75 results found
Wu MY, Shepherd STC, Fendler A, et al., 2023, Sotrovimab restores neutralization against current Omicron subvariants in patients with blood cancer., Cancer Cell, Vol: 41, Pages: 821-823
Wu et al. report that patients with hematologic malignancies have reduced immunity against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants and Sotrovimab retains neutralizing capacity against all tested Omicron subvariants.
RECOVERY Collaborative Group, 2023, Higher dose corticosteroids in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 who are hypoxic but not requiring ventilatory support (RECOVERY): a randomised, controlled, open-label, platform trial, The Lancet, Vol: 401, Pages: 1499-1507, ISSN: 0140-6736
BACKGROUND: Low-dose corticosteroids have been shown to reduce mortality for patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilatory support (non-invasive mechanical ventilation, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation). We evaluated the use of a higher dose of corticosteroids in this patient group. METHODS: This randomised, controlled, open-label platform trial (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy [RECOVERY]) is assessing multiple possible treatments in patients hospitalised for COVID-19. Eligible and consenting adult patients with clinical evidence of hypoxia (ie, receiving oxygen or with oxygen saturation <92% on room air) were randomly allocated (1:1) to either usual care with higher dose corticosteroids (dexamethasone 20 mg once daily for 5 days followed by 10 mg dexamethasone once daily for 5 days or until discharge if sooner) or usual standard of care alone (which included dexamethasone 6 mg once daily for 10 days or until discharge if sooner). The primary outcome was 28-day mortality among all randomised participants. On May 11, 2022, the independent data monitoring committee recommended stopping recruitment of patients receiving no oxygen or simple oxygen only due to safety concerns. We report the results for these participants only. Recruitment of patients receiving ventilatory support is ongoing. The RECOVERY trial is registered with ISRCTN (50189673) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04381936). FINDINGS: Between May 25, 2021, and May 13, 2022, 1272 patients with COVID-19 and hypoxia receiving no oxygen (eight [1%]) or simple oxygen only (1264 [99%]) were randomly allocated to receive usual care plus higher dose corticosteroids (659 patients) versus usual care alone (613 patients, of whom 87% received low-dose corticosteroids during the follow-up period). Of those randomly assigned, 745 (59%) were in Asia, 512 (40%) in the UK, and 15 (1%) in Africa. 248 (19%) had diabetes and 769 (60%) were male. Overall, 123 (19%) of 659
Goldswain H, Dong X, Penrice-Randal R, et al., 2023, The P323L substitution in the SARS-CoV-2 polymerase (NSP12) confers a selective advantage during infection, Genome Biology, Vol: 24, ISSN: 1474-7596
BACKGROUND: The mutational landscape of SARS-CoV-2 varies at the dominant viral genome sequence and minor genomic variant population. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an early substitution in the genome was the D614G change in the spike protein, associated with an increase in transmissibility. Genomes with D614G are accompanied by a P323L substitution in the viral polymerase (NSP12). However, P323L is not thought to be under strong selective pressure. RESULTS: Investigation of P323L/D614G substitutions in the population shows rapid emergence during the containment phase and early surge phase during the first wave. These substitutions emerge from minor genomic variants which become dominant viral genome sequence. This is investigated in vivo and in vitro using SARS-CoV-2 with P323 and D614 in the dominant genome sequence and L323 and G614 in the minor variant population. During infection, there is rapid selection of L323 into the dominant viral genome sequence but not G614. Reverse genetics is used to create two viruses (either P323 or L323) with the same genetic background. L323 shows greater abundance of viral RNA and proteins and a smaller plaque morphology than P323. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that P323L is an important contribution in the emergence of variants with transmission advantages. Sequence analysis of viral populations suggests it may be possible to predict the emergence of a new variant based on tracking the frequency of minor variant genomes. The ability to predict an emerging variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the global landscape may aid in the evaluation of medical countermeasures and non-pharmaceutical interventions.
