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1.
Curr Opin Infect Dis ; 34(6): 654-662, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593269

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Focusing on large multicenter cohorts reported over the last months, this review aims at summarizing the available evidence by July 2021 on the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients in terms of epidemiology, clinical features, and outcome. RECENT FINDINGS: The incidence of COVID-19 in institutional cohorts varied according to different regions and study periods from 0.4% to 8.3%. Clinical presentation was overall comparable to other immunocompromised hosts and the general population. Microbiologically confirmed superinfection occurred in 13-25% of recipients, with most episodes due to hospital-acquired bacteria and few reported cases of COVID-19-associated aspergillosis. Prolonged nasopharyngeal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 shedding has been demonstrated for as long as 210 days. Mortality rates were similar across studies (14.8-28.4%) and did not markedly differ from those observed in nontransplant hematological patients during the first wave. Older age and shorter time from transplantation were associated with mortality, as well as underlying disease status and amount of immunosuppression. No outcome differences were found in most studies between allogeneic and autologous procedures. SUMMARY: Considerable advances have been achieved in the characterization of COVID-19 in the HSCT population, although uncertainties remain in the optimal therapeutic management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Aged , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Multicenter Studies as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients
2.
Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm ; 9(1)2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596607

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether children receiving immunosuppressive therapies for neuroimmunologic disorders had (1) increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV2 infection or to develop more severe forms of COVID-19; (2) increased relapses or autoimmune complications if infected; and (3) changes in health care delivery during the pandemic. METHODS: Patients with and without immunosuppressive treatment were recruited to participate in a retrospective survey evaluating the period from March 14, 2020, to March 30, 2021. Demographics, clinical features, type of immunosuppressive treatment, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in the patients or cohabitants, and changes in care delivery were recorded. RESULTS: One hundred fifty-three children were included: 84 (55%) female, median age 13 years (interquartile range [8-16] years), 79 (52%) on immunosuppressive treatment. COVID-19 was suspected or confirmed in 17 (11%) (all mild), with a frequency similar in patients with and without immunosuppressive treatment (11/79 [14%] vs 6/74 [8%], p = 0.3085). The frequency of neurologic relapses was similar in patients with (18%) and without (21%) COVID-19. Factors associated with COVID-19 included having cohabitants with COVID-19 (p < 0.001) and lower blood levels of vitamin D (p = 0.039). Return to face-to-face schooling or mask type did not influence the risk of infection, although 43(28%) children had contact with a classmate with COVID-19. Clinic visits changed from face to face to remote for 120 (79%) patients; 110 (92%) were satisfied with the change. DISCUSSION: In this cohort of children with neuroimmunologic disorders, the frequency of COVID-19 was low and not affected by immunosuppressive therapies. The main risk factors for developing COVID-19 were having cohabitants with COVID-19 and low vitamin D levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Immunocompromised Host , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Nervous System Diseases/complications , Nervous System Diseases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Child , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Male , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Masks/virology , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Pandemics , Recurrence , Retrospective Studies , Vitamin D/blood
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 760249, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581341

ABSTRACT

Background: The humoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-COV-2 vaccination remain to be elucidated in hemodialysis (HD) patients and kidney transplant recipients (KTRs), considering their baseline immunosuppressed status. The aim of our study was to assess the associations of vaccine-induced antibody responses with circulating lymphocytes sub-populations and their respective patterns of alterations in maintenance HD patients and KTRs. Materials and Methods: We included 34 HD patients and 54 KTRs who received two doses of the mRNA-vaccine BNT162b2. Lymphocyte subpopulations were analyzed by flow cytometry before vaccination (T0), before the second vaccine dose (T1) and 2 weeks after the second dose (T2). The anti-SARS-CoV2 antibody response was assessed at T1 and at T2. Results: 31 HD patients (91.8%) and 16 KTRs (29.6%) became seropositive at T2. HD patients who became seropositive following the first dose displayed higher CD19+ B lymphocytes compared to their seronegative HD counterparts. A positive correlation was established between CD19+ B cells counts and antibody titers at all time-points in both groups (p < 0.001). KTRs showed higher naïve CD4+CD45RA+ T helper cells compared to HD patients at baseline and T2 whereas HD patients displayed higher memory CD45RO+ T cells compared to KTRs at T2. The naïve CD4+CD45RA to memory CD4+CD45RO+ T helper cells fraction was negatively associated with antibody production in both groups. Conclusions: Our study provides a potential conceptual framework for monitoring vaccination efficacy in HD patients and KTRs considering the correlation established between CD19+ B cells, generation of memory CD4+ T helper cells and anti SARS-CoV2 antibody response to vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Immunity, Humoral , Immunocompromised Host , Immunologic Memory , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Biomarkers , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Kidney Transplantation , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Renal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
4.
Front Immunol ; 12: 780594, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581329

