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Published Data

Data available from Swedish public agencies and large data produces

Data available from research groups in Sweden

The list below is curated manually and as such may not be exhaustive. If you would like to see your dataset here or correct information about your dataset, please get in touch with us. Projects sharing data where at least one author has an affiliation with a Swedish research institute are included. At this point, projects which share data openly or which explicitly promise to share data on request are included in this section. In the near future, only projects that either share data openly or have at least a metadata-only record with a clear data access procedure will be included.

Last updated: 2022-03-23

Project Last updated Available data
Hammer Q, Dunst J, Christ W, Picarazzi F, Wendorff M, [...], Malmberg K
Cell Rep 110503
Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells that contribute to host defense against virus infections. NK cells respond to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in vitro and are activated in patients with acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, by which mechanisms NK cells detect SARS-CoV-2-infected cells remains largely unknown. Here, we show that the Non-structural protein 13 of SARS-CoV-2 encodes for a peptide that is presented by human leukocyte antigen E (HLA-E). In contrast with self-peptides, the viral peptide prevents binding of HLA-E to the inhibitory receptor NKG2A, thereby rendering target cells susceptible to NK cell attack. In line with these observations, NKG2A-expressing NK cells are particularly activated in patients with COVID-19 and proficiently limit SARS-CoV-2 replication in infected lung epithelial cells in vitro. Thus, these data suggest that a viral peptide presented by HLA-E abrogates inhibition of NKG2A+ NK cells, resulting in missing self-recognition.
Luttens A, Gullberg H, Abdurakhmanov E, Vo DD, Akaberi D, [...], Carlsson J
J Am Chem Soc
Drugs targeting SARS-CoV-2 could have saved millions of lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is now crucial to develop inhibitors of coronavirus replication in preparation for future outbreaks. We explored two virtual screening strategies to find inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease in ultralarge chemical libraries. First, structure-based docking was used to screen a diverse library of 235 million virtual compounds against the active site. One hundred top-ranked compounds were tested in binding and enzymatic assays. Second, a fragment discovered by crystallographic screening was optimized guided by docking of millions of elaborated molecules and experimental testing of 93 compounds. Three inhibitors were identified in the first library screen, and five of the selected fragment elaborations showed inhibitory effects. Crystal structures of target-inhibitor complexes confirmed docking predictions and guided hit-to-lead optimization, resulting in a noncovalent main protease inhibitor with nanomolar affinity, a promising in vitro pharmacokinetic profile, and broad-spectrum antiviral effect in infected cells.
Huffman JE, Butler-Laporte G, Khan A, Pairo-Castineira E, Drivas TG, [...], Zeberg H
Nat Genet
The OAS1/2/3 cluster has been identified as a risk locus for severe COVID-19 among individuals of European ancestry, with a protective haplotype of approximately 75 kilobases (kb) derived from Neanderthals in the chromosomal region 12q24.13. This haplotype contains a splice variant of OAS1, which occurs in people of African ancestry independently of gene flow from Neanderthals. Using trans-ancestry fine-mapping approaches in 20,779 hospitalized cases, we demonstrate that this splice variant is likely to be the SNP responsible for the association at this locus, thus strongly implicating OAS1 as an effector gene influencing COVID-19 severity.
Havervall S, Jernbom Falk A, Klingström J, Ng H, Greilert-Norin N, [...], Thålin C
PLoS One 17 (1) e0262169
Current SARS-CoV-2 serological assays generate discrepant results, and the longitudinal characteristics of antibodies targeting various antigens after asymptomatic to mild COVID-19 are yet to be established. This longitudinal cohort study including 1965 healthcare workers, of which 381 participants exhibited antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen at study inclusion, reveal that these antibodies remain detectable in most participants, 96%, at least four months post infection, despite having had no or mild symptoms. Virus neutralization capacity was confirmed by microneutralization assay in 91% of study participants at least four months post infection. Contrary to antibodies targeting the spike protein, antibodies against the nucleocapsid protein were only detected in 80% of previously anti-nucleocapsid IgG positive healthcare workers. Both anti-spike and anti-nucleocapsid IgG levels were significantly higher in previously hospitalized COVID-19 patients four months post infection than in healthcare workers four months post infection (p = 2*10-23 and 2*10-13 respectively). Although the magnitude of humoral response was associated with disease severity, our findings support a durable and functional humoral response after SARS-CoV-2 infection even after no or mild symptoms. We further demonstrate differences in antibody kinetics depending on the antigen, arguing against the use of the nucleocapsid protein as target antigen in population-based SARS-CoV-2 serological surveys.
2022-01-12 10.17044/scilifelab.13567355.v2
Hanke L, Das H, Sheward DJ, Perez Vidakovics L, Urgard E, [...], McInerney GM
Nat Commun 13 (1) 155
Antibodies binding to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike have therapeutic promise, but emerging variants show the potential for virus escape. This emphasizes the need for therapeutic molecules with distinct and novel neutralization mechanisms. Here we describe the isolation of a nanobody that interacts simultaneously with two RBDs from different spike trimers of SARS-CoV-2, rapidly inducing the formation of spike trimer-dimers leading to the loss of their ability to attach to the host cell receptor, ACE2. We show that this nanobody potently neutralizes SARS-CoV-2, including the beta and delta variants, and cross-neutralizes SARS-CoV. Furthermore, we demonstrate the therapeutic potential of the nanobody against SARS-CoV-2 and the beta variant in a human ACE2 transgenic mouse model. This naturally elicited bispecific monomeric nanobody establishes an uncommon strategy for potent inactivation of viral antigens and represents a promising antiviral against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Kozielski F, Sele C, Talibov VO, Lou J, Dong D, [...], Knecht W
RSC Chem Biol 3 (1) 44-55
Since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in 2019, Covid-19 has developed into a serious threat to our health, social and economic systems. Although vaccines have been developed in a tour-de-force and are now increasingly available, repurposing of existing drugs has been less successful. There is a clear need to develop new drugs against SARS-CoV-2 that can also be used against future coronavirus infections. Non-structural protein 10 (nsp10) is a conserved stimulator of two enzymes crucial for viral replication, nsp14 and nsp16, exhibiting exoribonuclease and methyltransferase activities. Interfering with RNA proofreading or RNA cap formation represents intervention strategies to inhibit replication. We applied fragment-based screening using nano differential scanning fluorometry and X-ray crystallography to identify ligands targeting SARS-CoV-2 nsp10. We identified four fragments located in two distinct sites: one can be modelled to where it would be located in the nsp14-nsp10 complex interface and the other in the nsp16-nsp10 complex interface. Microscale thermophoresis (MST) experiments were used to quantify fragment affinities for nsp10. Additionally, we showed by MST that the interaction by nsp14 and 10 is weak and thereby that complex formation could be disrupted by small molecules. The fragments will serve as starting points for the development of more potent analogues using fragment growing techniques and structure-based drug design.
Wang J, Dalla Barba F, Roccon A, Sardina G, Soldati A, [...], Picano F
J R Soc Interface 19 (186) 20210819
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of accurately modelling the pathogen transmission via droplets and aerosols emitted while speaking, coughing and sneezing. In this work, we present an effective model for assessing the direct contagion risk associated with these pathogen-laden droplets. In particular, using the most recent studies on multi-phase flow physics, we develop an effective yet simple framework capable of predicting the infection risk associated with different respiratory activities in different ambient conditions. We start by describing the mathematical framework and benchmarking the model predictions against well-assessed literature results. Then, we provide a systematic assessment of the effects of physical distancing and face coverings on the direct infection risk. The present results indicate that the risk of infection is vastly impacted by the ambient conditions and the type of respiratory activity, suggesting the non-existence of a universal safe distance. Meanwhile, wearing face masks provides excellent protection, effectively limiting the transmission of pathogens even at short physical distances, i.e. 1 m.
Ehling RA, Weber CR, Mason DM, Friedensohn S, Wagner B, [...], Reddy ST
Cell Rep 110242
Characterization of COVID-19 antibodies has largely focused on memory B cells; however, it is the antibody-secreting plasma cells that are directly responsible for the production of serum antibodies, which play a critical role in resolving SARS-CoV-2 infection. Little is known about the specificity of plasma cells, largely because plasma cells lack surface antibody expression, thereby complicating their screening. Here, we describe a technology pipeline that integrates single-cell antibody repertoire sequencing and mammalian display to interrogate the specificity of plasma cells from 16 convalescent patients. Single-cell sequencing allows us to profile antibody repertoire features and identify expanded clonal lineages. Mammalian display screening is used to reveal that 43 antibodies (of 132 candidates) derived from expanded plasma cell lineages are specific to SARS-CoV-2 antigens, including antibodies with high affinity to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) that exhibit potent neutralization and broad binding to the RBD of SARS-CoV-2 variants (of concern/interest).
