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1.
Nat Med ; 27(10): 1744-1751, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526090

ABSTRACT

CoronaVac, an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, has been approved for emergency use in several countries. However, its immunogenicity in immunocompromised individuals has not been well established. We initiated a prospective phase 4 controlled trial (no. NCT04754698, CoronavRheum) in 910 adults with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARD) and 182 age- and sex-frequency-matched healthy adults (control group, CG), who received two doses of CoronaVac. The primary outcomes were reduction of ≥15% in both anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroconversion (SC) and neutralizing antibody (NAb) positivity 6 weeks (day 69 (D69)) after the second dose in the ARD group compared with that in the CG. Secondary outcomes were IgG SC and NAb positivity at D28, IgG titers and neutralizing activity at D28 and D69 and vaccine safety. Prespecified endpoints were met, with lower anti-SARS-Cov-2 IgG SC (70.4 versus 95.5%, P < 0.001) and NAb positivity (56.3 versus 79.3%, P < 0.001) at D69 in the ARD group than in the CG. Moreover, IgG titers (12.1 versus 29.7, P < 0.001) and median neutralization activity (58.7 versus 64.5%, P = 0.013) were also lower at D69 in patients with ARD. At D28, patients with ARD presented with lower IgG frequency (18.7 versus 34.6%, P < 0.001) and NAb positivity (20.6 versus 36.3%, P < 0.001) than that of the CG. There were no moderate/severe adverse events. These data support the use of CoronaVac in patients with ARD, suggesting reduced but acceptable short-term immunogenicity. The trial is still ongoing to evaluate the long-term effectiveness/immunogenicity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Rheumatic Diseases/complications , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
2.
Reumatol Clin (Engl Ed) ; 17(9): 491-493, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510266

ABSTRACT

SARS-COV-2 infection has spread worldwide since it originated in December 2019, in Wuhan, China. The pandemic has largely demonstrated the resilience of the world's health systems and is the greatest health emergency since World War II. There is no single therapeutic approach to the treatment of COVID-19 and the associated immune disorder. The lack of randomised clinical trials (RCTs) has led different countries to tackle the disease based on case series, or from results of observational studies with off-label drugs. We as rheumatologists in general, and specifically rheumatology fellows, have been on the front line of the pandemic, modifying our activities and altering our training itinerary. We have attended patients, we have learned about the management of the disease and from our previous experience with drugs for arthritis and giant cell arteritis, we have used these drugs to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Biological Factors/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Physician's Role , Rheumatologists , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Drug Therapy, Combination , Education, Medical, Graduate , Fellowships and Scholarships , Global Health , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Opportunistic Infections/complications , Opportunistic Infections/drug therapy , Opportunistic Infections/immunology , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Rheumatic Diseases/complications , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Rheumatic Diseases/immunology , Rheumatologists/education , Rheumatologists/organization & administration , Rheumatology/education , Rheumatology/methods , Rheumatology/organization & administration , Spain/epidemiology
3.
Clin Dermatol ; 39(3): 359-368, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1491853

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, attention has gradually moved from the respiratory manifestations of the disease toward its dermatologic aspects. The need for wearing personal protective measures and their cutaneous side effects, detection of related or specific COVID-19 skin eruptions, and the evaluation of certain risk groups of immunosuppressed dermatologic patients have initiated significant discussions about various therapeutic interventions and, in particular, about biologic therapy for psoriasis and for autoinflammatory, orphan, or malignant cutaneous disorders. Autoimmune bullous dermatoses have been of concern due to their chronic course, at times life-threatening prognosis, and the need for prolonged and often aggressive immunomodulatory therapy. We have summarized the current knowledge regarding the impact of COVID-19 infection on autoimmune bullous dermatoses, including recommendations for the main treatment strategies, available patient information, and the registries organized for documentation during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous/drug therapy , Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous/epidemiology
4.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 367, 2021 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475287

