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1.
Viruses ; 14(9)2022 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1997809

ABSTRACT

Increased mortality due to SARS-CoV-2 infection was observed among solid organ transplant patients. During the pandemic, in order to prevent and treat COVID-19 infections in this context, several innovative procedures and therapies were initiated within a short period of time. A large number of these innovations can be applied and expanded to improve the management of non-COVID-19 infectious diseases in solid organ transplant patients and in the case of a future pandemic. In this vein, the present paper reviews and discusses medical care system adaptation, modification of immunosuppression, adjuvant innovative therapies, the role of laboratory expertise, and the prevention of infections as examples of such innovations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Organ Transplantation , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Organ Transplantation/adverse effects , Organ Transplantation/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients
2.
Transplantation ; 106(7): 1312-1329, 2022 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784434

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a major global impact on solid organ transplantation (SOT). An estimated 16% global reduction in transplant activity occurred over the course of 2020, most markedly impacting kidney transplant and living donor programs, resulting in substantial knock-on effects for waitlisted patients. The increased severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection risk and excess deaths in transplant candidates has resulted in substantial effort to prioritize the safe restart and continuation of transplant programs over the second year of the pandemic, with transplant rates returning towards prepandemic levels. Over the past 2 y, COVID-19 mortality in SOT recipients has fallen from 20%-25% to 8%-10%, attributed to the increased and early availability of SARS-CoV-2 testing, adherence to nonpharmaceutical interventions, development of novel treatments, and vaccination. Despite these positive steps, transplant programs and SOT recipients continue to face challenges. Vaccine efficacy in SOT recipients is substantially lower than the general population and SOT recipients remain at an increased risk of adverse outcomes if they develop COVID-19. SOT recipients and transplant teams need to remain vigilant and ongoing adherence to nonpharmaceutical interventions appears essential. In this review, we summarize the global impact of COVID-19 on transplant activity, donor evaluation, and patient outcomes over the past 2 y, discuss the current strategies aimed at preventing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infection in SOT recipients, and based on lessons learnt from this pandemic, propose steps the transplant community could consider as preparation for future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Organ Transplantation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Organ Transplantation/adverse effects , Organ Transplantation/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients
3.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0247251, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574883

ABSTRACT

In the context of COVID-19 pandemic, we aimed to analyze the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, risk factors for mortality and impact of COVID-19 on outcomes of solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients compared to a cohort of non transplant patients, evaluating if transplantation could be considered a risk factor for mortality. From March to May 2020, 261 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia were evaluated, including 41 SOT recipients. Of these, thirty-two were kidney recipients, 4 liver, 3 heart and 2 combined kidney-liver transplants. Median time from transplantation to COVID-19 diagnosis was 6 years. Thirteen SOT recipients (32%) required Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission and 5 patients died (12%). Using a propensity score match analysis, we found no significant differences between SOT recipients and non-transplant patients. Older age (OR 1.142; 95% [CI 1.08-1.197]) higher levels of C-reactive protein (OR 3.068; 95% [CI 1.22-7.71]) and levels of serum creatinine on admission (OR 3.048 95% [CI 1.22-7.57]) were associated with higher mortality. The clinical outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in our cohort of SOT recipients appear to be similar to that observed in the non-transplant population. Older age, higher levels of C-reactive protein and serum creatinine were associated with higher mortality, whereas SOT was not associated with worse outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Organ Transplantation/mortality , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Allografts/physiology , Allografts/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Transplantation/adverse effects , Organ Transplantation/methods , Pandemics , Propensity Score , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spain/epidemiology , Transplant Recipients/statistics & numerical data , Treatment Outcome
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 659621, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285289

ABSTRACT

Methods for suppressing the host immune system over the long term and improving transplantation tolerance remain a primary issue in organ transplantation. Cell therapy is an emerging therapeutic strategy for immunomodulation after transplantation. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult multipotent stem cells with wide differentiation potential and immunosuppressive properties, which are mostly used in regenerative medicine and immunomodulation. In addition, emerging research suggests that MSC-derived exosomes have the same therapeutic effects as MSCs in many diseases, while avoiding many of the risks associated with cell transplantation. Their unique immunomodulatory properties are particularly important in the immune system-overactive graft environment. In this paper, we review the effects of MSC-derived exosomes in the immune regulation mechanism after organ transplantation and graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) from various perspectives, including immunosuppression, influencing factors, anti-inflammatory properties, mediation of tissue repair and regeneration, and the induction of immune tolerance. At present, the great potential of MSC-derived exosomes in immunotherapy has attracted a great deal of attention. Furthermore, we discuss the latest insights on MSC-derived exosomes in organ transplantation and GvHD, especially its commercial production concepts, which aim to provide new strategies for improving the prognosis of organ transplantation patients.


