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1.
Cell Rep ; 37(13): 110169, 2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616407

ABSTRACT

The importance of pre-existing immune responses to seasonal endemic coronaviruses (HCoVs) for the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the course of COVID-19 is the subject of an ongoing scientific debate. Recent studies postulate that immune responses to previous HCoV infections can either have a slightly protective or no effect on SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and, consequently, be neglected for COVID-19 risk stratification. Challenging this notion, we provide evidence that pre-existing, anti-nucleocapsid antibodies against endemic α-coronaviruses and S2 domain-specific anti-spike antibodies against ß-coronavirus HCoV-OC43 are elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic donors. This finding is particularly pronounced in males and in critically ill patients. Longitudinal evaluation reveals that antibody cross-reactivity or polyclonal stimulation by SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to be confounders. Thus, specific pre-existing immunity to seasonal coronaviruses may increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and predispose individuals to an adverse COVID-19 outcome, guiding risk management and supporting the development of universal coronavirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Germany , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Seasons , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
2.
Cell reports ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1565013

ABSTRACT

Wratil et al. find specific antibody responses against seasonal human coronaviruses, which cause the common cold, to be elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic blood donors. This specific immunity is likely pre-existing in patients and increases their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and severity of COVID-19.

3.
Euro Surveill ; 26(43)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547185

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
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.
Trials ; 22(1): 643, 2021 Sep 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435265

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a complex clinical diagnosis with various possible etiologies. One common feature, however, is pulmonary permeability edema, which leads to an increased alveolar diffusion pathway and, subsequently, impaired oxygenation and decarboxylation. A novel inhaled peptide agent (AP301, solnatide) was shown to markedly reduce pulmonary edema in animal models of ARDS and to be safe to administer to healthy humans in a Phase I clinical trial. Here, we present the protocol for a Phase IIB clinical trial investigating the safety and possible future efficacy endpoints in ARDS patients. METHODS: This is a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention study. Patients with moderate to severe ARDS in need of mechanical ventilation will be randomized to parallel groups receiving escalating doses of solnatide or placebo, respectively. Before advancing to a higher dose, a data safety monitoring board will investigate the data from previous patients for any indication of patient safety violations. The intervention (application of the investigational drug) takes places twice daily over the course of 7 days, ensued by a follow-up period of another 21 days. DISCUSSION: The patients to be included in this trial will be severely sick and in need of mechanical ventilation. The amount of data to be collected upon screening and during the course of the intervention phase is substantial and the potential timeframe for inclusion of any given patient is short. However, when prepared properly, adherence to this protocol will make for the acquisition of reliable data. Particular diligence needs to be exercised with respect to informed consent, because eligible patients will most likely be comatose and/or deeply sedated at the time of inclusion. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was prospectively registered with the EU Clinical trials register (clinicaltrialsregister.eu). EudraCT Number: 2017-003855-47 .


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Edema , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Double-Blind Method , Edema , Humans , Peptides, Cyclic , Permeability , Pulmonary Edema/diagnosis , Pulmonary Edema/drug therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnosis , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
7.
Obes Med ; 25: 100358, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294094

ABSTRACT

Aims: This study aimed to determine whether anthropometric markers of thoracic skeletal muscle and abdominal visceral fat tissue correlate with outcome parameters in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Methods: We retrospectively analysed thoracic CT-scans of 67 patients in four ICUs at a university hospital. Thoracic skeletal muscle (total cross-sectional area (CSA); pectoralis muscle area (PMA)) and abdominal visceral fat tissue (VAT) were quantified using a semi-automated method. Point-biserial-correlation-coefficient, Spearman-correlation-coefficient, Wilcoxon rank-sum test and logistic regression were used to assess the correlation and test for differences between anthropometric parameters and death, ventilator- and ICU-free days and initial inflammatory laboratory values. Results: Deceased patients had lower CSA and PMA values, but higher VAT values (p < 0.001). Male patients with higher CSA values had more ventilator-free days (p = 0.047) and ICU-free days (p = 0.017). Higher VAT/CSA and VAT/PMA values were associated with higher mortality (p < 0.001), but were negatively correlated with ICU length of stay in female patients only (p < 0.016). There was no association between anthropometric parameters and initial inflammatory biomarker levels. Logistic regression revealed no significant independent predictor for death. Conclusion: Our study suggests that pathologic body composition assessed by planimetric measurements using thoracic CT-scans is associated with worse outcome in critically ill COVID-19 patients.

8.
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
9.
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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