ABSTRACT

Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) embodies a mixture of clinical manifestations, including elevated circulating cytokine levels, acute systemic inflammatory symptoms and secondary organ dysfunction, which was first described in the context of acute graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation and was later observed in pandemics of influenza, SARS-CoV and COVID-19, immunotherapy of tumor, after chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) therapy, and in monogenic disorders and autoimmune diseases. Particularly, severe CRS is a very significant and life-threatening complication, which is clinically characterized by persistent high fever, hyperinflammation, and severe organ dysfunction. However, CRS is a double-edged sword, which may be both helpful in controlling tumors/viruses/infections and harmful to the host. Although a high incidence and high levels of cytokines are features of CRS, the detailed kinetics and specific mechanisms of CRS in human diseases and intervention therapy remain unclear. In the present review, we have summarized the most recent advances related to the clinical features and management of CRS as well as cutting-edge technologies to elucidate the mechanisms of CRS. Considering that CRS is the major adverse event in human diseases and intervention therapy, our review delineates the characteristics, kinetics, signaling pathways, and potential mechanisms of CRS, which shows its clinical relevance for achieving both favorable efficacy and low toxicity.


Subject(s)
Cytokine Release Syndrome , Signal Transduction/immunology , Acute Disease , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/therapy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Graft vs Host Disease/complications , Graft vs Host Disease/immunology , Graft vs Host Disease/therapy , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Humans , Immunotherapy, Adoptive/adverse effects , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/immunology , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/immunology , Neoplasms/therapy , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/complications , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/therapy
6.
Mol Immunol ; 137: 105-113, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294069

ABSTRACT

Underlying mechanisms of multi-organ manifestations and exacerbated inflammation in COVID-19 are yet to be delineated. The hypothesis of SARS-CoV-2 triggering autoimmunity is gaining attention and, in the present study, we have identified 28 human proteins harbouring regions homologous to SARS-CoV-2 peptides that could possibly be acting as autoantigens in COVID-19 patients displaying autoimmune conditions. Interestingly, these conserved regions are amongst the experimentally validated B cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 proteins. The reported human proteins have demonstrated presence of autoantibodies against them in typical autoimmune conditions which may explain the frequent occurrence of autoimmune conditions following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, the proposed autoantigens' widespread tissue distribution is suggestive of their involvement in multi-organ manifestations via molecular mimicry. We opine that our report may aid in directing subsequent necessary antigen-specific studies, results of which would be of long-term relevance in management of extrapulmonary symptoms of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Autoantigens/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , COVID-19/etiology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/virology , Autoimmunity/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Molecular Mimicry/immunology
7.
Clin Rheumatol ; 40(11): 4665-4670, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279459

ABSTRACT

Patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRD) are suspected to have less robust immune responses during COVID-19 due to underlying immune dysfunction and the use of immune-suppressive drugs. Fifty consecutive patients with a diagnosis of AIRD on disease-modifying drugs were included at around 30 days after a confirmatory test for COVID-19. Fifty controls matched one to one for age, sex, and severity of COVID-19 were also included at around 30 days after testing positive for COVID-19. Antibody titers for anti-spike protein IgG and anti-nucleocapsid protein IgG were estimated. Cases (mean age 45.9 ± 13; 76% females) and controls (mean age 45.9 ± 13; 76% females) had similar proportion of comorbidities. Of the cases, 4 had moderate and 1 had severe COVID-19, while 3 and 1 of controls had moderate and severe COVID-19 respectively. Positivity of anti-N IgG was similar between patients (80%) and controls (90%) (p = 0.26). Similarly, anti-S IgG was positive in 82% of patients and 86% of controls (p = 0.79). Both the antibodies were negative in seven (14%) patients and five (10%) of controls (p = 0.76, Fischer exact test). Only anti-N IgG titers were lower in patients as compared to controls. In four patients with rheumatoid arthritis, two with spondyloarthritis and one with eosinophilic fasciitis both antibodies were not detectable. They did not differ from the rest of the cohort in clinical characteristics. The patients with AIRD had adequate protective antibody responses to COVID-19 at a median of 30 days post-infection. Thus, the presence of AIRD or the use of immunosuppressants does not seem to influence the development of humoral immune response against COVID-19. Key Points • Patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRD) are suspected to have less robust immune responses. • In our cohort of 50 patients with AIRD with confirmed COVID-19, only seven did not have detectable protective antibodies at 30 days post infection. • Patients with AIRD on immunosuppressants have adequate protective antibodies post COVID-19 disease, at rates similar to that in health controls.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Rheumatic Diseases , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Rheumatic Diseases/complications , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 666114, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236673