Capraz T, Kienzl NF, Laurent E, Perthold JW, Föderl-Höbenreich E, [...], Stadlmann J
Elife 10
Infection and viral entry of SARS-CoV-2 crucially depends on the binding of its Spike protein to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) presented on host cells. Glycosylation of both proteins is critical for this interaction. Recombinant soluble human ACE2 can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 and is currently undergoing clinical tests for the treatment of COVID-19. We used 3D structural models and molecular dynamics simulations to define the ACE2 N-glycans that critically influence Spike-ACE2 complex formation. Engineering of ACE2 N-glycosylation by site-directed mutagenesis or glycosidase treatment resulted in enhanced binding affinities and improved virus neutralization without notable deleterious effects on the structural stability and catalytic activity of the protein. Importantly, simultaneous removal of all accessible N-glycans from recombinant soluble human ACE2 yields a superior SARS-CoV-2 decoy receptor with promise as effective treatment for COVID-19 patients.
Pimenoff VN, Elfström M, Conneryd Lundgren K, Klevebro S, Melen E, [...], Dillner J
PLoS One 16 (12) e0260453
A majority of SARS-CoV-2 infections are transmitted from a minority of infected subjects, some of which may be symptomatic or pre-symptomatic. We aimed to quantify potential infectiousness among asymptomatic healthcare workers (HCWs) in relation to prior or later symptomatic disease. We previously (at the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic) performed a cohort study of SARS-CoV-2 infections among 27,000 healthcare workers (HCWs) at work in the capital region of Sweden. We performed both SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and serology. Furthermore, the cohort was comprehensively followed for sick leave, both before and after sampling. In the present report, we used the cohort database to quantify potential infectiousness among HCWs at work. Those who had sick leave either before or after sampling were classified as post-symptomatic or pre-symptomatic, whereas the virus-positive subjects with no sick leave were considered asymptomatic. About 0.2% (19/9449) of HCW at work were potentially infectious and pre-symptomatic (later had disease) and 0.17% (16/9449) were potentially infectious and asymptomatic (never had sick leave either before nor after sampling). Thus, 33% and 28% of all the 57 potentially infectious subjects were pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic, respectively. When a questionnaire was administered to HCWs with past infection, only 10,5% of HCWs had had no indication at all of having had SARS-CoV-2 infection ("truly asymptomatic"). Our findings provide a unique quantification of the different groups of asymptomatic, potentially infectious HCWs.
Rahman M, Irmler M, Keshavan S, Introna M, Beckers J, [...], Upadhyay S
Viruses 13 (12)
The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein mediates attachment of the virus to the host cell receptor and fusion between the virus and the cell membrane. The S1 subunit of the spike glycoprotein (S1 protein) contains the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding domain. The SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern contain mutations in the S1 subunit. The spike protein is the primary target of neutralizing antibodies generated following infection, and constitutes the viral component of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, in this work we assessed the effect of exposure (24 h) to 10 nM SARS-CoV-2 recombinant S1 protein on physiologically relevant human bronchial (bro) and alveolar (alv) lung mucosa models cultured at air-liquid interface (ALI) (n = 6 per exposure condition). Corresponding sham exposed samples served as a control. The bro-ALI model was developed using primary bronchial epithelial cells and the alv-ALI model using representative type II pneumocytes (NCI-H441). Exposure to S1 protein induced the surface expression of ACE2, toll like receptor (TLR) 2, and TLR4 in both bro-ALI and alv-ALI models. Transcript expression analysis identified 117 (bro-ALI) and 97 (alv-ALI) differentially regulated genes (p ≤ 0.01). Pathway analysis revealed enrichment of canonical pathways such as interferon (IFN) signaling, influenza, coronavirus, and anti-viral response in the bro-ALI. Secreted levels of interleukin (IL) 4 and IL12 were significantly (p < 0.05) increased, whereas IL6 decreased in the bro-ALI. In the case of alv-ALI, enriched terms involving p53, APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) tight junction, integrin kinase, and IL1 signaling were identified. These terms are associated with lung fibrosis. Further, significantly (p < 0.05) increased levels of secreted pro-inflammatory cytokines IFNγ, IL1ꞵ, IL2, IL4, IL6, IL8, IL10, IL13, and tumor necrosis factor alpha were detected in alv-ALI, whereas IL12 was decreased. Altered levels of these cytokines are also associated with lung fibrotic response. In conclusion, we observed a typical anti-viral response in the bronchial model and a pro-fibrotic response in the alveolar model. The bro-ALI and alv-ALI models may serve as an easy and robust platform for assessing the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern at different lung regions.
Rosén J, Noreland M, Stattin K, Lipcsey M, Frithiof R, [...], Uppsala Intensive Care COVID-19 Research Group
PLoS One 16 (12) e0261315
We investigated the prevalence of ECG abnormalities and their association with mortality, organ dysfunction and cardiac biomarkers in a cohort of COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). This cohort study included patients with COVID-19 admitted to the ICU of a tertiary hospital in Sweden. ECG, clinical data and laboratory findings during ICU stay were extracted from medical records and ECGs obtained near ICU admission were reviewed by two independent physicians. Eighty patients had an acceptable ECG near ICU-admission. In the entire cohort 30-day mortality was 28%. Compared to patients with normal ECG, among whom 30-day mortality was 16%, patients with ECG fulfilling criteria for prior myocardial infarction had higher mortality, 63%, odds ratio (OR) 9.61 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.02-55.6) adjusted for Simplified Acute Physiology Score 3 and patients with ST-T abnormalities had 50% mortality and OR 6.05 (95% CI 1.82-21.3) in univariable analysis. Both prior myocardial infarction pattern and ST-T pathology were associated with need for vasoactive treatment and higher peak plasma levels of troponin-I, NT-pro-BNP (N-terminal pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide), and lactate during ICU stay compared to patients with normal ECG. ECG with prior myocardial infarction pattern or acute ST-T pathology at ICU admission is associated with death, need for vasoactive treatment and higher levels of biomarkers of cardiac damage and strain in severely ill COVID-19 patients, and should alert clinicians to a poor prognosis.
Agback T, Dominguez F, Frolov I, Frolova EI, Agback P
PLoS One 16 (12) e0251834
Structural characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 full length nsp1 protein will be an essential tool for developing new target-directed antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2 and for further understanding of intra- and intermolecular interactions of this protein. As a first step in the NMR studies of the protein, we report the 1H, 13C and 15N resonance backbone assignment as well as the Cβ of the apo form of the full-lengthSARS-CoV-2 nsp1 including the folded domain together with the flaking N- and C- terminal intrinsically disordered fragments. The 19.8 kD protein was characterized by high-resolution NMR. Validation of assignment have been done by using two different mutants, H81P and K129E/D48E as well as by amino acid specific experiments. According to the obtained assignment, the secondary structure of the folded domain in solution was almost identical to its previously published X-ray structure as well as another published secondary structure obtained by NMR, but some discrepancies have been detected. In the solution SARS-CoV-2 nsp1 exhibited disordered, flexible N- and C-termini with different dynamic characteristics. The short peptide in the beginning of the disordered C-terminal domain adopted two different conformations distinguishable on the NMR time scale. We propose that the disordered and folded nsp1 domains are not fully independent units but are rather involved in intramolecular interactions. Studies of the structure and dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 mutant in solution are on-going and will provide important insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying these interactions.
Roxhed N, Bendes A, Dale M, Mattsson C, Hanke L, [...], Schwenk JM
Nat Commun 12 (1)
2021-12-00 Analysis code (in R)
Cornillet M, Strunz B, Rooyackers O, Ponzetta A, Chen P, [...], Björkström NK
Eur J Immunol
Corona disease 2019 (COVID-19) affects multiple organ systems. Recent studies have indicated perturbations in the circulating metabolome linked to COVID-19 severity. However, several questions pertain with respect to the metabolome in COVID-19. We performed an in-depth assessment of 1129 unique metabolites in 27 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and integrated results with large-scale proteomic and immunology data to capture multiorgan system perturbations. More than half of the detected metabolic alterations in COVID-19 were driven by patient-specific confounding factors ranging from comorbidities to xenobiotic substances. Systematically adjusting for this, a COVID-19-specific metabolic imprint was defined which, over time, underwent a switch in response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 seroconversion. Integration of the COVID-19 metabolome with clinical, cellular, molecular, and immunological severity scales further revealed a network of metabolic trajectories aligned with multiple pathways for immune activation, and organ damage including neurological inflammation and damage. Altogether, this resource refines our understanding of the multiorgan system perturbations in severe COVID-19 patients.