Richards T, Miles LF, Clevenger B, et al., 2023, The association between iron deficiency and outcomes: a secondary analysis of the intravenous iron therapy to treat iron deficiency anaemia in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery (PREVENTT) trial., Anaesthesia, Vol: 78, Pages: 320-329
In the intravenous iron therapy to treat iron deficiency anaemia in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery (PREVENTT) trial, the use of intravenous iron did not reduce the need for blood transfusion or reduce patient complications or length of hospital stay. As part of the trial protocol, serum was collected at randomisation and on the day of surgery. These samples were analysed in a central laboratory for markers of iron deficiency. We performed a secondary analysis to explore the potential interactions between pre-operative markers of iron deficiency and intervention status on the trial outcome measures. Absolute iron deficiency was defined as ferritin <30 μg.l-1 ; functional iron deficiency as ferritin 30-100 μg.l-1 or transferrin saturation < 20%; and the remainder as non-iron deficient. Interactions were estimated using generalised linear models that included different subgroup indicators of baseline iron status. Co-primary endpoints were blood transfusion or death and number of blood transfusions, from randomisation to 30 days postoperatively. Secondary endpoints included peri-operative change in haemoglobin, postoperative complications and length of hospital stay. Most patients had iron deficiency (369/452 [82%]) at randomisation; one-third had absolute iron deficiency (144/452 [32%]) and half had functional iron deficiency (225/452 [50%]). The change in pre-operative haemoglobin with intravenous iron compared with placebo was greatest in patients with absolute iron deficiency, mean difference 8.9 g.l-1 , 95%CI 5.3-12.5; moderate in functional iron deficiency, mean difference 2.8 g.l-1 , 95%CI -0.1 to 5.7; and with little change seen in those patients who were non-iron deficient. Subgroup analyses did not suggest that intravenous iron compared with placebo reduced the likelihood of death or blood transfusion at 30 days differentially across subgroups according to baseline ferritin (p =
Siggins MK, Davies K, Fellows R, et al., 2023, Alternative pathway dysregulation in tissues drives sustained complement activation and predicts outcome across the disease course in COVID-19, Immunology, Vol: 168, Pages: 473-492, ISSN: 0019-2805
Complement, a critical defence against pathogens, has been implicated as a driver of pathology in COVID-19. Complement activation products are detected in plasma and tissues and complement blockade considered for therapy. To delineate roles of complement in immunopathogenesis, we undertook the largest comprehensive study of complement in an COVID-19 to date, a comprehensive profiling of 16 complement biomarkers, including key components, regulators and activation products, in 966 plasma samples from 682 hospitalised COVID-19 patients collected across the hospitalisation period as part of the UK ISARIC4C study. Unsupervised clustering of complement biomarkers mapped to disease severity and supervised machine learning identified marker sets in early samples that predicted peak severity. Compared to heathy controls, complement proteins and activation products (Ba, iC3b, terminal complement complex) were significantly altered in COVID-19 admission samples in all severity groups. Elevated alternative pathway activation markers (Ba and iC3b) and decreased alternative pathway regulator (properdin) in admission samples associated with more severe disease and risk of death. Levels of most complement biomarkers were reduced in severe disease, consistent with consumption and tissue deposition. Latent class mixed modelling and cumulative incidence analysis identified the trajectory of increase of Ba to be a strong predictor of peak COVID-19 disease severity and death. The data demonstrate that early-onset, uncontrolled activation of complement, driven by sustained and progressive amplification through the alternative pathway amplification loop is a ubiquitous feature of COVID-19, further exacerbated in severe disease. These findings provide novel insights into COVID-19 immunopathogenesis and inform strategies for therapeutic intervention.
Liew F, Talwar S, Cross A, et al., 2023, SARS-CoV-2-specific nasal IgA wanes 9 months after hospitalisation with COVID-19 and is not induced by subsequent vaccination, EBioMedicine, Vol: 87, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2352-3964
Background:Most studies of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 focus on circulating antibody, giving limited insights into mucosal defences that prevent viral replication and onward transmission. We studied nasal and plasma antibody responses one year after hospitalisation for COVID-19, including a period when SARS-CoV-2 vaccination was introduced.Methods:In this follow up study, plasma and nasosorption samples were prospectively collected from 446 adults hospitalised for COVID-19 between February 2020 and March 2021 via the ISARIC4C and PHOSP-COVID consortia. IgA and IgG responses to NP and S of ancestral SARS-CoV-2, Delta and Omicron (BA.1) variants were measured by electrochemiluminescence and compared with plasma neutralisation data.Findings:Strong and consistent nasal anti-NP and anti-S IgA responses were demonstrated, which remained elevated for nine months (p < 0.0001). Nasal and plasma anti-S IgG remained elevated for at least 12 months (p < 0.0001) with plasma neutralising titres that were raised against all variants compared to controls (p < 0.0001). Of 323 with complete data, 307 were vaccinated between 6 and 12 months; coinciding with rises in nasal and plasma IgA and IgG anti-S titres for all SARS-CoV-2 variants, although the change in nasal IgA was minimal (1.46-fold change after 10 months, p = 0.011) and the median remained below the positive threshold determined by pre-pandemic controls. Samples 12 months after admission showed no association between nasal IgA and plasma IgG anti-S responses (R = 0.05, p = 0.18), indicating that nasal IgA responses are distinct from those in plasma and minimally boosted by vaccination.Interpretation:The decline in nasal IgA responses 9 months after infection and minimal impact of subsequent vaccination may explain the lack of long-lasting nasal defence against reinfection and the limited effects of vaccination on transmission. These findings highlight the need to develop vaccines that enhance nasal immunity.Funding:This