ABSTRACT

Background: Dialysis patients are at high risk for a severe clinical course after infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Safety and early immune responses after mRNA-based vaccination have been reported mostly in patients on hemodialysis (HD), whereas reports of peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients remain rare. Methods: In this retrospective observational study, 39 PD patients had received two doses of the mRNA-1273 Moderna® vaccine. We analyzed SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) antibody titers 4 weeks after each dose of mRNA-1273 and report local and systemic side effects in PD patients that occurred within one week after each mRNA-1273 dose. Using a quantile regression model we examined factors that might influence SARS-CoV-2 S antibody levels in PD patients. Results: Four weeks after the first dose of mRNA-1273 vaccine 33 of 39 (84.6%) PD patients seroconverted and presented with 6.62 U/mL (median; IQR 1.57-22.5) anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibody titers. After the second dose, 38 of 39 (97.4%) PD patients developed anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibodies and titers increased significantly (median 968 U/mL; IQR 422.5-2500). Pain at the injection site was the most common local adverse event (AE) (71%). Systemic AEs occurring after the first dose were mostly fatigue (33%) and headache (20%). No severe systemic AEs were reported after the first injection. After the second dose the incidence and the severity of the systemic AEs increased. The most common systemic AEs were: fatigue (40.5%), headache (22.5%), joint pain (20%), myalgia (17.5%) and fever (13%). Lower Davies Comorbidity Score (p=0.04) and shorter dialysis vintage (p=0.017) were associated with higher antibody titers after the first dose. Patients with higher antibody titers after the first dose tended to have higher antibody titers after the second dose (p=1.53x10-05). Conclusions: Peritoneal dialysis patients in this cohort had a high seroconversion rate of 97.4%, showed high antibody titers after full vaccination and tolerated the anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-1273 vaccine well without serious adverse events.


Subject(s)
/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Immunocompromised Host , Peritoneal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /administration & dosage , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Vaccination
5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 803742, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581314

ABSTRACT

Immunocompromised patients are considered high-risk and prioritized for vaccination against COVID-19. We aimed to analyze B-cell subsets in these patients to identify potential predictors of humoral vaccination response. Patients (n=120) suffering from hematologic malignancies or other causes of immunodeficiency and healthy controls (n=79) received a full vaccination series with an mRNA vaccine. B-cell subsets were analyzed prior to vaccination. Two independent anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays targeting the receptor-binding domain (RBD) or trimeric S protein (TSP) were performed three to four weeks after the second vaccination. Seroconversion occurred in 100% of healthy controls, in contrast to 67% (RBD) and 82% (TSP) of immunocompromised patients, while only 32% (RBD) and 22% (TSP) achieved antibody levels comparable to those of healthy controls. The number of circulating CD19+IgD+CD27- naïve B cells was strongly associated with antibody levels (ρ=0.761, P<0.001) and the only independent predictor for achieving antibody levels comparable to healthy controls (OR 1.07 per 10-µL increase, 95%CI 1.02-1.12, P=0.009). Receiver operating characteristic analysis identified a cut-off at ≥61 naïve B cells per µl to discriminate between patients with and without an optimal antibody response. Consequently, measuring of naïve B cells in immunocompromised hematologic patients could be useful in predicting their humoral vaccination response.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology
6.
Blood Cancer J ; 11(12): 202, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585877