ABSTRACT

Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases are often treated with immunosuppressants and therefore are of particular concern during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Serological tests will improve our understanding of the infection and immunity in this population, unless they tests give false positive results. The aim of this study was to evaluate the specificity of SARS-Cov-2 serological assays using samples from patients with chronic inflammatory diseases collected prior to April 2019, thus defined as negative. Samples from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS, n=10), rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n=47) with or without rheumatoid factor (RF) and/or anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP2) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, n=10) with or without RF, were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using 17 commercially available lateral flow assays (LFA), two ELISA kits and one in-house developed IgG multiplex bead-based assay. Six LFA and the in-house validated IgG assay correctly produced negative results for all samples. However, the majority of assays (n=13), gave false positive signal for samples from patients with RA and SLE. This was most notable in samples from RF positive RA patients. No false positive samples were detected in any assay using samples from patients with MS. Poor specificity of commercial serological assays could possibly be, at least partly, due to interfering antibodies in samples from patients with chronic inflammatory diseases. For these patients, the risk of false positivity should be considered when interpreting results of the SARS-CoV-2 serological assays.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/complications , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Autoantibodies/blood , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , False Positive Reactions , Female , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Rheumatoid Factor/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
9.
Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol (Engl Ed) ; 96(7): 347-352, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233559

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The objective of these study is to know the characteristics of COVID-19 in patients with uveitis associated with Systemic Autoimmune Disease (SAD) through telematic survey. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Internal Medicine Society and Group of Systemic Autoimmune disease conducted a telematic survey of patients with SAD to learn about the characteristics of COVID-19 in this population. RESULTS: A total of 2,789 patients answered the survey, of which 28 had a diagnosis of uveitis associated with SAE. The majority (82%) were female and caucasian (82%), with a mean age of 48 years. The most frequent SAEs were Behçet's disease followed by sarcoidosis and systemic lupus erythematosus. 46% of the patients were receiving corticosteroid treatment at a mean prednisone dose of 11 mg/day. Regarding infection, 14 (50%) patients reported symptoms compatible with SARS-CoV-2 infection. RT-PCR was performed on the nasopharyngeal smear in two patients and in one of them (4%) it was positive. CONCLUSIONS: Both asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients with ASD-associated UNI had received similar immunosuppressive treatment.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/complications , COVID-19/complications , Uveitis/etiology , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Self Report
12.
J Autoimmun ; 120: 102632, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157454

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 has substantial morbidity and mortality. We studied whether hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and chronic inflammatory diseases experienced worse outcomes compared to patients hospitalized with COVID-19 without chronic inflammatory diseases. METHODS: Danish nationwide registers were used to establish a cohort of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), spondyloarthropathy (SpA), or psoriatic arthritis (PsA) (exposed), and a control cohort without these diseases (unexposed) between March 1, 2020, and October 31, 2020. We compared median length of hospital stay, used median regression models to estimate crude and adjusted differences. When estimating crude and adjusted odds ratio (OR) for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and mechanical ventilation, in-hospital death, 14-day and 30-day mortality, we used logistic regression models. RESULTS: We identified 132 patients with COVID-19 and IBD, RA, SpA, or PsA, and 2811 unexposed admitted to hospital with COVID-19. There were no differences between exposed and unexposed regarding length of hospital stay (6.8 days vs. 5.5 days), need for mechanical ventilation (7.6% vs. 9.4%), or CPAP (11.4% vs. 8.8%). Adjusted OR for in-hospital death was 0.71 (95% CI 0.42-1.22), death after 14-days 0.70 (95% CI 0.42-1.16), and death after 30-days 0.68 (95% CI 0.41-1.13). CONCLUSION: Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and chronic inflammatory diseases did not have statistically significant increased length of hospital stay, had same need for mechanical ventilation, and CPAP. Mortality was similar in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and chronic inflammatory diseases, compared to patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and no chronic inflammatory diseases.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/mortality , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Length of Stay , Registries , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , Autoimmune Diseases/therapy , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/therapy , Chronic Disease , Cohort Studies , Denmark/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial , Risk Factors
13.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(6)2021 Mar 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1148303