Murray B, Kerfoot E, Chen L, Deng J, Graham MS, [...], Ourselin S
Sci Data 8 (1) 297
The Covid Symptom Study, a smartphone-based surveillance study on COVID-19 symptoms in the population, is an exemplar of big data citizen science. As of May 23rd, 2021, over 5 million participants have collectively logged over 360 million self-assessment reports since its introduction in March 2020. The success of the Covid Symptom Study creates significant technical challenges around effective data curation. The primary issue is scale. The size of the dataset means that it can no longer be readily processed using standard Python-based data analytics software such as Pandas on commodity hardware. Alternative technologies exist but carry a higher technical complexity and are less accessible to many researchers. We present ExeTera, a Python-based open source software package designed to provide Pandas-like data analytics on datasets that approach terabyte scales. We present its design and capabilities, and show how it is a critical component of a data curation pipeline that enables reproducible research across an international research group for the Covid Symptom Study.
Axfors C, Janiaud P, Schmitt AM, Van't Hooft J, Smith ER, [...], Hemkens LG
Infect Dis . 2020 Dec 10;20(1):942. 21 (1) 1170
Convalescent plasma has been widely used to treat COVID-19 and is under investigation in numerous randomized clinical trials, but results are publicly available only for a small number of trials. The objective of this study was to assess the benefits of convalescent plasma treatment compared to placebo or no treatment and all-cause mortality in patients with COVID-19, using data from all available randomized clinical trials, including unpublished and ongoing trials (Open Science Framework, ). In this collaborative systematic review and meta-analysis, clinical trial registries (, WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform), the Cochrane COVID-19 register, the LOVE database, and PubMed were searched until April 8, 2021. Investigators of trials registered by March 1, 2021, without published results were contacted via email. Eligible were ongoing, discontinued and completed randomized clinical trials that compared convalescent plasma with placebo or no treatment in COVID-19 patients, regardless of setting or treatment schedule. Aggregated mortality data were extracted from publications or provided by investigators of unpublished trials and combined using the Hartung-Knapp-Sidik-Jonkman random effects model. We investigated the contribution of unpublished trials to the overall evidence. A total of 16,477 patients were included in 33 trials (20 unpublished with 3190 patients, 13 published with 13,287 patients). 32 trials enrolled only hospitalized patients (including 3 with only intensive care unit patients). Risk of bias was low for 29/33 trials. Of 8495 patients who received convalescent plasma, 1997 died (23%), and of 7982 control patients, 1952 died (24%). The combined risk ratio for all-cause mortality was 0.97 (95% confidence interval: 0.92; 1.02) with between-study heterogeneity not beyond chance (I2 = 0%). The RECOVERY trial had 69.8% and the unpublished evidence 25.3% of the weight in the meta-analysis. Convalescent plasma treatment of patients with COVID-19 did not reduce all-cause mortality. These results provide strong evidence that convalescent plasma treatment for patients with COVID-19 should not be used outside of randomized trials. Evidence synthesis from collaborations among trial investigators can inform both evidence generation and evidence application in patient care.
Sheward DJ, Mandolesi M, Urgard E, Kim C, Hanke L, [...], Murrell B
Cell Rep Med 2 (11) 100450
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs) with resistance to neutralizing antibodies are threatening to undermine vaccine efficacy. Vaccination and infection have led to widespread humoral immunity against the pandemic founder (Wu-Hu-1). Against this background, it is critical to assess the outcomes of subsequent immunization with variant antigens. It is not yet clear whether heterotypic boosts would be compromised by original antigenic sin, where pre-existing responses to a prior variant dampen responses to a new one, or whether the memory B cell repertoire would bridge the gap between Wu-Hu-1 and VOCs. We show, in macaques immunized with Wu-Hu-1 spike, that a single dose of adjuvanted beta variant receptor binding domain (RBD) protein broadens neutralizing antibody responses to heterologous VOCs. Passive transfer of plasma sampled after Wu-Hu-1 spike immunization only partially protects K18-hACE2 mice from lethal challenge with a beta variant isolate, whereas plasma sampled following heterotypic RBD boost protects completely against disease.
2021-11-16 Code used for analyses
Hober A, Tran-Minh KH, Foley D, McDonald T, Vissers JP, [...], Edfors F
Elife 10
Reliable, robust, large-scale molecular testing for SARS-CoV-2 is essential for monitoring the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We have developed a scalable analytical approach to detect viral proteins based on peptide immunoaffinity enrichment combined with liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry (LC-MS). This is a multiplexed strategy, based on targeted proteomics analysis and read-out by LC-MS, capable of precisely quantifying and confirming the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in PBS swab media from combined throat/nasopharynx/saliva samples.<br />The results reveal that the levels of SARS-CoV-2 measured by LC-MS correlate well with their corresponding RT-PCR readout (r=0.79). The analytical workflow shows similar turnaround times as regular RT-PCR instrumentation with a quantitative readout of viral proteins corresponding to cycle thresholds (Ct) equivalents ranging from 21 to 34. Using RT-PCR as a reference, we demonstrate that the LC-MS-based method has 100% negative percent agreement (estimated specificity) and 95% positive percent agreement (estimated sensitivity) when analyzing clinical samples collected from asymptomatic individuals with a Ct within the limit of detection of the mass spectrometer (Ct ≤30). These results suggest that a scalable analytical method based on LC-MS has a place in future pandemic preparedness centers to complement current virus detection technologies.
Bocci M, Oudenaarden C, Sàenz-Sardà X, Simrén J, Edén A, [...], Pietras K
Int J Mol Sci 22 (21)
A wide range of neurological manifestations have been associated with the development of COVID-19 following SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the etiology of the neurological symptomatology is still largely unexplored. Here, we used state-of-the-art multiplexed immunostaining of human brains (n = 6 COVID-19, median age = 69.5 years; n = 7 control, median age = 68 years) and demonstrated that expression of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 is restricted to a subset of neurovascular pericytes. Strikingly, neurological symptoms were exclusive to, and ubiquitous in, patients that exhibited moderate to high ACE2 expression in perivascular cells. Viral dsRNA was identified in the vascular wall and paralleled by perivascular inflammation, as signified by T cell and macrophage infiltration. Furthermore, fibrinogen leakage indicated compromised integrity of the blood-brain barrier. Notably, cerebrospinal fluid from additional 16 individuals (n = 8 COVID-19, median age = 67 years; n = 8 control, median age = 69.5 years) exhibited significantly lower levels of the pericyte marker PDGFRβ in SARS-CoV-2-infected cases, indicative of disrupted pericyte homeostasis. We conclude that pericyte infection by SARS-CoV-2 underlies virus entry into the privileged central nervous system space, as well as neurological symptomatology due to perivascular inflammation and a locally compromised blood-brain barrier.
2021-10-27 Supplementary materials
Carapito R, Li R, Helms J, Carapito C, Gujja S, [...], Bahram S
Sci. Transl. Med. eabj7521
[Figure: see text].
Rivero-García I, Castresana-Aguirre M, Guglielmo L, Guala D, Sonnhammer ELL
Sci Rep 11 (1) 20687
This analysis presents a systematic evaluation of the extent of therapeutic opportunities that can be obtained from drug repurposing by connecting drug targets with disease genes. When using FDA-approved indications as a reference level we found that drug repurposing can offer an average of an 11-fold increase in disease coverage, with the maximum number of diseases covered per drug being increased from 134 to 167 after extending the drug targets with their high confidence first neighbors. Additionally, by network analysis to connect drugs to disease modules we found that drugs on average target 4 disease modules, yet the similarity between disease modules targeted by the same drug is generally low and the maximum number of disease modules targeted per drug increases from 158 to 229 when drug targets are neighbor-extended. Moreover, our results highlight that drug repurposing is more dependent on target proteins being shared between diseases than on polypharmacological properties of drugs. We apply our drug repurposing and network module analysis to COVID-19 and show that Fostamatinib is the drug with the highest module coverage.
2021-10-19 Code, raw data, analysis results, and figures are all available in bitbucket
Martin S, Heslan C, Jégou G, Eriksson LA, Le Gallo M, [...], Avril T
iScience 103185
SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has elicited a unique mobilization of the scientific community to develop efficient tools to understand and combat infection. Like other coronavirae, SARS-CoV-2 hijacks host cell secretory machinery to produce viral proteins that compose the nascent virions; including Spike (S), Envelope (E) and Membrane (M) proteins, the most exposed transmembrane proteins to the host immune system. As antibody response is part of the anti-viral immune arsenal, we investigate the immunogenic potential of S, E and M using a human cell-based system to mimic membrane insertion and N-glycosylation. Both S and M elicit specific Ig production in SARS-CoV-2 patients. Patients with moderate and severe diseases exhibit elevated Ig responses. Finally, reduced Ig binding was observed with Spike G614 compared to D614 variant. Altogether, our assay points towards an unexpected immune response against M and represents a powerful tool to test humoral responses against actively evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccine effectiveness.