Pop O-T, Geng A, Flint E, et al., 2023, AXL expression on homeostatic resident liver macrophages is reduced in cirrhosis following GAS6 production by hepatic stellate cells, Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Vol: 16, Pages: 17-37, ISSN: 2352-345X
BACKGROUND & AIMS: AXL and MERTK expression on circulating monocytes modulated immune responses in patients with cirrhosis (CD14+HLA-DR+AXL+) and acute-on-chronic liver failure (CD14+MERTK+). AXL expression involved enhanced efferocytosis, sustained phagocytosis, but reduced TNF-α/IL-6 production and T cell activation, suggesting a homeostatic function. Axl was expressed on murine airway in tissues contacting the external environment- but not interstitial lung-, and tissue-resident synovial lining macrophages. We assessed AXL expression on tissue macrophages in patients with cirrhosis. METHODS: Using multiplexed immunofluorescence we compared AXL expression in liver biopsies in cirrhosis (n=22), chronic liver disease (n=8), non-cirrhotic portal hypertension (n=4) and healthy controls (n=4). Phenotype and function of isolated primary human liver macrophages were characterised by flow cytometry (cirrhosis, n=11; control, n=14) ex vivo. Also, AXL expression was assessed on peritoneal- (n=29) and gut macrophages (n=16) from cirrhotic patients. Regulation of AXL expression was analysed in vitro and ex vivo using primary hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), LX-2 cells and GAS6 in co-culture experiments. RESULTS: AXL was expressed on resident (CD68+) but not tissue-infiltrating (MAC387+) liver macrophages, hepatocytes, HSCs, or sinusoidal endothelial cells. Prevalence of hepatic CD68+AXL+ cells significantly decreased with cirrhosis progression: (Healthy 90.2%; Child Pugh A 76.1%; B 64.5%; C 18.7%, all p<0.05) and negatively correlated with MELD and CRP (all p<0.05). AXL-expressing hepatic macrophages were CD68highHLA-DRhighCD16highCD206high. AXL expression also decreased on gut and peritoneal macrophages from cirrhotic patients, but increased in regional lymph nodes. GAS6, enriched in the cirrhotic liver, appeared to be secreted by HSCs and down-regulate AXL in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: Decreased AXL expression on resident liver macrophages in advanced cirrhosis, pote
Komorowski M, Green A, Tatham KC, et al., 2022, Sepsis biomarkers and diagnostic tools with a focus on machine learning., EBioMedicine, Vol: 86, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2352-3964
Over the last years, there have been advances in the use of data-driven techniques to improve the definition, early recognition, subtypes characterisation, prognostication and treatment personalisation of sepsis. Some of those involve the discovery or evaluation of biomarkers or digital signatures of sepsis or sepsis sub-phenotypes. It is hoped that their identification may improve timeliness and accuracy of diagnosis, suggest physiological pathways and therapeutic targets, inform targeted recruitment into clinical trials, and optimise clinical management. Given the complexities of the sepsis response, panels of biomarkers or models combining biomarkers and clinical data are necessary, as well as specific data analysis methods, which broadly fall under the scope of machine learning. This narrative review gives a brief overview of the main machine learning techniques (mainly in the realms of supervised and unsupervised methods) and published applications that have been used to create sepsis diagnostic tools and identify biomarkers.
Vink E, Davis C, MacLean A, et al., 2022, Viral coinfections in hospitalized Coronavirus disease 2019 patients recruited to the international severe acute respiratory and emerging infections consortium WHO clinical characterisation protocol UK study, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2328-8957
BackgroundWe conducted this study to assess the prevalence of viral coinfection in a well characterized cohort of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and to investigate the impact of coinfection on disease severity.MethodsMultiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction testing for endemic respiratory viruses was performed on upper respiratory tract samples from 1002 patients with COVID-19, aged <1 year to 102 years old, recruited to the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK study. Comprehensive demographic, clinical, and outcome data were collected prospectively up to 28 days post discharge.ResultsA coinfecting virus was detected in 20 (2.0%) participants. Multivariable analysis revealed no significant risk factors for coinfection, although this may be due to rarity of coinfection. Likewise, ordinal logistic regression analysis did not demonstrate a significant association between coinfection and increased disease severity.ConclusionsViral coinfection was rare among hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United Kingdom during the first 18 months of the pandemic. With unbiased prospective sampling, we found no evidence of an association between viral coinfection and disease severity. Public health interventions disrupted normal seasonal transmission of respiratory viruses; relaxation of these measures mean it will be important to monitor the prevalence and impact of respiratory viral coinfections going forward.
Fendler A, Shepherd STC, Au L, et al., 2022, Functional immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern after fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose or infection in patients with blood cancer, Cell Reports Medicine, Vol: 3, ISSN: 2666-3791
Patients with blood cancer continue to have a greater risk of inadequate immune responses following three COVID-19 vaccine doses and risk of severe COVID-19 disease. In the context of the CAPTURE study (NCT03226886), we report immune responses in 80 patients with blood cancer who received a fourth dose of BNT162b2. We measured neutralizing antibody titers (NAbTs) using a live virus microneutralization assay against wild-type (WT), Delta, and Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 and T cell responses against WT and Omicron BA.1 using an activation-induced marker (AIM) assay. The proportion of patients with detectable NAb titers and T cell responses after the fourth vaccine dose increased compared with that after the third vaccine dose. Patients who received B cell-depleting therapies within the 12 months before vaccination have the greatest risk of not having detectable NAbT. In addition, we report immune responses in 57 patients with breakthrough infections after vaccination.