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is without any doubt the worst pandemic we have faced since the H1N1 virus outbreak. Even if vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 infection is becoming increasingly available, a more feasible approach for COVID-19 prevention and therapy is still needed. Evidence of a pathological link between metabolic diseases and severe forms of COVID-19 has stimulated critical reflection and new considerations. In particular, an abnormal immune response observed in certain patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection suggested possible common predisposing risk factors with autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Correct supplementation with dietary factors may be key to preventing and counteracting both the underlying metabolic impairment and the complications of COVID-19. A set of agents may inhibit the cytokine storm and hypercoagulability that characterize severe COVID-19 infection: vitamin D3, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols like pterostilbene, polydatin and honokiol, which can activate anti-inflammatory and antioxidant sirtuins pathways, quercetin, vitamin C, zinc, melatonin, lactoferrin and glutathione. These agents could be highly beneficial for subjects who have altered immune responses. In this review, we discuss the antiviral and metabolic effects of these dietary factors and propose their combination for potential applications in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Rigorous studies will be fundamental for validating preventive and therapeutic protocols that could be of assistance to mitigate disease progression following SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/diet therapy , COVID-19/diet therapy , Diet , Metabolic Diseases/diet therapy , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , COVID-19/complications , Cytokine Release Syndrome/diet therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Disease Progression , Humans , Metabolic Diseases/complications , Thrombophilia/diet therapy , Thrombophilia/etiology
14.
Rheumatol Int ; 41(5): 911-920, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1122317

ABSTRACT

Data on therapy of COVID-19 in immunocompetent and immunosuppressed children are scarce. We aimed to explore management strategies of pediatric rheumatologists. All subscribers to international Pediatric Rheumatology Bulletin Board were invited to take part in an online survey on therapeutic approaches to COVID-19 in healthy children and children with autoimmune/inflammatory diseases (AID). Off-label therapies would be considered by 90.3% of the 93 participating respondents. In stable patients with COVID-19 on oxygen supply (stage I), use of remdesivir (48.3%), azithromycin (26.6%), oral corticosteroids (25.4%) and/or hydroxychloroquine (21.9%) would be recommended. In case of early signs of "cytokine storm" (stage II) or in critically ill patients (stage III) (a) anakinra (79.5% stage II; 83.6% stage III) or tocilizumab (58.0% and 87.0%, respectively); (b) corticosteroids (oral 67.2% stage II, intravenously 81.7% stage III); (c) intravenous immunoglobulins (both stages 56.5%); or (d) remdesivir (both stages 46.7%) were considered. In AID, > 94.2% of the respondents would not support a preventive adaptation of the immunomodulating therapy. In case of mild COVID-19, more than 50% of the respondents would continue pre-existing treatment with immunoglobulins (100%), hydroxychloroquine (94.2%), anakinra (79.2%) or canakinumab (72.5%), or tocilizumab (69.8%). Long-term corticosteroids would be reduced by 26.9% (< = 2 mg/kg/d) and 50.0% (> 2 mg/kg/day), respectively, with only 5.8% of respondents voting to discontinue the therapy. Conversely, more than 75% of respondents would refrain from administering cyclophosphamide and anti-CD20-antibodies. As evidence on management of pediatric COVID-19 is incomplete, continuous and critical expert opinion and knowledge exchange is helpful.