2021-09-29 clinical and raw data related to serological assay
Das J, Idh N, Sikkeland LIB, Paues J, Lerm M
Epigenetics 1-12
Flow cytometry is a classical approach used to define cell types in peripheral blood. While DNA methylation signatures have been extensively employed in recent years as an alternative to flow cytometry to define cell populations in peripheral blood, this approach has not been tested in lung-derived samples. Here, we compared bronchoalveolar lavage with a more cost-effective and less invasive technique based on sputum induction and developed a DNA methylome-based algorithm that can be used to deconvolute the cell types in such samples. We analysed the DNA methylome profiles of alveolar macrophages and lymphocytes cells isolated from the pulmonary compartment. The cells were isolated using two different methods, sputum induction and bronchoalveolar lavage. A strong positive correlation between the DNA methylome profiles of cells obtained with the two isolation methods was found. We observed the best correlation of the DNA methylomes when both isolation methods captured cells from the lower parts of the lungs. We also identified unique patterns of CpG methylation in DNA obtained from the two cell populations, which can be used as a signature to discriminate between the alveolar macrophages and lymphocytes by means of open-source algorithms. We validated our findings with external data and obtained results consistent with the previous findings. Our analysis opens up a new possibility to identify different cell populations from lung samples and promotes sputum induction as a tool to study immune cell populations from the lung.
2021-09-05 R scripts to analyze the Alveolar macrophages (HLA-DR+/CD3-) and lymphocytes (CD3+) specific cell types from DNA methylation analysis
Martin DP, Weaver S, Tegally H, San JE, Shank SD, [...], Kosakovsky Pond SL
The independent emergence late in 2020 of the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 lineages of SARS-CoV-2 prompted renewed concerns about the evolutionary capacity of this virus to overcome public health interventions and rising population immunity. Here, by examining patterns of synonymous and non-synonymous mutations that have accumulated in SARS-CoV-2 genomes since the pandemic began, we find that the emergence of these three "501Y lineages" coincided with a major global shift in the selective forces acting on various SARS-CoV-2 genes. Following their emergence, the adaptive evolution of 501Y lineage viruses has involved repeated selectively favored convergent mutations at 35 genome sites, mutations we refer to as the 501Y meta-signature. The ongoing convergence of viruses in many other lineages on this meta-signature suggests that it includes multiple mutation combinations capable of promoting the persistence of diverse SARS-CoV-2 lineages in the face of mounting host immune recognition.
Beukes EW, Andersson G, Fagelson MA, Manchaiah V
Internet Interv 25 100402
Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) for tinnitus is an evidence-based intervention. The components of ICBT for tinnitus have, however, not been dismantled and thus the effectiveness of the different therapeutic components is unknown. It is, furthermore, not known if heterogeneous tinnitus subgroups respond differently to ICBT. This dismantling study aimed to explore the contribution of applied relaxation within ICBT for reducing tinnitus distress and comorbidities associated with tinnitus. A secondary aim was to assess whether outcomes varied for three tinnitus subgroups, namely those with significant tinnitus severity, those with low tinnitus severity, and those with significant depression. A parallel randomized controlled trial design ( n = 126) was used to compare audiologist-guided applied relaxation with the full ICBT intervention. Recruitment was online and via the intervention platform. Assessments were completed at four-time points including a 2-month follow-up period. The primary outcome was tinnitus severity as measured by the Tinnitus Functional Index. Secondary outcomes were included for anxiety, depression, insomnia, negative tinnitus cognitions, health-related quality of life, hearing disability, and hyperacusis. Treatment engagement variables including the number of logins, number of modules opened, and the number of messages sent. Both an intention-to-treat analysis and completer's only analysis were undertaken. Engagement was low which compromised results as the full intervention was undertaken by few participants. Both the ICBT and applied relaxation resulted in large reduction of tinnitus severity (within-group effect sizes d = 0.87 and 0.68, respectively for completers only analysis), which were maintained, or further improved at follow-up. These reductions in tinnitus distress were greater for the ICBT group, with a small effect size differences (between-group d = 0.15 in favor of ICBT for completers only analysis). Tinnitus distress decreased the most at post-intervention for those with significant depression at baseline. Both ICBT and applied relaxation contributed to significant reductions on most secondary outcome measures, with no group differences, except for a greater reduction of hyperacusis in the ICBT group. Due to poor compliance partly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic results were compromised. Further studies employing strategies to improve compliance and engagement are required. The intervention's effectiveness increased with initial level of tinnitus distress; those with the highest scores at intake experienced the most substantial changes on the outcome measures. This may suggest tailoring of interventions according to tinnitus severity. Larger samples are needed to confirm this.
2021-09-00 Dataset, demographic questionnaire and metadata
Simnica D, Schultheiß C, Mohme M, Paschold L, Willscher E, [...], Binder M
Clin Transl Immunol 10 (9) e1340
T cells have an essential role in the antiviral defence. Public T-cell receptor (TCR) clonotypes are expanded in a substantial proportion of COVID-19 patients. We set out to exploit their potential use as read-out for COVID-19 T-cell immune responses. We searched for COVID-19-associated T-cell clones with public TCRs, as defined by identical complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) beta chain amino acid sequence that can be reproducibly detected in the blood of COVID-19 patients. Of the different clonotype identification algorithms used in this study, deep sequencing of brain tissue of five patients with fatal COVID-19 delivered 68 TCR clonotypes with superior representation across 140 immune repertoires of unrelated COVID-19 patients. Mining of immune repertoires from subjects not previously exposed to the virus showed that these clonotypes can be found in almost 20% of pre-pandemic immune repertoires of healthy subjects, with lower representation in repertoires from risk groups like individuals above the age of 60 years or patients with cancer. Together, our data show that at least a proportion of the SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response is mediated by public TCRs that are present in repertoires of unexposed individuals. The lower representation of these clones in repertoires of risk groups or failure to expand such clones may contribute to more unfavorable clinical COVID-19 courses.
Hoffmann D, Mereiter S, Jin Oh Y, Monteil V, Elder E, [...], Penninger JM
EMBO J e108375
New SARS-CoV-2 variants are continuously emerging with critical implications for therapies or vaccinations. The 22 N-glycan sites of Spike remain highly conserved among SARS-CoV-2 variants, opening an avenue for robust therapeutic intervention. Here we used a comprehensive library of mammalian carbohydrate-binding proteins (lectins) to probe critical sugar residues on the full-length trimeric Spike and the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2. Two lectins, Clec4g and CD209c, were identified to strongly bind to Spike. Clec4g and CD209c binding to Spike was dissected and visualized in real time and at single molecule resolution using atomic force microscopy. 3D modelling showed that both lectins can bind to a glycan within the RBD-ACE2 interface and thus interferes with Spike binding to cell surfaces. Importantly, Clec4g and CD209c significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 infections. These data report the first extensive map and 3D structural modelling of lectin-Spike interactions and uncovers candidate receptors involved in Spike binding and SARS-CoV-2 infections. The capacity of CLEC4G and mCD209c lectins to block SARS-CoV-2 viral entry holds promise for pan-variant therapeutic interventions.
2021-08-10 Structural models for used in virtual screening
Razzaq M, Iglesias MJ, Ibrahim-Kosta M, Goumidi L, Soukarieh O, [...], Trégouët D
Sci Rep 11 (1) 14015
Venous thromboembolism is the third common cardiovascular disease and is composed of two entities, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and its potential fatal form, pulmonary embolism (PE). While PE is observed in ~ 40% of patients with documented DVT, there is limited biomarkers that can help identifying patients at high PE risk. To fill this need, we implemented a two hidden-layers artificial neural networks (ANN) on 376 antibodies and 19 biological traits measured in the plasma of 1388 DVT patients, with or without PE, of the MARTHA study. We used the LIME algorithm to obtain a linear approximate of the resulting ANN prediction model. As MARTHA patients were typed for genotyping DNA arrays, a genome wide association study (GWAS) was conducted on the LIME estimate. Detected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were tested for association with PE risk in MARTHA. Main findings were replicated in the EOVT study composed of 143 PE patients and 196 DVT only patients. The derived ANN model for PE achieved an accuracy of 0.89 and 0.79 in our training and testing sets, respectively. A GWAS on the LIME approximate identified a strong statistical association peak (rs1424597: p = 5.3 × 10-7) at the PLXNA4 locus. Homozygote carriers for the rs1424597-A allele were then more frequently observed in PE than in DVT patients from the MARTHA (2% vs. 0.4%, p = 0.005) and the EOVT (3% vs. 0%, p = 0.013) studies. In a sample of 112 COVID-19 patients known to have endotheliopathy leading to acute lung injury and an increased risk of PE, decreased PLXNA4 levels were associated (p = 0.025) with worsened respiratory function. Using an original integrated proteomics and genetics strategy, we identified PLXNA4 as a new susceptibility gene for PE whose exact role now needs to be further elucidated.