ABSTRACT

There is evidence of reduced SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness in patients with hematological malignancies. We hypothesized that tumor and treatment-related immunosuppression can be depicted in peripheral blood, and that immune profiling prior to vaccination can help predict immunogenicity. We performed a comprehensive immunological characterization of 83 hematological patients before vaccination and measured IgM, IgG, and IgA antibody response to four viral antigens at day +7 after second-dose COVID-19 vaccination using multidimensional and computational flow cytometry. Health care practitioners of similar age were the control group (n = 102). Forty-four out of 59 immune cell types were significantly altered in patients; those with monoclonal gammopathies showed greater immunosuppression than patients with B-cell disorders and Hodgkin lymphoma. Immune dysregulation emerged before treatment, peaked while on-therapy, and did not return to normalcy after stopping treatment. We identified an immunotype that was significantly associated with poor antibody response and uncovered that the frequency of neutrophils, classical monocytes, CD4, and CD8 effector memory CD127low T cells, as well as naive CD21+ and IgM+D+ memory B cells, were independently associated with immunogenicity. Thus, we provide novel immune biomarkers to predict COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in hematological patients, which are complementary to treatment-related factors and may help tailoring possible vaccine boosters.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/immunology , Hematologic Neoplasms/complications , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Semin Respir Crit Care Med ; 42(6): 839-858, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585683

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified as a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, central China, in December 2019, and is responsible for the 2019-to-present pandemic. According to the most recent data released by the World Health Organization, more than 200 million people have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 so far, and more than 4 million people died worldwide. Although our knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 is constantly growing, data on COVID-19 in immunocompromised patients are still limited. The aim of the present systematic review is to describe clinical picture, disease severity, proposed treatment regimen, and response to vaccination in patients with different types and severity of immunosuppression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immune Tolerance
11.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6760-6764, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544331

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected more than a hundred million individuals and caused more than three million deaths worldwide. Specific risk groups were defined for increased risk of mortality and morbidity in COVID-19, and renal transplant recipients are at a significantly increased risk regarding outcomes due to their immunosuppressed conditions. This study evaluated the general characteristics of kidney transplant recipients with COVID-19 infection. Among 1257 transplant cases, 56 had COVID-19 infection, and 23 (41%) were hospitalized during the 9-month study period. Among all COVID-19 cases, 58% were male with a mean age of 45.5 (±13.2, 19-71) years, and the most frequent comorbidities were hypertension (70.9%) and diabetes (23.6%). Hospitalized patients were older (p = 0.03) and had higher rates of hypertension (p = 0.008), diabetes (p = 0.002), and ischemic heart disease (p = 0.03). Therapeutic management included antimetabolite withdrawal and prednisolone increase in 71%, calcineurin inhibitor withdrawal in 8% and decrease in 58%, hydroxychloroquine in 17%, tocilizumab in 3%, and antivirals in 67% of patients. Acute kidney injury and respiratory failure developed in 34% and 85%, respectively. The mortality rate was 23%. These results emphasized that the COVID-19 infection in renal transplant recipients significantly increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. Therefore, these patients should be intervened earlier and monitored closely to prevent poor outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Immunocompromised Host/drug effects , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects , Acute Kidney Injury/drug therapy , Adult , Aged , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Kidney/drug effects , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Transplant Recipients , Young Adult
13.
J Med Virol ; 94(1): 99-109, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544351

ABSTRACT

A severe pandemic of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has been sweeping the globe since 2019, and this time, it did not stop, with frequent mutations transforming into virulent strains, for instance, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and B.1.427. In recent months, a fungal infection, mucormycosis has emerged with more fatal responses and significantly increased mortality rate. To measure the severity and potential alternative approaches against black fungus coinfection in COVID-19 patients, PubMed, Google Scholar, World Health Organization (WHO) newsletters, and other online resources, based on the cases reported and retrospective observational analysis were searched from the years 2015-2021. The studies reporting mucormycosis with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) coinfection and/or demonstrating potential risk factors, such as a history of diabetes mellitus or suppressed immune system were included, and reports published in non-English language were excluded. More than 20 case reports and observational studies on black fungus coinfection in COVID-19 patients were eligible for inclusion. The results indicated that diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemic, and immunocompromised COVID-19 patients with mucormycosis were at a higher risk. We found that it was prudent to assess the potential risk factors and severity of invasive mycosis via standardized diagnostic and clinical settings. Large-scale studies need to be conducted to identify early biomarkers and optimization of diagnostic methods has to be established per population and geographical variation. This will not only help clinicians around the world to detect the coinfection in time but also will prepare them for future outbreaks of other potential pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Coinfection/epidemiology , Mucormycosis/epidemiology , Mucormycosis/mortality , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Diabetes Mellitus/pathology , Humans , Hyperglycemia/pathology , Immunocompromised Host/physiology , Mucorales/growth & development , Mucorales/isolation & purification , Mucormycosis/pathology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534035

