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Front Cardiovasc Med ; 9: 839090, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753365


Background: Myocarditis has been reported following the first two doses of Pfizer-BNT162b2 messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccination. Administration of a third dose (booster) of the vaccine was initiated recently in Israel. Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of patients referred for cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging with myocarditis following the booster. Methods: Patients referred for CMR imaging with a clinical diagnosis of myocarditis within 21 days following the booster, between July 13 and November 11, 2021, were analyzed. Results: Overall, 4 patients were included, 3/4 (75%) were men, and the mean age was 27 ± 10 years. The time from booster administration to the onset of symptoms was 5.75 ± 4.8 days (range 2-14). Obstructive coronary artery disease was excluded in 3 of the patients (75%). CMR was performed 34 ± 15 days (range 8-47 days) following the 3rd vaccination. The mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 61 ± 7% (range 53-71%), and regional wall motion abnormalities were present in one of the patients. Global T1 was increased in one of the patients, while focal T1 values were increased in 3 of the patients. Global T2 was increased in one of the patients, while focal T2 values were increased in all the patients. Global ECV was increased in 3 of the patients, while focal ECV was increased in all the patients. Median late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) was 4 ± 3% (range 1-9%), with the inferolateral segment as the most common location (3 of the 4 patients). All the patients met the Updated Lake Louise Criteria. Conclusions: Patient characteristics and CMR imaging findings of myocarditis following the administration of the booster vaccine are relatively mild and consistent with those observed with the first two doses. Although larger-scale prospective studies are necessary, these initial findings are somewhat reassuring.

Front Public Health ; 9: 756633, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703359


Introduction: This study aims to provide a risk assessment of the adverse reactions related to the COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna, and Pfizer-BioNTech which have been in use in the European Union and the United States between December 2020 and October 2021. Methods: Data from the European Database of Suspected Adverse Drug Reaction (EudraVigilance) and the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) from 2020 to October 2021 are analysed. More than 7.8 million adverse reactions of about 1.6 million persons are included. The adverse reactions are classified with the Common Toxicity Criteria (CTC) categories. COVID-19 vaccine exposures and adverse reactions reported between December 2020 and October 2021 are compared to influenza vaccine exposures and adverse reactions reported between 2020 and 2021. The population-level vaccine exposures to COVID-19 and influenza vaccines comprised about 451 million and 437 million exposures, respectively. Absolute and relative risk estimates are calculated by CTC categories and COVID-19 vaccines for the EU and US populations aged 18 years and older. Results: A higher risk of reporting serious adverse reactions was observed for the COVID-19 vaccines in comparison to the influenza vaccines. Individuals age 65 and older were associated with a higher frequency of death, hospitalisations, and life-threatening reactions than younger individuals (relative risk estimates between 1.49 99% CI [1.44-1.55] and 8.61 99% CI [8.02-9.23]). Outcome onset of serious adverse reactions occurred within the first 7 days after vaccination in about 77.6-89.1% of cases. The largest absolute risks were observed for allergic, constitutional reactions, dermatological, gastrointestinal, neurological reactions, and localised and non-localised pain. The largest relative risks between COVID-19 vs. influenza vaccines were observed for allergic reactions, arrhythmia, general cardiovascular events, coagulation, haemorrhages, gastrointestinal, ocular, sexual organs reactions, and thrombosis. Conclusion: The present study provides an overview of adverse reactions frequently reported to the pharmacovigilance systems following COVID-19 vaccination in the EU and US populations. Despite the limitations of passive reporting systems, these results may inform further clinical research investigating in more detail the pathophysiological mechanisms potentially associated with the COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Adolescent , Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , European Union , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/adverse effects , Pharmacovigilance , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
Pharmaceutics ; 13(11)2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534228


Renal dysfunction is often associated with the inflammatory cascade, leading to non-reversible nephrofibrosis. Gene therapy has the ability to treat the pathology. However, the difficulty in introducing genes into the kidney, via either viral vectors or plasmid DNA (pDNA), has hampered its extensive clinical use. Messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics has recently attracted attention as alternative gene therapies. mRNA allows protein production into post-mitotic cells without the need for transport to the nuclei in the target cells. However, few studies have reported the delivery of mRNA to the kidney. In this study, we attempted to deliver mRNA to the kidney based on the principle of pressure stimulation, by administering mRNA-loaded polyplex nanomicelles via a renal pelvis injection, directly into the kidney. Compared with the administration of naked plasmid DNA (pDNA) and naked mRNA, the mRNA-loaded nanomicelles diffusely induced protein expression in a greater number of cells at the tubular epithelium for some days. The plasma creatinine (Cre) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels after the administration remained similar to those of the sham-operated controls, without marked changes in histological sections. The safety and efficacy of mRNA-loaded nanomicelles would make distinct contributions to the development of mRNA therapeutics for the kidney.

Noncoding RNA ; 7(2)2021 Jun 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273487


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), a member of the genus Betacoronavirus in the family Coronaviridae, possesses an unusually large single-stranded viral RNA (ssvRNA) genome of about ~29,811 nucleotides (nt) that causes severe and acute respiratory distress and a highly lethal viral pneumonia known as COVID-19. COVID-19 also presents with multiple ancillary systemic diseases and often involves cardiovascular, inflammatory, and/or neurological complications. Pathological viral genomes consisting of ssvRNA, like cellular messenger RNA (mRNA), are susceptible to attack, destruction, neutralization, and/or modulation by naturally occurring small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) within the host cell, some of which are known as microRNAs (miRNAs). This paper proposes that the actions of the 2650 known human miRNAs and other sncRNAs form the basis for an under-recognized and unappreciated innate-immune regulator of ssvRNA viral genome activities and have implications for the efficiency of SARS-CoV-2 invasion, infection, and replication. Recent research indicates that both miRNA and mRNA abundance, speciation, and complexity varies widely amongst human individuals, and this may: (i) In part explain the variability in the innate-immune immunological and pathophysiological response of different human individuals to the initiation and progression of SARS-CoV-2 infection in multiple tissue types; and (ii) further support our understanding of human biochemical and genetic individuality and the variable resistance of individuals to ssvRNA-mediated viral infection and disease. This commentary will briefly address current findings and concepts in this fascinating research area of non-coding RNA and innate-immunity with special reference to natural host miRNAs, SARS-CoV-2, and the current COVID-19 pandemic.