Sandberg JT, Varnaitė R, Christ W, Chen P, Muvva JR, [...], Karolinska COVID‐19 Study Group
Clin Transl Immunol 10 (7) e1306
Humoral and cellular immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following COVID-19 will likely contribute to protection from reinfection or severe disease. It is therefore important to characterise the initiation and persistence of adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 amidst the ongoing pandemic. Here, we conducted a longitudinal study on hospitalised moderate and severe COVID-19 patients from the acute phase of disease into convalescence at 5 and 9 months post-symptom onset. Utilising flow cytometry, serological assays as well as B cell and T cell FluoroSpot assays, we assessed the magnitude and specificity of humoral and cellular immune responses during and after human SARS-CoV-2 infection. During acute COVID-19, we observed an increase in germinal centre activity, a substantial expansion of antibody-secreting cells and the generation of SARS-CoV-2-neutralising antibodies. Despite gradually decreasing antibody levels, we show persistent, neutralising antibody titres as well as robust specific memory B cell responses and polyfunctional T cell responses at 5 and 9 months after symptom onset in both moderate and severe COVID-19 patients. Our findings describe the initiation and, importantly, persistence of cellular and humoral SARS-CoV-2-specific immunological memory in hospitalised COVID-19 patients long after recovery, likely contributing towards protection against reinfection.
2021-07-05 Supplementary Information (contains visualisations on clinical chemistry values, Memory B cell and T cell FluoroSpots, and Flow cytometry gating strategy)
Britton T, Trapman P, Ball F
R Soc Open Sci 8 (7) 210386
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit different regions differently. The current disease-induced immunity level î in a region approximately equals the cumulative fraction infected, which primarily depends on two factors: (i) the initial potential for COVID-19 in the region (R 0), and (ii) the preventive measures put in place. Using a mathematical model including heterogeneities owing to age, social activity and susceptibility, and allowing for time-varying preventive measures, the risk for a new epidemic wave and its doubling time are investigated. Focus lies on quantifying the minimal overall effect of preventive measures p Min needed to prevent a future outbreak. It is shown that î plays a more influential roll than when immunity is obtained from vaccination. Secondly, by comparing regions with different R 0 and î it is shown that regions with lower R 0 and low î may need higher preventive measures (p Min) compared with regions having higher R 0 but also higher î, even when such immunity levels are far from herd immunity. Our results are illustrated on different regions but these comparisons contain lots of uncertainty due to simplistic model assumptions and insufficient data fitting, and should accordingly be interpreted with caution.
2021-07-00 Supplementary Information (contains information on Matlab files, summary statistics, R0 values, and data visualisations)
Altay O, Arif M, Li X, Yang H, Aydın M, [...], Mardinoglu A
Adv. Sci. 2101222
2021-06-28 Raw, patient-level characteristics and data
Krambrich J, Akaberi D, Ling J, Hoffman T, Svensson L, [...], Lundkvist Å
Virol J 18 (1) 109
The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has spread rapidly worldwide and disease prevention is more important than ever. In the absence of a vaccine, knowledge of the transmission routes and risk areas of infection remain the most important existing tools to prevent further spread. Here we investigated the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the hospital environment at the Uppsala University Hospital Infectious Disease ward by RT-qPCR and determined the infectivity of the detected virus in vitro on Vero E6 cells. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in several areas, although attempts to infect Vero E6 cells with positive samples were unsuccessful. However, RNase A treatment of positive samples prior to RNA extraction did not degrade viral RNA, indicating the presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsids or complete virus particles protecting the RNA as opposed to free viral RNA. Our results show that even in places where a moderate concentration (Ct values between 30 and 38) of SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found; no infectious virus could be detected. This suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the hospital environment subsides in two states; as infectious and as non-infectious. Future work should investigate the reasons for the non-infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 virions.
2021-06-02 Ct values for all collected samples at the Uppsala University infectious disease ward
Galien S, Hultström M, Lipcsey M, Stattin K, Frithiof R, [...], Uppsala Intensive Care COVID-19 Research Group
Thromb J 19 (1) 38
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is common in critically ill patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and may cause fatal pulmonary embolism (PE) prior to diagnosis due to subtle clinical symptoms. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of bedside screening for DVT in critically ill COVID-19 patients performed by physicians with limited experience of venous ultrasound. We further aimed to compare inflammation, coagulation and organ dysfunction in patients with and without venous thromboembolism (VTE). This observational study included patients with COVID-19 admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a tertiary hospital in Sweden and screened for DVT with proximal compression ultrasound of the lower extremities between April and July 2020. Screening was performed by ICU residents having received a short online education and one hands-on-session. Pathological screening ultrasound was confirmed by formal ultrasound whereas patients with negative screening underwent formal ultrasound on clinical suspicion. Clinical data, laboratory findings and follow-up were extracted from medical records. Of 90 eligible patients, 56 were screened by seven ICU residents with no (n = 5) or limited (n = 2) previous experience of DVT ultrasound who performed a median of 4 (IQR 2-19) examinations. Four (7.1%) patients had pathological screening ultrasound of which three (5.6%) were confirmed by formal ultrasound. None of the 52 patients with negative screening ultrasound were diagnosed with DVT during follow-up. Six patients were diagnosed with PE of which four prior to negative screening and two following negative and positive screening respectively. Patients with VTE (n = 8) had higher median peak D-dimer (24.0 (IQR 14.2-50.5) vs. 2.8 (IQR 1.7-7.2) mg/L, p = 0.004), mean peak C-reactive protein (363 (SD 80) vs. 285 (SD 108) mg/L, p = 0.033) and median peak plasma creatinine (288 (IQR 131-328) vs. 94 (IQR 78-131) μmol/L, p = 0.009) compared to patients without VTE (n = 48). Five patients (63%) with VTE received continuous renal replacement therapy compared to six patients (13%) without VTE (p = 0.005). ICU residents with no or limited experience could detect DVT with ultrasound in critically ill COVID-19 patients following a short education. VTE was associated with kidney dysfunction and features of hyperinflammation and hypercoagulation. ClinicalTrials ID: NCT04316884 . Registered 20 March 2020.
2021-06-02 Metadata record
Brueggemann AB, Jansen van Rensburg MJ, Shaw D, McCarthy ND, Jolley KA, [...], Zhou F
The Lancet Digital Health 3 (6) e360-e370
Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Neisseria meningitidis, which are typically transmitted via respiratory droplets, are leading causes of invasive diseases, including bacteraemic pneumonia and meningitis, and of secondary infections subsequent to post-viral respiratory disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of invasive disease due to these pathogens during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this prospective analysis of surveillance data, laboratories in 26 countries and territories across six continents submitted data on cases of invasive disease due to S pneumoniae, H influenzae, and N meningitidis from Jan 1, 2018, to May, 31, 2020, as part of the Invasive Respiratory Infection Surveillance (IRIS) Initiative. Numbers of weekly cases in 2020 were compared with corresponding data for 2018 and 2019. Data for invasive disease due to Streptococcus agalactiae, a non-respiratory pathogen, were collected from nine laboratories for comparison. The stringency of COVID-19 containment measures was quantified using the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker. Changes in population movements were assessed using Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports. Interrupted time-series modelling quantified changes in the incidence of invasive disease due to S pneumoniae, H influenzae, and N meningitidis in 2020 relative to when containment measures were imposed. 27 laboratories from 26 countries and territories submitted data to the IRIS Initiative for S pneumoniae (62 837 total cases), 24 laboratories from 24 countries submitted data for H influenzae (7796 total cases), and 21 laboratories from 21 countries submitted data for N meningitidis (5877 total cases). All countries and territories had experienced a significant and sustained reduction in invasive diseases due to S pneumoniae, H influenzae, and N meningitidis in early 2020 (Jan 1 to May 31, 2020), coinciding with the introduction of COVID-19 containment measures in each country. By contrast, no significant changes in the incidence of invasive S agalactiae infections were observed. Similar trends were observed across most countries and territories despite differing stringency in COVID-19 control policies. The incidence of reported S pneumoniae infections decreased by 68% at 4 weeks (incidence rate ratio 0·32 [95% CI 0·27-0·37]) and 82% at 8 weeks (0·18 [0·14-0·23]) following the week in which significant changes in population movements were recorded. The introduction of COVID-19 containment policies and public information campaigns likely reduced transmission of S pneumoniae, H influenzae, and N meningitidis, leading to a significant reduction in life-threatening invasive diseases in many countries worldwide. Wellcome Trust (UK), Robert Koch Institute (Germany), Federal Ministry of Health (Germany), Pfizer, Merck, Health Protection Surveillance Centre (Ireland), SpID-Net project (Ireland), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (European Union), Horizon 2020 (European Commission), Ministry of Health (Poland), National Programme of Antibiotic Protection (Poland), Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Poland), Agencia de Salut Pública de Catalunya (Spain), Sant Joan de Deu Foundation (Spain), Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (Sweden), Swedish Research Council (Sweden), Region Stockholm (Sweden), Federal Office of Public Health of Switzerland (Switzerland), and French Public Health Agency (France).