RECOVERY Collaborative Group, 2022, Baricitinib in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 (RECOVERY): a randomised, controlled, open-label, platform trial and updated meta-analysis., The Lancet, Vol: 400, Pages: 359-368, ISSN: 0140-6736
BACKGROUND: We aimed to evaluate the use of baricitinib, a Janus kinase (JAK) 1-2 inhibitor, for the treatment of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. METHODS: This randomised, controlled, open-label, platform trial (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy [RECOVERY]), is assessing multiple possible treatments in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in the UK. Eligible and consenting patients were randomly allocated (1:1) to either usual standard of care alone (usual care group) or usual care plus baricitinib 4 mg once daily by mouth for 10 days or until discharge if sooner (baricitinib group). The primary outcome was 28-day mortality assessed in the intention-to-treat population. A meta-analysis was done, which included the results from the RECOVERY trial and all previous randomised controlled trials of baricitinib or other JAK inhibitor in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. The RECOVERY trial is registered with ISRCTN (50189673) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04381936) and is ongoing. FINDINGS: Between Feb 2 and Dec 29, 2021, from 10 852 enrolled, 8156 patients were randomly allocated to receive usual care plus baricitinib versus usual care alone. At randomisation, 95% of patients were receiving corticosteroids and 23% were receiving tocilizumab (with planned use within the next 24 h recorded for a further 9%). Overall, 514 (12%) of 4148 patients allocated to baricitinib versus 546 (14%) of 4008 patients allocated to usual care died within 28 days (age-adjusted rate ratio 0·87; 95% CI 0·77-0·99; p=0·028). This 13% proportional reduction in mortality was somewhat smaller than that seen in a meta-analysis of eight previous trials of a JAK inhibitor (involving 3732 patients and 425 deaths), in which allocation to a JAK inhibitor was associated with a 43% proportional reduction in mortality (rate ratio 0·57; 95% CI 0·45-0·72). Including the results from RECOVERY in an updated meta-analysis of all nine completed t
Närhi F, Moonesinghe SR, Shenkin SD, et al., 2022, Implementation of corticosteroids in treatment of COVID-19 in the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK: prospective, cohort study., The Lancet Digital Health, Vol: 4, Pages: e220-e234, ISSN: 2589-7500
BACKGROUND: Dexamethasone was the first intervention proven to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 being treated in hospital. We aimed to evaluate the adoption of corticosteroids in the treatment of COVID-19 in the UK after the RECOVERY trial publication on June 16, 2020, and to identify discrepancies in care. METHODS: We did an audit of clinical implementation of corticosteroids in a prospective, observational, cohort study in 237 UK acute care hospitals between March 16, 2020, and April 14, 2021, restricted to patients aged 18 years or older with proven or high likelihood of COVID-19, who received supplementary oxygen. The primary outcome was administration of dexamethasone, prednisolone, hydrocortisone, or methylprednisolone. This study is registered with ISRCTN, ISRCTN66726260. FINDINGS: Between June 17, 2020, and April 14, 2021, 47 795 (75·2%) of 63 525 of patients on supplementary oxygen received corticosteroids, higher among patients requiring critical care than in those who received ward care (11 185 [86·6%] of 12 909 vs 36 415 [72·4%] of 50 278). Patients 50 years or older were significantly less likely to receive corticosteroids than those younger than 50 years (adjusted odds ratio 0·79 [95% CI 0·70-0·89], p=0·0001, for 70-79 years; 0·52 [0·46-0·58], p<0·0001, for >80 years), independent of patient demographics and illness severity. 84 (54·2%) of 155 pregnant women received corticosteroids. Rates of corticosteroid administration increased from 27·5% in the week before June 16, 2020, to 75-80% in January, 2021. INTERPRETATION: Implementation of corticosteroids into clinical practice in the UK for patients with COVID-19 has been successful, but not universal. Patients older than 70 years, independent of illness severity, chronic neurological disease, and dementia, were less likely to receive corticosteroids than those who were younger, as were pregnant wom
Kousathanas A, Pairo-Castineira E, Rawlik K, et al., 2022, Whole genome sequencing reveals host factors underlying critical Covid-19, Nature, Vol: 607, Pages: 97-103, ISSN: 0028-0836
Critical Covid-19 is caused by immune-mediated inflammatory lung injury. Host genetic variation influences the development of illness requiring critical care1 or hospitalisation2-4 following SARS-CoV-2 infection. The GenOMICC (Genetics of Mortality in Critical Care) study enables the comparison of genomes from critically-ill cases with population controls in order to find underlying disease mechanisms. Here, we use whole genome sequencing in 7,491 critically-ill cases compared with 48,400 controls to discover and replicate 23 independent variants that significantly predispose to critical Covid-19. We identify 16 new independent associations, including variants within genes involved in interferon signalling (IL10RB, PLSCR1), leucocyte differentiation (BCL11A), and blood type antigen secretor status (FUT2). Using transcriptome-wide association and colocalisation to infer the effect of gene expression on disease severity, we find evidence implicating multiple genes, including reduced expression of a membrane flippase (ATP11A), and increased mucin expression (MUC1), in critical disease. Mendelian randomisation provides evidence in support of causal roles for myeloid cell adhesion molecules (SELE, ICAM5, CD209) and coagulation factor F8, all of which are potentially druggable targets. Our results are broadly consistent with a multi-component model of Covid-19 pathophysiology, in which at least two distinct mechanisms can predispose to life-threatening disease: failure to control viral replication, or an enhanced tendency towards pulmonary inflammation and intravascular coagulation. We show that comparison between critically-ill cases and population controls is highly efficient for detection of therapeutically-relevant mechanisms of disease.
