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1.
J Thromb Haemost ; 2022 Mar 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1752627

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection is associated with an increased incidence of thrombosis. OBJECTIVES: By studying the fibrin network structure of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, we aimed to unravel pathophysiological mechanisms that contribute to this increased risk of thrombosis. This may contribute to optimal prevention and treatment of COVID-19 related thrombosis. PATIENTS/METHODS: In this case-control study, we collected plasma samples from intensive care unit (ICU) patients with COVID-19, with and without confirmed thrombosis, between April and December 2020. Additionally, we collected plasma from COVID-19 patients admitted to general wards without thrombosis, from ICU patients with pneumococcal infection, and from healthy controls. Fibrin fiber diameters and fibrin network density were quantified in plasma clots imaged with stimulated emission depletion microscopy and confocal microscopy. Finally, we determined the sensitivity to fibrinolysis. RESULTS: COVID-19 ICU patients (n = 37) and ICU patients with pneumococcal disease (n = 7) showed significantly higher fibrin densities and longer plasma clot lysis times than healthy controls (n = 7). No differences were observed between COVID-19 ICU patients with and without thrombosis, or ICU patients with pneumococcal infection. At a second time point, after diagnosis of thrombosis or at a similar time point in patients without thrombosis, we observed thicker fibers and longer lysis times in COVID-19 ICU patients with thrombosis (n = 19) than in COVID-19 ICU patients without thrombosis (n = 18). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that severe COVID-19 is associated with a changed fibrin network structure and decreased susceptibility to fibrinolysis. Because these changes were not exclusive to COVID-19 patients, they may not explain the increased thrombosis risk.

2.
J Clin Immunol ; 42(2): 232-239, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1669888

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To study the effect of interferon-α2 auto-antibodies (IFN-α2 Abs) on clinical and virological outcomes in critically ill COVID-19 patients and the risk of IFN-α2 Abs transfer during convalescent plasma treatment. METHODS: Sera from healthy controls, cases of COVID-19, and other respiratory illness were tested for IFN-α2 Abs by ELISA and a pseudo virus-based neutralization assay. The effects of disease severity, sex, and age on the risk of having neutralizing IFN-α2 Abs were determined. Longitudinal analyses were performed to determine association between IFN-α2 Abs and survival and viral load and whether serum IFN-α2 Abs appeared after convalescent plasma transfusion. RESULTS: IFN-α2 neutralizing sera were found only in COVID-19 patients, with proportions increasing with disease severity and age. In the acute stage of COVID-19, all sera from patients with ELISA-detected IFN-α2 Abs (13/164, 7.9%) neutralized levels of IFN-α2 exceeding physiological concentrations found in human plasma and this was associated with delayed viral clearance. Convalescent plasma donors that were anti-IFN-α2 ELISA positive (3/118, 2.5%) did not neutralize the same levels of IFN-α2. Neutralizing serum IFN-α2 Abs were associated with delayed viral clearance from the respiratory tract. CONCLUSIONS: IFN-α2 Abs were detected by ELISA and neutralization assay in COVID-19 patients, but not in ICU patients with other respiratory illnesses. The presence of neutralizing IFN-α2 Abs in critically ill COVID-19 is associated with delayed viral clearance. IFN-α2 Abs in COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors were not neutralizing in the conditions tested.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Interferon alpha-2/immunology , Plasma/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antiviral Agents/immunology , Blood Component Transfusion/methods , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
3.
Journal of Clinical Investigation ; 131(21):1-13, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1503264

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Little is known about the interplay between preexisting immunity to endemic seasonal coronaviruses and the development of a SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG response. We investigated the kinetics, breadth, magnitude, and level of cross-reactivity of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and heterologous seasonal and epidemic coronaviruses at the clonal level in patients with mild or severe COVID-19 as well as in disease control patients. We assessed antibody reactivity to nucleocapsid and spike antigens and correlated this IgG response to SARS-CoV-2 neutralization. Patients with COVID-19 mounted a mostly type-specific SARS-CoV-2 response. Additionally, IgG clones directed against a seasonal coronavirus were boosted in patients with severe COVID-19. These boosted clones showed limited cross-reactivity and did not neutralize SARS-CoV-2. These findings indicate a boost of poorly protective CoV-specific antibodies in patients with COVID-19 that correlated with disease severity, revealing "original antigenic sin."