2021-06-00 Data processing, visualisation, analysis code
Noske GD, Nakamura AM, Gawriljuk VO, Fernandes RS, M. A. Lima G, [...], Godoy AS
Journal of Molecular Biology 167118
Mehregan A, Pérez-Conesa S, Zhuang Y, Elbahnsi A, Pasini D, [...], Delemotte L
2021-05-28 Input files and simulations
Chen X, Saccon E, Appelberg KS, Mikaeloff F, Rodriguez JE, [...], Gupta S
Cell Death Discov 7 (1) 114
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a global health emergency. A key feature of COVID-19 is dysregulated interferon-response. Type-I interferon (IFN-I) is one of the earliest antiviral innate immune responses following viral infection and plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, using a proteomics-based approach, we identified that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces delayed and dysregulated IFN-I signaling in Huh7 cells. We demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 is able to inhibit RIG-I mediated IFN-β production. Our results also confirm the recent findings that IFN-I pretreatment is able to reduce the susceptibility of Huh7 cells to SARS-CoV-2, but not post-treatment. Moreover, senescent Huh7 cells, in spite of showing accentuated IFN-I response were more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the virus effectively inhibited IFIT1 in these cells. Finally, proteomic comparison between SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV revealed a distinct differential regulatory signature of interferon-related proteins emphasizing that therapeutic strategies based on observations in SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV should be used with caution. Our findings provide a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 regulation of cellular interferon response and a perspective on its use as a treatment. Investigation of different interferon-stimulated genes and their role in the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis may direct novel antiviral strategies.
Kharlamova N, Dunn N, Bedri SK, Jerling S, Almgren M, [...], Fogdell-Hahn A
Front Immunol 12 666114
Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases are often treated with immunosuppressants and therefore are of particular concern during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Serological tests will improve our understanding of the infection and immunity in this population, unless they tests give false positive results. The aim of this study was to evaluate the specificity of SARS-Cov-2 serological assays using samples from patients with chronic inflammatory diseases collected prior to April 2019, thus defined as negative. Samples from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS, n=10), rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n=47) with or without rheumatoid factor (RF) and/or anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP2) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, n=10) with or without RF, were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using 17 commercially available lateral flow assays (LFA), two ELISA kits and one in-house developed IgG multiplex bead-based assay. Six LFA and the in-house validated IgG assay correctly produced negative results for all samples. However, the majority of assays (n=13), gave false positive signal for samples from patients with RA and SLE. This was most notable in samples from RF positive RA patients. No false positive samples were detected in any assay using samples from patients with MS. Poor specificity of commercial serological assays could possibly be, at least partly, due to interfering antibodies in samples from patients with chronic inflammatory diseases. For these patients, the risk of false positivity should be considered when interpreting results of the SARS-CoV-2 serological assays.
2021-05-03 False Positive Results in SARS-CoV-2 Serological Tests for Samples From Patients With Chronic Inflammatory Diseases
Mahdi A, Błaszczyk P, Dłotko P, Salvi D, Chan TS, [...], Tarassenko L
Sci Rep 11 (1)
Patel H, Ashton NJ, Dobson RJ, Anderson LM, Yilmaz A, [...], Zetterberg H
Sci Rep 11 (1)
The recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic manifests itself as a mild respiratory tract infection in the majority of individuals leading to COVID-19 disease. However, in some infected individuals, this can progress to severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), leading to multi-organ failure and death. The purpose of this study is to explore the proteomic differences between mild, severe and critical COVID-19 positive patients. Blood protein profiling was performed on 59 COVID-19 mild (n=26), severe (n=9) or critical (n=24) cases and 28 controls using the OLINK inflammation, autoimmune, cardiovascular and neurology panels. Differential expression analysis was performed within and between disease groups to generate nine different analyses. From the 368 proteins measured per individual, more than 75% were observed to be significantly perturbed in COVID-19 cases. Six proteins (IL6, CKAP4, Gal-9, IL-1ra, LILRB4 and PD-L1) were identified to be associated with disease severity. The results have been made readily available through an interactive web-based application for instant data exploration and visualization, and can be accessed at Our results demonstrate that dynamic changes in blood proteins that associate with disease severity can potentially be used as early biomarkers to monitor disease severity in COVID-19 and serve as potential therapeutic target.
Rosen J, Noreland M, Stattin K, Lipcsey M, Frithiof R, [...], Hultström M
Research Square
2021-04-19 Metadata record
Cotugno N, Ruggiero A, Bonfante F, Petrara MR, Zicari S, [...], Palma P
Cell Rep 34 (11) 108852
As the global COVID-19 pandemic progresses, it is paramount to gain knowledge on adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in children to define immune correlates of protection upon immunization or infection. We analyzed anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and their neutralizing activity (PRNT) in 66 COVID-19-infected children at 7 (±2) days after symptom onset. Individuals with specific humoral responses presented faster virus clearance and lower viral load associated with a reduced in vitro infectivity. We demonstrated that the frequencies of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 +CD40L+ T cells and Spike-specific B cells were associated with the anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and the magnitude of neutralizing activity. The plasma proteome confirmed the association between cellular and humoral SARS-CoV-2 immunity, and PRNT+ patients show higher viral signal transduction molecules (SLAMF1, CD244, CLEC4G). This work sheds lights on cellular and humoral anti-SARS-CoV-2 responses in children, which may drive future vaccination trial endpoints and quarantine measures policies.
Danlos FX, Grajeda-Iglesias C, Durand S, Sauvat A, Roumier M, [...], Kroemer G
Cell Death Dis 12 (3) 258
The circulating metabolome provides a snapshot of the physiological state of the organism responding to pathogenic challenges. Here we report alterations in the plasma metabolome reflecting the clinical presentation of COVID-19 patients with mild (ambulatory) diseases, moderate disease (radiologically confirmed pneumonitis, hospitalization and oxygen therapy), and critical disease (in intensive care). This analysis revealed major disease- and stage-associated shifts in the metabolome, meaning that at least 77 metabolites including amino acids, lipids, polyamines and sugars, as well as their derivatives, were altered in critical COVID-19 patient's plasma as compared to mild COVID-19 patients. Among a uniformly moderate cohort of patients who received tocilizumab, only 10 metabolites were different among individuals with a favorable evolution as compared to those who required transfer into the intensive care unit. The elevation of one single metabolite, anthranilic acid, had a poor prognostic value, correlating with the maintenance of high interleukin-10 and -18 levels. Given that products of the kynurenine pathway including anthranilic acid have immunosuppressive properties, we speculate on the therapeutic utility to inhibit the rate-limiting enzymes of this pathway including indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase.
2021-03-11 All metabolomics data (supplementary tables)
Hothorn T, Bopp M, Günthard H, Keiser O, Roelens M, [...], Crowther M
BMJ Open 11 (3) e042387
Severity of the COVID-19 has been previously reported in terms of absolute mortality in SARS-CoV-2 positive cohorts. An assessment of mortality relative to mortality in the general population is presented. Retrospective population-based study. Individual information on symptomatic confirmed SARS-CoV-2 patients and subsequent deaths from any cause were compared with the all-cause mortality in the Swiss population of 2018. Starting 23 February 2020, mortality in COVID-19 patients was monitored for 80 days and compared with the population mortality observed in the same time of year starting 23 February 2018. 5 102 300 inhabitants of Switzerland aged 35-95 without COVID-19 (general population in spring 2018) and 20 769 persons tested positively for COVID-19 during the first wave in spring 2020. Sex-specific and age-specific mortality rates were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. Absolute probabilities of death were predicted and risk was assessed in terms of relative mortality by taking the ratio between the sex-specific and age-specific absolute mortality in COVID-19 patients and the corresponding mortality in the 2018 general population. Absolute mortalities increased with age and were higher for males compared with females, both in the general population and in positively tested persons. A confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection substantially increased the probability of death across all patient groups at least eightfold. The highest relative mortality risks were observed among males and younger patients. Male COVID-19 patients exceeded the population hazard for males (HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.44). An additional year of age increased the population hazard in COVID-19 patients only marginally (HR 1.00, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.01). Healthcare professionals, decision-makers and societies are provided with an additional population-adjusted assessment of COVID-19 mortality risk. In combination with absolute measures of risk, the relative risks presented here help to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the actual impact of COVID-19.