Subject(s)
Exosomes/immunology , Immunomodulation/immunology , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/immunology , Organ Transplantation/methods , Transplantation Tolerance/immunology , Adult , Exosomes/metabolism , Graft vs Host Disease/immunology , Humans , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Regenerative Medicine/methods
7.
Curr Opin Infect Dis ; 34(4): 275-287, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254941

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is considered one of the most promising and socioeconomically sustainable strategy to help control the pandemic and several vaccines are currently being distributed in nationwide mass immunization campaigns. Very limited data are available on benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccination in immunocompromised patients and in particular in solid organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients as they were excluded from phase III trials. This review summarizes current knowledge, international guidelines and controversies regarding COVID-19 vaccination in these vulnerable populations. RECENT FINDINGS: Various COVID-19 vaccine platforms showed good efficacy in phase III trials in the immunocompetent and there are data arising on the safety and immunogenicity of these vaccines in the immunocompromised population. SUMMARY: Transplant recipients could benefit significantly from COVID-19 vaccination, both through active immunization provided they elicit protective vaccine responses, and probably through cocooning by immunization of caregivers and healthcare personnel and thus reducing the risk of SARS-coronavirus-2 exposure. Although awaiting more data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines to inform potential adaptations of vaccine regimens, we strongly recommend prioritizing COVID-19 vaccination of solid and hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients to decrease COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transplant Recipients , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/classification , Clinical Decision-Making , Disease Management , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Organ Transplantation/adverse effects , Organ Transplantation/methods , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Vaccination
8.
Semin Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth ; 25(2): 138-150, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1181063

ABSTRACT

In 2020, we identified and screened over 490 peer-reviewed publications on pancreatic transplantation, over 500 on intestinal transplantation, and over 5000 on kidney transplantation. The liver transplantation section specially focused on clinical trials and systematic reviews published in 2020 and featured selected articles. This review highlights noteworthy literature pertinent to anesthesiologists and critical care physicians caring for patients undergoing abdominal organ transplantation. We explore a wide range of topics, including COVID-19 and organ transplantation, risk factors and outcomes, pain management, artificial intelligence, robotic donor surgery, and machine perfusion.


Subject(s)
Abdomen/surgery , COVID-19 , Organ Transplantation/methods , Anesthesiology , Artificial Intelligence , Critical Care/methods , Humans , Risk Factors , Robotic Surgical Procedures/methods
9.
Curr Opin Organ Transplant ; 26(2): 258-265, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112124

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this study was to provide a critical appraisal of the literature on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on organ transplantation, with a specific focus on lung transplantation given the predominant pulmonary involvement of the virus. RECENT FINDINGS: There was a significant decrease in lung transplant volumes during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic due to a combination of reduced availability of donors and an imbalance between waitlist additions and inactivations. SARS-CoV-2 infection was subsequently associated with an exuberant immune response that can lead to the development of postinfectious fibrotic lung disease. Few lung transplants have been performed in previously infected recipients and long-term outcomes remain unknown. Although the lung transplant volume rebounded during the second wave, it is unclear what the long-term effects of healthcare resource limitation and public health measures will have on transplant volumes in the future. Outcomes after SARS-CoV-2 infection in previous lung transplant recipients appear to be worse than the general public, and, although an immunosuppressed state likely contributes to these outcomes, whether immunosuppression should be altered in those exposed to or infected with SARS-CoV-2 remains unanswered in the absence of unequivocal data. SUMMARY: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a number of challenges for lung transplant programs across the globe. Multiple research questions remain to be answered in order to optimally manage lung transplant recipients in the context of this pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Lung Transplantation/methods , Organ Transplantation/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transplantation Immunology
12.
Transplantation ; 105(1): 61-66, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-991010

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has significantly upended solid organ transplant (SOT) practice around the world. Early reports confirmed the heavy burden of COVID-19 in SOT recipients with mortality rates reaching up to 35%. Because most transplant recipients harbored multiple comorbidities known to be associated with a severe course of COVID-19, the true impact of immunosuppression by itself remained an unsolved issue. Transplant societies have initially recommended to postpone nonurgent renal transplantations, while trying to maintain life-saving transplant programs, such as heart, lung, and liver transplantations. The pandemic thus resulted in an unprecedented and sudden drop of transplant activity worldwide. Moreover, the best treatment strategy in infected patients was challenging. Both reduction of immunosuppression and use of targeted therapies aiming at counteracting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection were the 2 faces of the therapeutic armamentarium. Recent controlled studies have better delineated the basis of mitigating and management strategies to improve patients' outcome. Nevertheless, and given the persistence of circulating virus, evidence-based recommendations in SOT recipients remain unclear. The resumption of transplant activity should be tailored with careful selection of both donors and recipients. Transplant decision should be made on a case-by-case basis after thorough assessment of the risks and benefits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Organ Transplantation , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/mortality , France/epidemiology , Humans , Immune Tolerance , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Organ Transplantation/methods , Organ Transplantation/statistics & numerical data , Patient Selection , Telemedicine
15.
Am J Transplant ; 20(11): 3191-3197, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-900892