5.
J Clin Med ; 10(11)2021 Jun 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259514

ABSTRACT

Several reports have been published on Aspergillus findings in COVID-19 patients leading to a proposition of new disease entity COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis. This scoping review is designed at clarifying the concepts on how the findings of Aspergillus spp. in COVID-19 patients were interpreted. We searched Medline to identify the studies on Aspergillus spp. findings in COVID-19 patients. Included were observational studies containing the following information: explicit mention of the total number of the study population, study period, reason for obtaining respiratory samples, case definition, and clinical outcomes. Excluded were case series, case reports and reviews. Identified were 123 publications, and 8 observational studies were included. From the included studies the following issues were identified. The proportion of immunocompromised patients considered as host factors varied from 0 to 17%. Most of the studies did not mention radiographic findings explicitly. Respiratory samples were mostly obtained to investigate clinical deterioration. Aspergillus culture, antigen or PCR testing on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were performed in between 23.3% and 66.3% of the study population. Two studies performed periodic samples of BAL. Galactomannan index (GI) positivity in BAL was between 10% and 28%. GI in blood was found in 0.9% to 6.7% of the available samples. The prevalence of COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis ranged from 2.7% to 27.7%. Studies compared the mortality between defined cases and non-cases, and all showed increased mortality in cases. No studies showed that antifungal treatment reduced mortality. Concluding, this review showed how studies defined the clinical entity COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis where positive Aspergillus test in the respiratory sample was the main driver for the diagnosis. There were many differences between studies in terms of test algorithm and Aspergillus test used that largely determined the prevalence. Whether antifungal therapy, either as prophylaxis, pre-emptive or targeted therapy will lead to better outcomes of COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis patients is still need to be answered.

6.
mSphere ; 6(3): e0031121, 2021 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247323

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is associated with a wide range of extrarespiratory complications, of which the pathogenesis is currently not fully understood. However, both systemic spread and systemic inflammatory responses are thought to contribute to the systemic pathogenesis. In this study, we determined the temporal kinetics of viral RNA in serum (RNAemia) and the associated inflammatory cytokines and chemokines during the course of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. We show that RNAemia can be detected in 90% of the patients who develop critical disease, compared to 50% of the patients who develop moderate or severe disease. Furthermore, RNAemia lasts longer in patients who develop critical disease. Elevated levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10) and MCP-1-but not IL-6-are associated with viral load in serum, whereas higher levels of IL-6 in serum were associated with the development of critical disease. In conclusion, RNAemia is common in hospitalized patients, with the highest frequency and duration in patients who develop critical disease. The fact that several cytokines or chemokines are directly associated with the presence of viral RNA in the circulation suggests that the development of RNAemia is an important factor in the systemic pathogenesis of COVID-19. IMPORTANCE Severe COVID-19 can be considered a systemic disease as many extrarespiratory complications occur. However, the systemic pathogenesis is poorly understood. Here, we show that the presence of viral RNA in the blood (RNAemia) occurs more frequently in patients who develop critical disease, compared to patients with moderate or severe disease. In addition, RNAemia is associated with increased levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, like MCP-1 and IL-10, in serum during the course of disease. This suggests that extrarespiratory spread of SARS-CoV-2 contributes to systemic inflammatory responses, which are an important factor in the systemic pathogenesis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/blood , RNA, Viral/blood , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/virology , Hospitalization , Humans , Kinetics , Severity of Illness Index
7.
J Infect Dis ; 223(9): 1512-1521, 2021 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238201

ABSTRACT

Lower respiratory tract (LRT) disease induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can deteriorate to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Because the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) is implicated in ARDS pathogenesis, we investigated the presence of NETs and correlates of pathogenesis in blood and LRT samples of critically ill patients with COVID-19. Plasma NET levels peaked early after intensive care unit admission and were correlated with the SARS-CoV-2 RNA load in sputum and levels of neutrophil-recruiting chemokines and inflammatory markers in plasma samples. The baseline plasma NET quantity was correlated with disease severity but was not associated with soluble markers of thrombosis or with development of thrombosis. High NET levels were present in LRT samples and persisted during the course of COVID-19, consistent with the detection of NETs in bronchi and alveolar spaces in lung tissue from deceased patient with COVID-19. Thus, NETs are produced and retained in the LRT of critically ill patients with COVID-19 and could contribute to SARS-CoV-2-induced ARDS disease.