2021-03-08 Data, R and Stata code
Dillner J, Elfström KM, Blomqvist J, Eklund C, Lagheden C, [...], Conneryd Lundgren K
Sci Rep 11 (1) 5160
The extent that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 may protect against future virus-associated disease is unknown. We invited all employees (n = 15,300) at work at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden to participate in a study examining SARS-Cov-2 antibodies in relation to registered sick leave. For consenting 12,928 healthy hospital employees antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 could be determined and compared to participant sick leave records. Subjects with viral serum antibodies were not at excess risk for future sick leave (adjusted odds ratio (OR) controlling for age and sex: 0.85 [95% confidence interval (CI) (0.85 (0.43-1.68)]. By contrast, subjects with antibodies had an excess risk for sick leave in the weeks prior to testing [adjusted OR in multivariate analysis: 3.34 (2.98-3.74)]. Thus, presence of viral antibodies marks past disease and protection against excess risk of future disease. Knowledge of whether exposed subjects have had disease in the past or are at risk for future disease is essential for planning of control measures.Trial registration: First registered on 02/06/20, NCT04411576.
2021-03-04 Available on request
Böhm S, Woudenberg T, Chen D, Marosevic DV, Böhmer MM, [...], Katz K
Epidemiol Infect 149 e65
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) led to a significant disease burden and disruptions in health systems. We describe the epidemiology and transmission characteristics of early coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Bavaria, Germany. Cases were reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, reported from 20 January-19 March 2020. The incubation period was estimated using travel history and date of symptom onset. To estimate the serial interval, we identified pairs of index and secondary cases. By 19 March, 3546 cases were reported. A large proportion was exposed abroad (38%), causing further local transmission. Median incubation period of 256 cases with exposure abroad was 3.8 days (95%CI: 3.5-4.2). For 95% of infected individuals, symptom onset occurred within 10.3 days (95%CI: 9.1-11.8) after exposure. The median serial interval, using 53 pairs, was 3.5 days (95%CI: 3.0-4.2; mean: 3.9, s.d.: 2.2). Travellers returning to Germany had an important influence on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Bavaria in early 2020. Especially in times of low incidence, public health agencies should identify holiday destinations, and areas with ongoing local transmission, to monitor potential importation of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Travellers returning from areas with ongoing community transmission should be advised to quarantine to prevent re-introductions of COVID-19.
2021-03-02 Incubation period data: earliest and latest point of exposure, date_of_onset, country, age, sex
Papazoglou A, Conen A, Haubitz S, Tschopp M, Guignard VJ, [...], Enz TJ
J Clin Med 10 (5)
Postmortem pathological examinations, animal studies, and anecdotal reports suggest that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could potentially affect intraocular tissue. However, published evidence is scarce and conflicting. In our study, we screened 100 eyes of 50 patients hospitalized for COVID-19. Relevant medical and ophthalmological history was assessed as well as symptoms, laboratory results, specific treatments, clinical course, and outcome. Ophthalmic exams including assessment of best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), intraocular pressure (IOP), color perception, ocular motility, ophthalmoscopy as well as optical coherence tomography (OCT) of the macula and the optic disc was performed at hospital admission and 29 to 192 days later. Of the 50 patients included, 14 (28%) were female. Median age was 64.5 (range 29-90) years. COVID-19 severity was mild in 15 (30%), severe in 30 (60%), and critical in five cases (10%). At baseline, median BCVA was 0.1 (0-1.8) Logarithm of the Minimum Angle of Resolution (LogMAR) and median IOP was 16 (8-22) mmHg. At follow-up, no relevant changes in BCVA and IOP were documented. No signs of active intraocular inflammation or optic nerve affection were found and OCT findings were widely stable during the observation period. Our findings suggest that COVID-19 does not regularly affect intraocular tissue.
2021-02-24 Patient characteristics, medical treatment regiments, symptoms, laboratory findings, ophthalmic findings, systemic symtoms for each patient
Snitz K, Honigstein D, Weissgross R, Ravia A, Mishor E, [...], Sobel N
2021-02-23 GitLab: raw data and analysis code, Matlab
Lopez-Leon S, Wegman-Ostrosky T, Perelman C, Sepulveda R, Rebolledo PA, [...], Villapol S
2021-01-29 Available in paper: Characteristics of studies included in the meta-analysis; long term effects in patients recovering from COVID-19
Falck-Jones S, Vangeti S, Yu M, Falck-Jones R, Cagigi A, [...], Smed-Sorensen A
J Clin Invest 131 (6)
The immunopathology of COVID-19 remains enigmatic, exhibiting immunodysregulation and T cell lymphopenia. Monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (M-MDSC) are T cell suppressors that expand in inflammatory conditions, but their role in acute respiratory infections remains unclear. We studied blood and airways of COVID-19 patients across disease severity at multiple timepoints. M-MDSC frequencies were elevated in blood but not in nasopharyngeal or endotracheal aspirates of COVID-19 patients compared to controls. M-MDSCs isolated from COVID-19 patients suppressed T cell proliferation and IFNγ production partly via an arginase-1 (Arg-1) dependent mechanism. Furthermore, patients showed increased Arg-1 and IL-6 plasma levels. COVID-19 patients had fewer T cells, and displayed downregulated expression of the CD3ζ chain. Ordinal regression showed that early M-MDSC frequency predicted subsequent disease severity. In conclusion, M-MDSCs expand in blood of COVID-19 patients, suppress T cells and strongly associate with disease severity, suggesting a role for M-MDSCs in the dysregulated COVID-19 immune response.
2021-01-28 Available on request
Hultstrom M, Fromell K, Larsson A, Quaggin SE, Betsholtz C, [...], Jeansson M
2021-01-15 Metadata record
Elec AD, Oltean M, Goldis P, Cismaru C, Lupse M, [...], Elec FI
Int J Infect Dis
The lack of effective COVID-19 treatments mandated the repurposing of several drugs, including antiretrovirals (ARV) and remdesivir (RDV). These compounds may induce acute kidney injuries and are not recommended in patients with poor renal function, such as kidney transplant recipients (KTx). We reviewed the records of 42 KTx with COVID-19, some of them receiving ARV (n = 10) or RDV (n = 8) as part of the COVID-19 management. Most patients were male (71%) with a median age of 52 years and median GFR 56 mL/min and had mild (36%), moderate (19%), severe (31%), and critical (12%) disease. Subgroups (patients receiving ARV, RDV, or no antivirals) were comparable regarding patient age, comorbidities or immunosuppression. Seven patients (16,6%) died during hospitalization. Acute kidney injury was found in 24% KTx at admission. Upon discharge, eGFR increased in 32% and decreased in 39% of the KTx compared with the admission. The decrease was more prevalent in the RDV group (80%) compared with KTx without any antiviral treatment (29%) (p < 0.05). Most patients (62%) returned to baseline eGFR values within one month from discharge. The proportion was similar between the patients receiving antiviral treatment or not. KTx run a high risk of COVID-19-related renal impairment. Antivirals appear safe for use without major risks for kidney injury.
2021-01-13 Patient demographics, management and outcome in 42 kidney recipients with COVID-19
Iravani B, Peter MG, Arshamian A, Olsson MJ, Hummel T, [...], Lundström JN
2021-01-13 Available on request
Kermani NZ, None , Song WJ, Badi Y, Versi A, [...], Chung KF
Respir Res 22 (1) 101876
Bats are reservoirs for a large number of viruses which have potential to cause major human disease outbreaks, including the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Major efforts are underway to understand bat immune response to viruses, whereas much less is known about their immune responses to bacteria. In this study, MR1-restricted T (MR1T) cells were detected through the use of MR1 tetramers in circulation and tissues of Pteropus alecto (Pa) bats. Pa MR1T cells exhibited weak responses to MR1-presented microbial metabolites at resting state. However, following priming with MR1-presented agonist they proliferated, upregulated critical transcription factors and cytolytic proteins, and gained transient expression of Th1/17-related cytokines and antibacterial cytotoxicity. Collectively, these findings show that the Pa bat immune system encompasses an abundant and functionally conserved population of MR1T cells with mucosal-associated invariant T-like characteristics, suggesting that MR1 and MR1T cells also play a significant role in bat immune defense.
2021-01-07 Available on request
Spangler D, Blomberg H, Smekal D
Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med 29 (1) 3
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has affected prehospital care systems across the world, but the prehospital presentation of affected patients and the extent to which prehospital care providers are able to identify them is not well characterized. In this study, we describe the presentation of Covid-19 patients in a Swedish prehospital care system, and asses the predictive value of Covid-19 suspicion as documented by dispatch and ambulance nurses. Data for all patients with dispatch, ambulance, and hospital records between January 1-August 31, 2020 were extracted. A descriptive statistical analysis of patients with and without hospital-confirmed Covid-19 was performed. In a subset of records beginning from April 14, we assessed the sensitivity and specificity of documented Covid-19 suspicion in dispatch and ambulance patient care records. A total of 11,894 prehospital records were included, of which 481 had a primary hospital diagnosis code related to-, or positive test results for Covid-19. Covid-19-positive patients had considerably worse outcomes than patients with negative test results, with 30-day mortality rates of 24% vs 11%, but lower levels of prehospital acuity (e.g. emergent transport rates of 14% vs 22%). About half (46%) of Covid-19-positive patients presented to dispatchers with primary complaints typically associated with Covid-19. Six thousand seven hundred seventy-six records were included in the assessment of predictive value. Sensitivity was 76% (95% CI 71-80) and 82% (78-86) for dispatch and ambulance suspicion respectively, while specificities were 86% (85-87) and 78% (77-79). While prehospital suspicion was strongly indicative of hospital-confirmed Covid-19, based on the sensitivity identified in this study, prehospital suspicion should not be relied upon as a single factor to rule out the need for isolation precautions. The data provided may be used to develop improved guidelines for identifying Covid-19 patients in the prehospital setting.
