

Thromboembolic complications are frequently observed in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While COVID-19 is linked to platelet dysregulation, the association between disease outcome and platelet function is less clear. We prospectively monitored platelet activation and reactivity in 97 patients during the first week of hospitalization and determined plasma markers of platelet degranulation and inflammation. Adverse outcome in COVID-19 was associated with increased basal platelet activation and diminished platelet responses, which aggravated over time. Especially GPIIb/IIIa responses were abrogated, pointing toward impeded platelet aggregation. Moreover, platelet-leukocyte aggregate formation was diminished, pointing toward abrogated platelet-mediated immune responses in COVID-19. No general increase in plasma levels of platelet-derived granule components could be detected, arguing against platelet exhaustion. However, studies on platelets from healthy donors showed that plasma components in COVID-19 patients with unfavorable outcome were at least partly responsible for diminished platelet responses. Taken together this study shows that unfavorable outcome in COVID-19 is associated with a hypo-responsive platelet phenotype that aggravates with disease progression and may impact platelet-mediated immunoregulation.

17.
Cardiovasc Res ; 117(14): 2807-2820, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596913

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Anticoagulation was associated with improved survival of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in large-scale studies. Yet, the development of COVID-19-associated coagulopathy (CAC) and the mechanism responsible for improved survival of anticoagulated patients with COVID-19 remain largely elusive. This investigation aimed to explore the effects of anticoagulation and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in particular on patient outcome, CAC development, thromboinflammation, cell death, and viral persistence. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data of 586 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from three different regions of Austria were evaluated retrospectively. Of these, 419 (71.5%) patients received LMWH and 62 (10.5%) received non-vitamin-K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during hospitalization. Plasma was collected at different time points in a subset of 106 patients in order to evaluate markers of thromboinflammation (H3Cit-DNA) and the cell death marker cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Use of LMWH was associated with improved survival upon multivariable Cox regression (hazard ratio = 0.561, 95% confidence interval: 0.348-0.906). Interestingly, neither LMWH nor NOAC was associated with attenuation of D-dimer increase over time, or thromboinflammation. In contrast, anticoagulation was associated with a decrease in cfDNA during hospitalization, and curtailed viral persistence was observed in patients using LMWH leading to a 4-day reduction of virus positivity upon quantitative polymerase chain reaction [13 (interquartile range: 6-24) vs. 9 (interquartile range: 5-16) days, P = 0.009]. CONCLUSION: Time courses of haemostatic and thromboinflammatory biomarkers were similar in patients with and without LMWH, indicating either no effects of LMWH on haemostasis or that LMWH reduced hypercoagulability to levels of patients without LMWH. Nonetheless, anticoagulation with LMWH was associated with reduced mortality, improved markers of cell death, and curtailed viral persistence, indicating potential beneficial effects of LMWH beyond haemostasis, which encourages use of LMWH in COVID-19 patients without contraindications.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , /virology , Aged , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Austria/epidemiology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hemostasis , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , /prevention & control
18.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 2021 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561051

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Critically ill Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients have high rates of bacterial superinfection. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction panels may be able to provide useful information about the incidence and spectrum of bacteria causing superinfections. METHODS: In this retrospective observational study we included all COVID-19 positive patients admitted to our intensive care unit with suspected hospital-acquired pneumonia/ventilator-associated pneumonia (HAP/VAP) in whom the BioFire® Pneumonia Panel (PP) was performed from tracheal aspirate or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid for diagnostic purposes. The aim of our study was to analyze the spectrum of pathogens detected with the PP. RESULTS: In this study 60 patients with a median age of 62.5 years were included. Suspected VAP was the most frequent (48/60, 80%) indication for performing the PP. Tracheal aspirate was the predominant sample type (50/60, 83.3%). The PP led to a negative, monomicrobial and polymicrobial result in 36.7%, 35% and 28.3% of the patients, respectively. The three most detected bacteria were Staphylococcus aureus (13/60, 21.7%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (12/60, 20%) and Haemophilus influenzae (9/60, 15%). Neither atypical bacteria nor resistance genes were detected. Microbiological culture of respiratory specimens was performed in 36 (60%) patients concomitantly. The PP and microbiological culture yielded a non-concordant, partial concordant and completely concordant result in 13.9% (5/36), 30.6% (11/36) and 55.6% (20/36) of the analyzed samples, respectively. CONCLUSION: In critically ill COVID-19 patients with suspected HAP/VAP results of the PP and microbiological culture methods were largely consistent. In our cohort, S. aureus and K. pneumoniae were the most frequently detected organisms. A higher diagnostic yield may be achieved if both methods are combined.

19.
Cardiovasc Res ; 117(14): 2807-2820, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450385

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Anticoagulation was associated with improved survival of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in large-scale studies. Yet, the development of COVID-19-associated coagulopathy (CAC) and the mechanism responsible for improved survival of anticoagulated patients with COVID-19 remain largely elusive. This investigation aimed to explore the effects of anticoagulation and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in particular on patient outcome, CAC development, thromboinflammation, cell death, and viral persistence. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data of 586 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from three different regions of Austria were evaluated retrospectively. Of these, 419 (71.5%) patients received LMWH and 62 (10.5%) received non-vitamin-K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during hospitalization. Plasma was collected at different time points in a subset of 106 patients in order to evaluate markers of thromboinflammation (H3Cit-DNA) and the cell death marker cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Use of LMWH was associated with improved survival upon multivariable Cox regression (hazard ratio = 0.561, 95% confidence interval: 0.348-0.906). Interestingly, neither LMWH nor NOAC was associated with attenuation of D-dimer increase over time, or thromboinflammation. In contrast, anticoagulation was associated with a decrease in cfDNA during hospitalization, and curtailed viral persistence was observed in patients using LMWH leading to a 4-day reduction of virus positivity upon quantitative polymerase chain reaction [13 (interquartile range: 6-24) vs. 9 (interquartile range: 5-16) days, P = 0.009]. CONCLUSION: Time courses of haemostatic and thromboinflammatory biomarkers were similar in patients with and without LMWH, indicating either no effects of LMWH on haemostasis or that LMWH reduced hypercoagulability to levels of patients without LMWH. Nonetheless, anticoagulation with LMWH was associated with reduced mortality, improved markers of cell death, and curtailed viral persistence, indicating potential beneficial effects of LMWH beyond haemostasis, which encourages use of LMWH in COVID-19 patients without contraindications.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , /virology , Aged , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Austria/epidemiology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hemostasis , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , /prevention & control
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