Subject(s)
Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Extracellular Traps/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers , Chemokines/blood , Cohort Studies , Computed Tomography Angiography , Critical Illness , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombosis/virology , Viral Load
8.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(3)2021 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125556

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to describe the frequency of positive Aspergillus tests in COVID-19 patients and investigate the association between COVID-19 and a positive Aspergillus test result. We compared the proportion of positive Aspergillus tests in COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) for >24 h with two control groups: patients with community-acquired pneumonia with (i) a PCR-confirmed influenza infection (considered a positive control since the link between influenza and invasive aspergillosis has been established) and (ii) Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia (in whom positive Aspergillus tests are mostly considered as colonization). During the study period, 92 COVID-19 patients (mean [standard deviation] age, 62 [14] years; 76.1% males), 48 influenza patients (55 [14]; 56.2% males), and 65 pneumococcal pneumonia patients (58 [15], 63,1% males) were identified. Any positive Aspergillus test from any respiratory sample was found in 10.9% of the COVID-19 patients, 6.2% of the patients with pneumococcal pneumonia, and 22.9% of those infected with influenza. A positive culture or PCR or galactomannan test on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid only was found in 5.4% of COVID-19 patients, which was lower than in patients with influenza (18.8%) and comparable to that in the pneumococcal pneumonia group (4.6%). Using logistic regression analysis, the odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval) for a positive Aspergillus test on BAL fluid for COVID-19 patients was 1.2 (0.3 to 5.1; P = 0.8) compared to the pneumococcal pneumonia group, while it was 0.2 (0.1 to 0.8; P = 0.02) compared to the influenza group. This difference remained significant when corrected for age and sex. In conclusion, in COVID-19 patients, the prevalence of a positive Aspergillus test was comparable to that in patients admitted for pneumococcal pneumonia but substantially lower than what we observed in patients with influenza.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Intensive Care Units , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Aged , Aspergillus , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , Female , Humans , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/epidemiology , Male , Mannans , Middle Aged
9.
J Infect Dis ; 223(9): 1512-1521, 2021 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1052199

ABSTRACT

Lower respiratory tract (LRT) disease induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can deteriorate to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Because the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) is implicated in ARDS pathogenesis, we investigated the presence of NETs and correlates of pathogenesis in blood and LRT samples of critically ill patients with COVID-19. Plasma NET levels peaked early after intensive care unit admission and were correlated with the SARS-CoV-2 RNA load in sputum and levels of neutrophil-recruiting chemokines and inflammatory markers in plasma samples. The baseline plasma NET quantity was correlated with disease severity but was not associated with soluble markers of thrombosis or with development of thrombosis. High NET levels were present in LRT samples and persisted during the course of COVID-19, consistent with the detection of NETs in bronchi and alveolar spaces in lung tissue from deceased patient with COVID-19. Thus, NETs are produced and retained in the LRT of critically ill patients with COVID-19 and could contribute to SARS-CoV-2-induced ARDS disease.


Subject(s)
Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Extracellular Traps/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers , Chemokines/blood , Cohort Studies , Computed Tomography Angiography , Critical Illness , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombosis/virology , Viral Load
10.
J Clin Transl Res ; 6(4): 179-186, 2020 Nov 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1049482