Fendler A, Shepherd STC, Au L, et al., 2022, Omicron neutralising antibodies after third COVID-19 vaccine dose in patients with cancer., Lancet, Vol: 399, Pages: 905-907
RECOVERY Collaborative Group, 2022, Casirivimab and imdevimab in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 (RECOVERY): a randomised, controlled, open-label, platform trial, The Lancet, Vol: 399, Pages: 665-676, ISSN: 0140-6736
BACKGROUND: Casirivimab and imdevimab are non-competing monoclonal antibodies that bind to two different sites on the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, blocking viral entry into host cells. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of casirivimab and imdevimab administered in combination in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. METHODS: RECOVERY is a randomised, controlled, open-label platform trial comparing several possible treatments with usual care in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. 127 UK hospitals took part in the evaluation of casirivimab and imdevimab. Eligible participants were any patients aged at least 12 years admitted to hospital with clinically suspected or laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to either usual standard of care alone or usual care plus casirivimab 4 g and imdevimab 4 g administered together in a single intravenous infusion. Investigators and data assessors were masked to analyses of the outcome data during the trial. The primary outcome was 28-day all-cause mortality assessed by intention to treat, first only in patients without detectable antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 infection at randomisation (ie, those who were seronegative) and then in the overall population. Safety was assessed in all participants who received casirivimab and imdevimab. The trial is registered with ISRCTN (50189673) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04381936). FINDINGS: Between Sept 18, 2020, and May 22, 2021, 9785 patients enrolled in RECOVERY were eligible for casirivimab and imdevimab, of which 4839 were randomly assigned to casirivimab and imdevimab plus usual care and 4946 to usual care alone. 3153 (32%) of 9785 patients were seronegative, 5272 (54%) were seropositive, and 1360 (14%) had unknown baseline antibody status. 812 (8%) patients were known to have received at least one dose of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. In the primary efficacy population of seronegative patients, 396 (2
Dejnirattisai W, Huo J, Zhou D, et al., 2022, SARS-CoV-2 Omicron-B.1.1.529 leads to widespread escape from neutralizing antibody responses, Cell, Vol: 185, Pages: 467-484.e15, ISSN: 0092-8674
On 24th November 2021, the sequence of a new SARS-CoV-2 viral isolate Omicron-B.1.1.529 was announced, containing far more mutations in Spike (S) than previously reported variants. Neutralization titers of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic Alpha, Beta, Gamma, or Delta are substantially reduced, or the sera failed to neutralize. Titers against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in both vaccinated individuals and those infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of the large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses and uses mutations that confer tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape. This leads to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site and rebalances receptor affinity to that of earlier pandemic viruses.
Keeling MJ, Dyson L, Guyver-Fletcher G, et al., 2022, Fitting to the UK COVID-19 outbreak, short-term forecasts and estimating the reproductive number, Statistical Methods in Medical Research, ISSN: 0962-2802
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the need for policy makers to receive timely and ongoing scientific guidance in response to this recently emerged human infectious disease. Fitting mathematical models of infectious disease transmission to the available epidemiological data provide a key statistical tool for understanding the many quantities of interest that are not explicit in the underlying epidemiological data streams. Of these, the effective reproduction number, R, has taken on special significance in terms of the general understanding of whether the epidemic is under control (R<1). Unfortunately, none of the epidemiological data streams are designed for modelling, hence assimilating information from multiple (often changing) sources of data is a major challenge that is particularly stark in novel disease outbreaks. Here, focusing on the dynamics of the first wave (March–June 2020), we present in some detail the inference scheme employed for calibrating the Warwick COVID-19 model to the available public health data streams, which span hospitalisations, critical care occupancy, mortality and serological testing. We then perform computational simulations, making use of the acquired parameter posterior distributions, to assess how the accuracy of short-term predictions varied over the time course of the outbreak. To conclude, we compare how refinements to data streams and model structure impact estimates of epidemiological measures, including the estimated growth rate and daily incidence.