Subject(s)
Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , COVID-19/drug therapy , Rheumatology/methods , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Child , Humans , Immunomodulation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
15.
Inflamm Res ; 70(4): 407-428, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103389

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The aim of this review is to explore whether patients with autoimmune diseases (AIDs) were at high risk of infection during the COVID-19 epidemic and how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic affected immune system. METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed using the foreign databases (NCBI, web of science, EBSCO, ELSEVIER ScienceDirect) and Chinese databases (WanFang, CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure), VIP, CBM) to locate all relevant publications (up to January 10, 2021). The search strategies used Medical Search Headings (MeSH) headings and keywords for "COVID-19" or "SARS-CoV-2" or "coronavirus" and "autoimmune disease". RESULTS: This review evaluates the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the immune system through ACE-2 receptor binding as the main pathway for cell attachment and invasion. It is speculated that SARS-COV-2 infection can activate lymphocytes and inflammatory response, which may play a role in the clinical onset of AIDs and also patients were treated with immunomodulatory drugs during COVID-19 outbreak. Preliminary studies suggested that the risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19 in patients with AIDs treated with immunomodulators or biologics might not increase. A large number of samples are needed for further verification, leading to an excessive immune response to external stimuli. CONCLUSION: The relationship between autoimmune diseases and SARS-CoV-2 infection is complex. During the COVID-19 epidemic, individualized interventions for AIDs should be provided such as Internet-based service.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/complications , Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Azetidines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Dendritic Cells/virology , Humans , Immune System , Immunity, Innate , Immunization, Passive/trends , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , Monocytes/virology , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Purines/therapeutic use , Pyrazoles/therapeutic use , Sulfonamides/therapeutic use
16.
Front Immunol ; 11: 611318, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1082463

ABSTRACT

Autoimmune diseases and infections are often closely intertwined. Patients with autoimmune diseases are more susceptible to infections due to either active autoimmune disease or the medications used to treat them. Based on infections as environmental triggers of autoimmunity, an autoimmune response would also be expected in COVID-19. Although some studies have shown the occurance of autoantibodies and the possible development of autoimmune diseases after SARS-CoV-2 infection, current data suggest that the levels of autoantibodies following SARS-CoV-2 infection is comparable to that of some other known infections and that the autoantibodies might only be transient. The risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with a systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease (SARD) appears slightly higher compared to the general population and the course of COVID-19 disease does not seem to be very different, however, specific therapies such as glucocorticoids and anti-TNF might modulate the risk of hospitalization/death. Cytokine release syndrome is a severe complication in COVID-19. Many drugs used for the treatment of SARD are directly or indirectly targeting cytokines involved in the cytokine release syndrome, therefore it has been suggested that they could also be effective in COVID-19, but more evidence on the use of these medications for the treatment of COVID-19 is currently being collected.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Rheumatic Diseases , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Rheumatic Diseases/complications , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Rheumatic Diseases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Ann Ig ; 33(6): 533-542, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1076848

ABSTRACT

Background: To date, it is unknown how many Italians have had or have a mild SARS-CoV-2 infection, because of the lack of epidemiological studies involving the general population. Study design: Aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence/incidence of a symptoms-based mild SARS-CoV-2 infection in southern Tuscany, by using an online survey. Methods: An anonymous random middle-aged sample of 3,460 individuals completed the survey. A symptom-score ≥5, calculated on 195 patients with RT-PCR COVID-19 disease (sensitivity/specificity of 0.815/0.780 respectively) was used for the diagnosis. Results: This cut-off highlighted that 12.3% of all the population might have had a SARS-CoV-2 infection, while 3.9% of them might have it at the time of the survey. Female sex (OR=1.334 [1.029-1.728]; p=0.030), obesity status (OR=1.961 [1.304-2.949]; p=0.001), asthma (OR=2.035 [1.433-2.890]; p=0.0001), autoim-mune diseases (OR=2.103 [1.381-3.201]; p=0.001), were all risk factors for showing mild SARS-CoV-2 infection. Instead, the elderly had a low probability to develop mild forms of the disease (OR=0.984 [0.975-0.994]; p=0.001). Conclusion: A remarkable number of subjects in Southern Tuscany may have already had a mild SARS-CoV-2 infection. Symptoms scores might be used to screen subjects with a suspected infection. Female sex, obesity, asthma, autoimmune diseases may be factors linked with mild forms of COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Public Health , Symptom Assessment/statistics & numerical data , Age Factors , Asthma/complications , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Health Surveys/methods , Health Surveys/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/complications , Prevalence , Risk Factors , Sensitivity and Specificity , Sex Factors
18.
Cytokine Growth Factor Rev ; 58: 134-140, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1074698