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: to describe a single-center experience of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) in non-HIV patients recovering from COVID-19. METHODS: We report the cases of five non-HIV patients with COVID-19 who also developed PJP at a University Hospital. RESULTS: With the exception of one subject, who experienced an atypical and prolonged course of COVID-19, all the patients developed PJP after the clinical resolution of COVID-19 pneumonia. All but one patient had no pre-existing immunosuppressive conditions or other risk factors for PJP development at COVID-19 diagnosis. Nonetheless, following the course of COVID-19 infection, all the patients fulfilled at least one host factor for PJP; indeed, all the patients had received at least 2 weeks of high-dose steroids and three out of five had a CD4+ cell count <200/mm3. CONCLUSIONS: The use of corticosteroids for COVID-19 respiratory impairment seems to be the most common risk factor for PJP, together with viral-induced and iatrogenic lymphopenia. The worsening in respiratory function and the characteristic radiological picture during or after COVID-19 pneumonia should raise the suspicion of PJP, even in immunocompetent patients. PJP primary chemoprophylaxis can be considered in selected high-risk COVID-19 patients, but further studies are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumocystis carinii , Pneumonia, Pneumocystis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Pneumonia, Pneumocystis/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2
15.
J Am Acad Dermatol ; 85(5): 1274-1284, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531500

ABSTRACT

Dermatologists diagnose and treat many immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID). Understanding the inherent immune dysregulation of these diseases as well as the additional disruption that comes as a result of IMID treatments has been important during the COVID-19 pandemic. With vaccines becoming widely available, dermatologists need to be familiar with the risks and benefits of vaccination in these patients, particularly those taking biologics, in order to have informed discussions with their patients. In this review, we present the current evidence related to COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy in patients with IMID and review existing recommendations for vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. Given the current evidence, there is minimal concern that these patients are at any greater risk of harm from COVID-19 vaccination compared to healthy controls. For most, the benefit of avoiding severe COVID-19 through vaccination will outweigh the theoretical risk of these vaccines. A question that is still outstanding is whether patients on biologics will generate a sufficient immune response to the vaccine, which may be dependent on the specific biologic therapy and indication being treated. This underscores the importance of following patients with IMID after vaccination to determine the safety, efficacy, and duration of the vaccine in this population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Dermatitis/immunology , Immunocompromised Host , Biological Products/therapeutic use , Contraindications, Drug , Dermatitis/drug therapy , Humans , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
19.
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
20.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6405, 2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505001

ABSTRACT

The origin of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern remains unclear. Here, we test whether intra-host virus evolution during persistent infections could be a contributing factor by characterizing the long-term SARS-CoV-2 infection dynamics in an immunosuppressed kidney transplant recipient. Applying RT-qPCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS) of sequential respiratory specimens, we identify several mutations in the viral genome late in infection. We demonstrate that a late viral isolate exhibiting genome mutations similar to those found in variants of concern first identified in UK, South Africa, and Brazil, can escape neutralization by COVID-19 antisera. Moreover, infection of susceptible mice with this patient's escape variant elicits protective immunity against re-infection with either the parental virus and the escape variant, as well as high neutralization titers against the alpha and beta SARS-CoV-2 variants, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, demonstrating a considerable immune control against such variants of concern. Upon lowering immunosuppressive treatment, the patient generated spike-specific neutralizing antibodies and resolved the infection. Our results suggest that immunocompromised patients could be a source for the emergence of potentially harmful SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunocompromised Host , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
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