ABSTRACT

There are emerging data depicting the clinical presentation of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) in solid organ transplant recipients but negligible data-driven guidance on clinical management. A biphasic course has been described in some infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), beginning with a flu-like illness followed by an intense inflammatory response characterized by elevated c-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) associated with high mortality. The exuberant and possibly dysregulated immune response has prompted interest in therapeutic agents that target the cytokines involved, particularly IL-6. Tocilizumab is an IL-6 receptor antagonist with a record of use for a variety of rheumatologic conditions and cytokine release syndrome due to chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy but experience in solid organ and composite tissue transplant recipients (SOT/CTTRs) with SARS-CoV-2-related ARDS has not been previously reported in detail. We present the clinical course of 5 SOT/CTTRs with SARS-CoV-2-related ARDS that received tocilizumab with favorable short-term outcomes in 4. Responses were characterized by reductions in CRP, discontinuation of vasopressors, improved oxygenation and respiratory mechanics, and variable duration of ventilator support. Four bacterial infections occurred within 2 weeks of tocilizumab administration. We discuss safety concerns and the need for randomized comparative trials to delineate tocilizumab's clinical utility in this population.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Graft Rejection/prevention & control , Organ Transplantation/methods , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Comorbidity , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Time Factors , Transplant Recipients
16.
Am J Transplant ; 21(3): 1304-1311, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-844002

ABSTRACT

Detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA by RT-PCR assays is the primary diagnostic test for COVID-19. Cycle threshold (CT ) values generated by some of these assays provide inversely proportional proxy measurements of viral load. The clinical implications of CT values are incompletely characterized, particularly in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients. We conducted a retrospective chart review of 25 adult SOT recipients admitted to the Yale New Haven Health System between March 1 and May 15, 2020, analyzing 50 test results to investigate the clinical implications of SARS-CoV-2 CT values in this population. Initial CT values from upper respiratory tract samples were significantly higher in patients on tacrolimus, but were not associated with admission severity nor highest clinical acuity. Viral RNA was detected up to 38 days from symptom onset with a gradual increase in CT values over time. In five patients with serial testing, CT values <35.0 were detected >21 days after symptom onset in 4/5 and ≥27 days in 2/5, demonstrating prolonged RNA detection. These data describe SARS-CoV-2 viral dynamics in SOT patients and suggest that CT values may not be useful to predict COVID-19 severity in SOT patients. SARS-CoV-2 CT values may be more useful in informing infection prevention measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Organ Transplantation/methods , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transplant Recipients , Viral Load , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/analysis , Retrospective Studies
18.
Clin Transplant ; 34(12): e14086, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-751771

ABSTRACT

In our first survey of transplant centers in March 2020, >75% of kidney and liver programs were either suspended or operating under restrictions. To safely resume transplantation, we must understand the evolving impact of COVID-19 on transplant recipients and center-level practices. We therefore conducted a six-week follow-up survey May 7-15, 2020, and linked responses to the COVID-19 incidence map, with a response rate of 84%. Suspension of live donor transplantation decreased from 72% in March to 30% in May for kidneys and from 68% to 52% for livers. Restrictions/suspension of deceased donor transplantation decreased from 84% to 58% for kidneys and from 73% to 42% for livers. Resuming transplantation at normal capacity was envisioned by 83% of programs by August 2020. Exclusively using local recovery teams for deceased donor procurement was reported by 28%. Respondents reported caring for a total of 1166 COVID-19-positive transplant recipients; 25% were critically ill. Telemedicine challenges were reported by 81%. There was a lack of consensus regarding management of potential living donors or candidates with SARS-CoV-2. Our findings demonstrate persistent heterogeneity in center-level response to COVID-19 even as transplant activity resumes, making ongoing national data collection and real-time analysis critical to inform best practices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Organ Transplantation/trends , Organizational Policy , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Telemedicine/trends , Tissue and Organ Procurement/trends , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Decision-Making , Follow-Up Studies , Health Care Surveys , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/trends , Organ Transplantation/methods , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Postoperative Complications/prevention & control , Postoperative Complications/virology , Tissue and Organ Procurement/organization & administration , United States/epidemiology
20.
BMC Gastroenterol ; 20(1): 259, 2020 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696733

ABSTRACT

The global health crisis due to the fast spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has caused major disruption in all aspects of healthcare. Transplantation is one of the most affected sectors, as it relies on a variety of services that have been drastically occupied to treat patients affected by COVID-19. With this report from two transplant centers in Italy, we aim to reflect on resource organization, organ allocation, virus testing and transplant service provision during the course of the pandemic and to provide actionable information highlighting advantages and drawbacks.To what extent can we preserve the noble purpose of transplantation in times of increased danger? Strategies to minimize risk exposure to the transplant population and health- workers include systematic virus screening, protection devices, social distancing and reduction of patients visits to the transplant center. While resources for the transplant activity are inevitably reduced, new dilemmas arise to the transplant community: further optimization of time constraints during organ retrievals and implantation, less organs and blood products donated, limited space in the intensive care unit and the duty to maintain safety and outcomes.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Organ Transplantation/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Tissue and Organ Procurement/methods , Transplants/virology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Health Personnel , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
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