ABSTRACT

Interferons are the best antiviral agents in vitro against SARS-CoV-2 so far and genetic defects in their signaling cascade or neutralization of alfa-interferons by autoantibodies come with more severe COVID-19. However, there is more, as the SARS-CoV-2 dysregulates not only innate immune mechanisms but also T and B cell repertoires. Most genetic, hematological and immunological studies in COVID-19 are at present phenomenological. However, these and antecedent studies contain the seed grains to resolve many unanswered questions and a whole range of testable hypotheses. What are the links, if existing, between genetics and the occurrence of interferon-neutralizing antibodies? Are NAGGED (neutralizing and generated by gene defect) antibodies involved or not? Is the autoimmune process cause or consequence of virus infection? What are the roles played by cytokine posttranslational modifications, such as proteolysis, glycosylation, citrullination and others? How is systemic autoimmunity linked with type 1 interferons? These questions place cytokines and growth factors at pole positions as keys to unlock basic mechanisms of infection and (auto)immunity. Related to cytokine research, (1) COVID-19 patients develop neutralizing autoantibodies, mainly against alpha interferons and it is not yet established whether this is the consequence or cause of virus replication. (2) The glycosylation of recombinant interferon-beta protects against breaking tolerance and the development of neutralizing antibodies. (3) SARS-CoV-2 induces severe inflammation and release of extracellular proteases leading to remnant epitopes, e.g. of cytokines. (4) In the rare event of homozygous cytokine gene segment deletions, observed neutralizing antibodies may be named NAGGED antibodies. (5) Severe cytolysis releases intracellular content into the extracellular milieu and leads to regulated degradation of intracellular proteins and selection of antibody repertoires, similar to those observed in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. (6) Systematic studies of novel autoimmune diseases on single cytokines will complement the present picture about interferons. (7) Interferon neutralization in COVID-19 constitutes a preamble of more studies about cytokine-regulated proteolysis in the control of autoimmunity. Here we reformulate these seven conjectures into testable questions for future research.


Subject(s)
Autoimmunity , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/physiology , Interferons/physiology , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , Autoimmune Diseases/genetics , Autoimmunity/genetics , Autoimmunity/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/complications , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/epidemiology , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/immunology , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Humans
20.
J Neurol Sci ; 420: 117230, 2021 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065368

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To study the risk of acquiring Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its outcomes in patients on immunosuppressive therapy (IST) for chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorders (aNMD) and multiple sclerosis (MS). METHODS: We used TriNetX, a global health collaborative clinical research platform collecting real-time electronic medical records data, which has one of the largest known global COVID-19 database. We included patients with chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorders (aNMD) [myasthenia gravis (MG), inflammatory myositis, and chronic inflammatory neuropathies (CIN)] and MS, based on the International Classification of Disease-10 (ICD-10) coding for one year before January 20th, 2020. We examined the use of IST, rate of COVID- 19, hospitalization, intubation, and mortality among the patients with aNMD and MS. RESULTS: A total of 33,451 patients with aNMD and 42,899 patients with MS were included. Among them, 111 (0.33%) patients with aNMD and 115 patients (0.27%) with MS had COVID-19. About one third of them required hospitalization. IST did not appear to have a significant impact on overall infection risk in either group; however, risk of hospitalization for immunosuppressed patients with aNMD was higher (Odds ratio 2.86, p-value 0.011). CONCLUSIONS: IST use does not appear to make patients with aNMD and MS more vulnerable to COVID-19. IST may be continued during the pandemic, as previously suggested by expert opinion guidelines. However, it is important to consider individualizing immunotherapy regimens in some cases. Additional physician reported registry-based data is needed to further confirm these findings.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/complications , COVID-19/complications , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Multiple Sclerosis/complications , Neuromuscular Diseases/complications , Adult , Aged , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Neuromuscular Diseases/drug therapy
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