RECOVERY Collaborative Group, 2022, Aspirin in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 (RECOVERY): a randomised, controlled, open-label, platform trial, The Lancet, Vol: 399, Pages: 143-151, ISSN: 0140-6736
BACKGROUND: Aspirin has been proposed as a treatment for COVID-19 on the basis of its anti-thrombotic properties. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of aspirin in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. METHODS: In this randomised, controlled, open-label, platform trial, several possible treatments were compared with usual care in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. The trial took place at 177 hospitals in the UK, two hospitals in Indonesia, and two hospitals in Nepal. Eligible and consenting adults were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to either usual standard of care plus 150 mg aspirin once per day until discharge or usual standard of care alone using web-based simple (unstratified) randomisation with allocation concealment. The primary outcome was 28 day mortality. All analyses were done by intention to treat. The trial is registered with ISRCTN (50189673) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04381936). FINDINGS: Between Nov 1, 2020, and March 21, 2021, 14 892 (66%) of 22 560 patients enrolled into the RECOVERY trial were eligible to be randomly allocated to aspirin. 7351 patients were randomly allocated (1:1) to receive aspirin and 7541 patients to receive usual care alone. Overall, 1222 (17%) of 7351 patients allocated to aspirin and 1299 (17%) of 7541 patients allocated to usual care died within 28 days (rate ratio 0·96, 95% CI 0·89-1·04; p=0·35). Consistent results were seen in all prespecified subgroups of patients. Patients allocated to aspirin had a slightly shorter duration of hospitalisation (median 8 days, IQR 5 to >28, vs 9 days, IQR 5 to >28) and a higher proportion were discharged from hospital alive within 28 days (75% vs 74%; rate ratio 1·06, 95% CI 1·02-1·10; p=0·0062). Among patients not on invasive mechanical ventilation at baseline, there was no significant difference in the proportion meeting the composite endpoint of invasive mechanical ventilation or death (2
Fallerini C, Picchiotti N, Baldassarri M, et al., 2022, Common, low-frequency, rare, and ultra-rare coding variants contribute to COVID-19 severity, Human Genetics, Vol: 141, Pages: 147-173, ISSN: 0340-6717
The combined impact of common and rare exonic variants in COVID-19 host genetics is currently insufficiently understood. Here, common and rare variants from whole-exome sequencing data of about 4000 SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals were used to define an interpretable machine-learning model for predicting COVID-19 severity. First, variants were converted into separate sets of Boolean features, depending on the absence or the presence of variants in each gene. An ensemble of LASSO logistic regression models was used to identify the most informative Boolean features with respect to the genetic bases of severity. The Boolean features selected by these logistic models were combined into an Integrated PolyGenic Score that offers a synthetic and interpretable index for describing the contribution of host genetics in COVID-19 severity, as demonstrated through testing in several independent cohorts. Selected features belong to ultra-rare, rare, low-frequency, and common variants, including those in linkage disequilibrium with known GWAS loci. Noteworthily, around one quarter of the selected genes are sex-specific. Pathway analysis of the selected genes associated with COVID-19 severity reflected the multi-organ nature of the disease. The proposed model might provide useful information for developing diagnostics and therapeutics, while also being able to guide bedside disease management.
de Silva TI, Liu G, Lindsey BB, et al., 2021, The impact of viral mutations on recognition by SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells., iScience, Vol: 24, Pages: 103353-103353, ISSN: 2589-0042
We identify amino acid variants within dominant SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes by interrogating global sequence data. Several variants within nucleocapsid and ORF3a epitopes have arisen independently in multiple lineages and result in loss of recognition by epitope-specific T cells assessed by IFN-γ and cytotoxic killing assays. Complete loss of T cell responsiveness was seen due to Q213K in the A∗01:01-restricted CD8+ ORF3a epitope FTSDYYQLY207-215; due to P13L, P13S, and P13T in the B∗27:05-restricted CD8+ nucleocapsid epitope QRNAPRITF9-17; and due to T362I and P365S in the A∗03:01/A∗11:01-restricted CD8+ nucleocapsid epitope KTFPPTEPK361-369. CD8+ T cell lines unable to recognize variant epitopes have diverse T cell receptor repertoires. These data demonstrate the potential for T cell evasion and highlight the need for ongoing surveillance for variants capable of escaping T cell as well as humoral immunity.
Tiu C, Shinde R, Pal A, et al., 2021, A wolf in sheep's clothing: systemic immune activation post immunotherapy, Journal of Immunotherapy and Precision Oncology, Vol: 4, Pages: 189-195, ISSN: 2666-2345
Introduction:Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are increasingly a standard of care for many cancers; these agents can result in immune-related adverse events (irAEs) including fever, which is common but can rarely be associated with systemic immune activation (SIA or acquired HLH).Methods:All consecutive patients receiving ICIs in the Drug Development Unit of the Royal Marsden Hospital between May 2014 and November 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with fever ≥ 38°C or chills/rigors (without fever) ≤ 6 weeks of commencing ICIs were identified for clinical data collection.Results:Three patients met diagnostic criteria for SIA/HLH with median time to onset of symptoms of 10 days. We describe the clinical evolution, treatment used, and outcomes for these patients. High-dose steroids are used first-line with other treatments, such as tocilizumab, immunoglobulin and therapeutic plasmapheresis can be considered for steroid-refractory SIA/HLH.Conclusion:SIA/HLH post ICI is a rare but a potentially fatal irAE that presents with fever and a constellation of nonspecific symptoms. Early recognition and timely treatment are key to improving outcomes.