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a challenge for intensive care units (ICU) in part due to the failure to identify risks for patients early and the inability to render an accurate prognosis. Previous reports suggest a strong association between hypercoagulability and poor outcome. Factors related to hemostasis may, therefore, serve as tools to improve the management of COVID-19 patients. AIM: The purpose of this report is to develop a model to determine whether it is possible to early identify COVID-19 patients at risk for thromboembolic complications (TCs). METHODS: We analyzed electronic health record data of 108 consecutive COVID-19 patients admitted to the adult ICU of the Erasmus University Medical Center between February 27 and May 20, 2020. By training a decision tree classifier on 66% of the available data, a model for the prediction of TCs was developed. RESULTS: The median (interquartile range) age was 62 (53-70) years and 73% were male. Forty-three patients (40%) developed a TC during their ICU stay. Mortality was higher for patients in the TCs group compared to the control group (26% vs. 8%, P=0.03). Lactate dehydrogenase, standardized bicarbonate, albumin, and leukocytes were identified by the Decision Tree classifier as the most powerful predictors for TCs 2 days before the onset of the TC, with a sensitivity of 73% and a positive likelihood ratio of 2.7 on the test dataset. CONCLUSIONS: Clinically relevant TCs frequently occur in critically ill COVID-19 patients. These can successfully be predicted using a decision tree model. Although this model could be of special importance to aid clinical decision making, its generalizability and clinical impact should be determined in a larger population. RELEVANCE FOR PATIENTS: Recently, severe TCs were observed in COVID-19 patients with progressive respiratory failure warranting ICU treatment. Timely identification of patients at risk of developing TCs is critical inasmuch as it would enable clinicians to initiate potentially salvaging therapeutic anticoagulation.

11.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 267, 2021 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1019818

ABSTRACT

Key questions in COVID-19 are the duration and determinants of infectious virus shedding. Here, we report that infectious virus shedding is detected by virus cultures in 23 of the 129 patients (17.8%) hospitalized with COVID-19. The median duration of shedding infectious virus is 8 days post onset of symptoms (IQR 5-11) and drops below 5% after 15.2 days post onset of symptoms (95% confidence interval (CI) 13.4-17.2). Multivariate analyses identify viral loads above 7 log10 RNA copies/mL (odds ratio [OR] of 14.7 (CI 3.57-58.1; p < 0.001) as independently associated with isolation of infectious SARS-CoV-2 from the respiratory tract. A serum neutralizing antibody titre of at least 1:20 (OR of 0.01 (CI 0.003-0.08; p < 0.001) is independently associated with non-infectious SARS-CoV-2. We conclude that quantitative viral RNA load assays and serological assays could be used in test-based strategies to discontinue or de-escalate infection prevention and control precautions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Shedding , Aged , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Odds Ratio , RNA, Viral , Respiratory System/virology , Viral Load
12.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3436, 2020 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-630511

ABSTRACT

The world is entering a new era of the COVID-19 pandemic in which there is an increasing call for reliable antibody testing. To support decision making on the deployment of serology for either population screening or diagnostics, we present a detailed comparison of serological COVID-19 assays. We show that among the selected assays there is a wide diversity in assay performance in different scenarios and when correlated to virus neutralizing antibodies. The Wantai ELISA detecting total immunoglobulins against the receptor binding domain of SARS CoV-2, has the best overall characteristics to detect functional antibodies in different stages and severity of disease, including the potential to set a cut-off indicating the presence of protective antibodies. The large variety of available serological assays requires proper assay validation before deciding on deployment of assays for specific applications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/standards , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Luminescent Measurements , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
13.
Sci Immunol ; 5(48)2020 06 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-617063

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has been identified as the causative agent of a global outbreak of respiratory tract disease (COVID-19). In some patients the infection results in moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. High serum levels of IL-6, IL-10 and an immune hyperresponsiveness referred to as a 'cytokine storm' have been associated with poor clinical outcome. Despite the large numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, information on the phenotype and kinetics of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells is limited. Here, we studied 10 COVID-19 patients who required admission to an intensive care unit and detected SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in 10 out of 10 and 8 out of 10 patients, respectively. We also detected low levels of SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in 2 out of 10 healthy controls not previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2, which is indicative of cross-reactivity due to past infection with 'common cold' coronaviruses. The strongest T-cell responses were directed to the spike (S) surface glycoprotein, and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells predominantly produced effector and Th1 cytokines, although Th2 and Th17 cytokines were also detected. Furthermore, we studied T-cell kinetics and showed that SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells are present relatively early and increase over time. Collectively, these data shed light on the potential variations in T-cell responses as a function of disease severity, an issue that is key to understanding the potential role of immunopathology in the disease, and also inform vaccine design and evaluation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Phenotype , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Aged , COVID-19 , Cells, Cultured , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Kinetics , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load/immunology
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