PRISM trial group, 2021, Postoperative continuous positive airway pressure to prevent pneumonia, re-intubation, and death after major abdominal surgery (PRISM): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial., Lancet Respir Med, Vol: 9, Pages: 1221-1230
BACKGROUND: Respiratory complications are an important cause of postoperative morbidity. We aimed to investigate whether continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) administered immediately after major abdominal surgery could prevent postoperative morbidity. METHODS: PRISM was an open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial done at 70 hospitals across six countries. Patients aged 50 years or older who were undergoing elective major open abdominal surgery were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive CPAP within 4 h of the end of surgery or usual postoperative care. Patients were randomly assigned using a computer-generated minimisation algorithm with inbuilt concealment. The primary outcome was a composite of pneumonia, endotracheal re-intubation, or death within 30 days after randomisation, assessed in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in all patients who received CPAP. The trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN56012545. FINDINGS: Between Feb 8, 2016, and Nov 11, 2019, 4806 patients were randomly assigned (2405 to the CPAP group and 2401 to the usual care group), of whom 4793 were included in the primary analysis (2396 in the CPAP group and 2397 in the usual care group). 195 (8·1%) of 2396 patients in the CPAP group and 197 (8·2%) of 2397 patients in the usual care group met the composite primary outcome (adjusted odds ratio 1·01 [95% CI 0·81-1·24]; p=0·95). 200 (8·9%) of 2241 patients in the CPAP group had adverse events. The most common adverse events were claustrophobia (78 [3·5%] of 2241 patients), oronasal dryness (43 [1·9%]), excessive air leak (36 [1·6%]), vomiting (26 [1·2%]), and pain (24 [1·1%]). There were two serious adverse events: one patient had significant hearing loss and one patient had obstruction of their venous catheter caused by a CPAP hood, which resulted in transient haemodynamic instability. INTERPRETATION: In this large clinical effecti
Wickenhagen A, Sugrue E, Lytras S, et al., 2021, A prenylated dsRNA sensor protects against severe COVID-19, Science, Vol: 374, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 0036-8075
Fendler A, Shepherd STC, Au L, et al., 2021, Adaptive immunity and neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern following vaccination in patients with cancer: the CAPTURE study, Nature Cancer, Vol: 2, Pages: 1305-1320, ISSN: 2662-1347
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) antiviral response in a pan-tumor immune monitoring (CAPTURE) (NCT03226886) is a prospective cohort study of COVID-19 immunity in patients with cancer. Here we evaluated 585 patients following administration of two doses of BNT162b2 or AZD1222 vaccines, administered 12 weeks apart. Seroconversion rates after two doses were 85% and 59% in patients with solid and hematological malignancies, respectively. A lower proportion of patients had detectable titers of neutralizing antibodies (NAbT) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC) versus wild-type (WT) SARS-CoV-2. Patients with hematological malignancies were more likely to have undetectable NAbT and had lower median NAbT than those with solid cancers against both SARS-CoV-2 WT and VOC. By comparison with individuals without cancer, patients with hematological, but not solid, malignancies had reduced neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses. Seroconversion showed poor concordance with NAbT against VOC. Previous SARS-CoV-2 infection boosted the NAb response including against VOC, and anti-CD20 treatment was associated with undetectable NAbT. Vaccine-induced T cell responses were detected in 80% of patients and were comparable between vaccines or cancer types. Our results have implications for the management of patients with cancer during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Fendler A, Au L, Shepherd STC, et al., 2021, Functional antibody and T cell immunity following SARS-CoV-2 infection, including by variants of concern, in patients with cancer: the CAPTURE study, Nature Cancer, Vol: 2, Pages: 1321-1337, ISSN: 2662-1347
Patients with cancer have higher COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Here we present the prospective CAPTURE study, integrating longitudinal immune profiling with clinical annotation. Of 357 patients with cancer, 118 were SARS-CoV-2 positive, 94 were symptomatic and 2 died of COVID-19. In this cohort, 83% patients had S1-reactive antibodies and 82% had neutralizing antibodies against wild type SARS-CoV-2, whereas neutralizing antibody titers against the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants were substantially reduced. S1-reactive antibody levels decreased in 13% of patients, whereas neutralizing antibody titers remained stable for up to 329 days. Patients also had detectable SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells and CD4+ responses correlating with S1-reactive antibody levels, although patients with hematological malignancies had impaired immune responses that were disease and treatment specific, but presented compensatory cellular responses, further supported by clinical recovery in all but one patient. Overall, these findings advance the understanding of the nature and duration of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in patients with cancer.
Tatham KC, Shankar-Hari M, Arabi YM, 2021, The REMDACTA trial: do interleukin receptor antagonists provide additional benefit in COVID-19?, Intensive Care Medicine, Vol: 47, Pages: 1315-1318, ISSN: 0342-4642
Arabi Y, Gordon A, Derde L, et al., 2021, Lopinavir-ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine for critically ill patients with COVID-19: REMAP-CAP randomized control trial, Intensive Care Medicine, Vol: 47, Pages: 867-886, ISSN: 0342-4642
Purpose: To study the efficacy of lopinavir-ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Methods: Critically ill adults with COVID-19 were randomized to receive lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, combination therapy of lopinavir-ritonavir, and hydroxychloroquine or no antiviral therapy (control). The primary endpoint was an ordinal scale of organ-support free days. Analyses used a Bayesian cumulative logistic model and expressed treatment effects as an adjusted odds ratio (OR) where an OR >1 is favorable. Results: We randomized 694 patients to receive lopinavir-ritonavir (n=255), hydroxychloroquine (n=50), combination therapy (n=27) or control (n=362). The median (IQR) organ support-free days among patients in lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, and combination therapy groups was 4 (–1 to 15), 0 (–1 to 9) and –1 (–1 to 7), respectively, compared to 6 (–1 to 16) in the control group with in-hospital mortality of 88/249 (35%), 17/49 (35%), 13/26 (50%), respectively, compared to 106/353 (30%) in the control group. The three interventions decreased organ support-free days compared to control (OR [95% credible interval]: 0.73 [0.55, 0.99], 0.57 [0.35, 0.83] 0.41 [0.24, 0.72]), yielding posterior probabilities that reached the threshold futility (≥99.0%), and high probabilities of harm (98.0%, 99.9% and >99.9%, respectively). The three interventions reduced hospital survival compared with control (OR [95% CrI]: 0.65 [0.45, 0.95], 0.56 [0.30, 0.89], and 0.36 [0.17, 0.73]), yielding high probabilities of harm (98.5% and 99.4% and 99.8%, respectively). Conclusion: Among critically ill patients with COVID-19, lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, or combination therapy worsened outcomes compared to no antiviral therapy.Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02735707
Russell CD, Fairfield CJ, Drake TM, et al., 2021, Co-infections, secondary infections, and antimicrobial use in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 during the first pandemic wave from the ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study: a multicentre, prospective cohort study, The Lancet Microbe, Vol: 2, Pages: E354-E365, ISSN: 2666-5247
BackgroundMicrobiological characterisation of co-infections and secondary infections in patients with COVID-19 is lacking, and antimicrobial use is high. We aimed to describe microbiologically confirmed co-infections and secondary infections, and antimicrobial use, in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.MethodsThe International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study is an ongoing, prospective cohort study recruiting inpatients from 260 hospitals in England, Scotland, and Wales, conducted by the ISARIC Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium. Patients with a confirmed or clinician-defined high likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection were eligible for inclusion in the ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study. For this specific study, we excluded patients with a recorded negative SARS-CoV-2 test result and those without a recorded outcome at 28 days after admission. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, therapeutic, and outcome data were collected using a prespecified case report form. Organisms considered clinically insignificant were excluded.FindingsWe analysed data from 48 902 patients admitted to hospital between Feb 6 and June 8, 2020. The median patient age was 74 years (IQR 59–84) and 20 786 (42·6%) of 48 765 patients were female. Microbiological investigations were recorded for 8649 (17·7%) of 48 902 patients, with clinically significant COVID-19-related respiratory or bloodstream culture results recorded for 1107 patients. 762 (70·6%) of 1080 infections were secondary, occurring more than 2 days after hospital admission. Staphylococcus aureus and Haemophilus influenzae were the most common pathogens causing respiratory co-infections (diagnosed ≤2 days after admission), with Enterobacteriaceae and S aureus most common in secondary respiratory infections. Bloodstream infections were most frequently caused by Escherichia coli a
Drake TM, Riad AM, Fairfield CJ, et al., 2021, Characterisation of in-hospital complications associated with COVID-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK: a prospective, multicentre cohort study, The Lancet, Vol: 398, Pages: 223-237, ISSN: 0140-6736
BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a multisystem disease and patients who survive might have in-hospital complications. These complications are likely to have important short-term and long-term consequences for patients, health-care utilisation, health-care system preparedness, and society amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim was to characterise the extent and effect of COVID-19 complications, particularly in those who survive, using the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK. METHODS: We did a prospective, multicentre cohort study in 302 UK health-care facilities. Adult patients aged 19 years or older, with confirmed or highly suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection leading to COVID-19 were included in the study. The primary outcome of this study was the incidence of in-hospital complications, defined as organ-specific diagnoses occurring alone or in addition to any hallmarks of COVID-19 illness. We used multilevel logistic regression and survival models to explore associations between these outcomes and in-hospital complications, age, and pre-existing comorbidities. FINDINGS: Between Jan 17 and Aug 4, 2020, 80 388 patients were included in the study. Of the patients admitted to hospital for management of COVID-19, 49·7% (36 367 of 73 197) had at least one complication. The mean age of our cohort was 71·1 years (SD 18·7), with 56·0% (41 025 of 73 197) being male and 81·0% (59 289 of 73 197) having at least one comorbidity. Males and those aged older than 60 years were most likely to have a complication (aged ≥60 years: 54·5% [16 579 of 30 416] in males and 48·2% [11 707 of 24 288] in females; aged <60 years: 48·8% [5179 of 10 609] in males and 36·6% [2814 of 7689] in females). Renal (24·3%, 17 752 of 73 197), complex respiratory (18·4%, 13 486 of 73 197), and systemic (16·3%, 11 895 of 73 197) complications were
Tatham KC, Ferguson ND, Zhou Q, et al., 2021, Evolution of practice patterns in the management of acute respiratory distress syndrome: A secondary analysis of two successive randomized controlled trials, JOURNAL OF CRITICAL CARE, Vol: 65, Pages: 274-281, ISSN: 0883-9441
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