2021-01-06 Available on request
Ahlström B, Frithiof R, Hultström M, Larsson I, Strandberg G, [...], Lipcsey M
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 65 (4) 525-533
Abstract Background: Several studies have recently addressed factors associated with severe Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); however, some medications and comorbidities have yet to be evaluated in a large matched cohort. We therefore explored the role of relevant comorbidities and medications in relation to the risk of intensive care unit (ICU) admission and mortality. Methods: All ICU COVID-19 patients in Sweden until 27 May 2020 were matched to population controls on age and sex to assess the risk of ICU admission. Cases were identified, comorbidities and medications were retrieved from high-quality registries. Three conditional logistic regression models were used for risk of ICU admission and three Cox proportional hazards models for risk of ICU mortality, one with comorbidities, one with medications and finally with both models combined, respectively. Results: We included 1981 patients and 7924 controls. Hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure, asthma, obesity, being a solid organ transplant recipient and immunosuppressant medications were independent risk factors of ICU admission and oral anticoagulants were protective. Stroke, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and treatment with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone inhibitors (RAASi) were independent risk factors of ICU mortality in the pre-specified primary analyses; treatment with statins was protective. However, after adjusting for the use of continuous renal replacement therapy, RAASi were no longer an independent risk factor. Conclusion: In our cohort oral anticoagulants were protective of ICU admission and statins was protective of ICU death. Several comorbidities and ongoing RAASi treatment were independent risk factors of ICU admission and ICU mortality. This article is protected by
2021-01-04 Available on request
Pilotto A, Masciocchi S, Volonghi I, De Giuli V, Caprioli F, [...], Padovani A
Clin Infect Dis
  • Available in paper: Clinical features, imaging and CSF biochemical analyses of SARS-CoV-2 encephalitis cases
  • Available in paper: Clinical features, imaging and CSF biochemical analyses of COV-Enc cases
Maricic T, Nickel O, Aximu-Petri A, Essel E, Gansauge M, [...], Pääbo S
PLoS One 15 (12) e0244824
SARS-CoV-2 causes substantial morbidity and mortality in elderly and immunocompromised individuals, particularly in retirement homes, where transmission from asymptomatic staff and visitors may introduce the infection. Here we present a cheap and fast screening method based on direct RT-qPCR to detect SARS-CoV-2 in single or pooled gargle lavages ("mouthwashes"). This method detects individuals with large viral loads (Ct≤29) and we use it to test all staff at a nursing home daily over a period of three weeks in order to reduce the risk that the infection penetrates the facility. This or similar approaches can be implemented to protect hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions in this and future viral epidemics.
2020-12-31 All data are available in the supplementary information
Dopico XC, Muschiol S, Christian M, Hanke L, Sheward DJ, [...], Karlsson Hedestam GB
Lane JCE, Weaver J, Kostka K, Duarte-Salles T, Abrahao MTF, [...], OHDSI-COVID-19 consortium
Rheumatology (Oxford)
Concern has been raised in the rheumatology community regarding recent regulatory warnings that HCQ used in the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic could cause acute psychiatric events. We aimed to study whether there is risk of incident depression, suicidal ideation or psychosis associated with HCQ as used for RA. We performed a new-user cohort study using claims and electronic medical records from 10 sources and 3 countries (Germany, UK and USA). RA patients ≥18 years of age and initiating HCQ were compared with those initiating SSZ (active comparator) and followed up in the short (30 days) and long term (on treatment). Study outcomes included depression, suicide/suicidal ideation and hospitalization for psychosis. Propensity score stratification and calibration using negative control outcomes were used to address confounding. Cox models were fitted to estimate database-specific calibrated hazard ratios (HRs), with estimates pooled where I2 <40%. A total of 918 144 and 290 383 users of HCQ and SSZ, respectively, were included. No consistent risk of psychiatric events was observed with short-term HCQ (compared with SSZ) use, with meta-analytic HRs of 0.96 (95% CI 0.79, 1.16) for depression, 0.94 (95% CI 0.49, 1.77) for suicide/suicidal ideation and 1.03 (95% CI 0.66, 1.60) for psychosis. No consistent long-term risk was seen, with meta-analytic HRs of 0.94 (95% CI 0.71, 1.26) for depression, 0.77 (95% CI 0.56, 1.07) for suicide/suicidal ideation and 0.99 (95% CI 0.72, 1.35) for psychosis. HCQ as used to treat RA does not appear to increase the risk of depression, suicide/suicidal ideation or psychosis compared with SSZ. No effects were seen in the short or long term. Use at a higher dose or for different indications needs further investigation. Registered with EU PAS (reference no. EUPAS34497; id=34498). The full study protocol and analysis source code can be found at
2020-12-25 Data aggregated by data source
2020-12-22 Available on request
Dillner J, Elfström KM, Blomqvist J, Engstrand L, Uhlén M, [...], Lundgren KC
2020-12-14 Available on request
Robertson J, Gostner JM, Nilsson S, Andersson L, Fuchs D, [...], Gisslen M
Infect Dis . 2020 Dec 10;20(1):942. Dec 10; 20 (1) 942
Background The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is rapidly spreading worldwide. There is limited information about prognostic markers that could help clinicians to identify COVID-19 patients with a poor prognosis. Serum levels of the immune activation marker neopterin has shown to be of prognostic value in patients with SARS. The aim of this study was to investigate whether serum neopterin is associated with the severity of COVID-19. Methods We included 34 patients with confirmed COVID-19 between March 3 and March 30, 2020. Fifteen patients had mild disease and did not require hospitalization, whereas 19 patients developed severe COVID-19 requiring intensive care. Concentrations of serum neopterin, tryptophan, and kynurenine were measured at and repeatedly after inclusion. Results We found a more than two-fold higher mean concentration of neopterin in severely ill patients (mean value 42.0 nmol/L (SD 18.2)) compared to patients with mild symptoms (16.9 nmol/L (SD 11.0)). All of the severe cases had elevated neopterin concentrations (>9.1 nmol/L) at the initial sampling with values ranging from 17.2 to 86.7 nmol/L. In comparison, 10 of 15 patients with mild disease had neopterin levels above 9.1 nmol/L, with concentrations in the range from 4.9 to 31.6 nmol/L. Neopterin levels gradually decreased during the course of COVID-19, but severe cases maintained elevated levels for a longer period. Moreover, lower levels of tryptophan and higher levels of kynurenine, indicating an increased tryptophan catabolism, were seen in the group with severe cases. Conclusions In conclusion, we found that serum neopterin levels are associated with the severity of COVID-19. Our findings suggest that neopterin could be used as a prognostic marker, but further studies are needed to elucidate how it can be used in clinical praxis.
2020-12-10 Available on request
Petrazzuolo A, Le Naour J, Vacchelli E, Gaussem P, Ellouze S, [...], Kroemer G
Oncoimmunology 9 (1) 1857112
Formyl peptide receptor 1 (FPR1) is a pattern-recognition receptor that detects bacterial as well as endogenous danger-associated molecular patterns to trigger innate immune responses by myeloid cells. A single nucleotide polymorphism, rs867228 (allelic frequency 19-20%), in the gene coding for FPR1 accelerates the manifestation of multiple carcinomas, likely due to reduced anticancer immunosurveillance secondary to a defect in antigen presentation by dendritic cells. Another polymorphism in FPR1, rs5030880 (allelic frequency 12-13%), has been involved in the resistance to plague, correlating with the fact that FPR1 is the receptor for Yersinia pestis. Driven by the reported preclinical effects of FPR1 on lung inflammation and fibrosis, we investigated whether rs867228 or rs5030880 would affect the severity of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). Data obtained on patients from two different hospitals in Paris refute the hypothesis that rs867228 or rs5030880 would affect the severity of COVID-19.
2020-12-08 Allelic frequencies of FPR1 SNPs and characteristics of patient population from Hôpital Cochin and Hôpital Européen George Pompidou
Hofman P, Ilié M, Chamorey E, Brest P, Schiappa R, [...], Calabrese F
ESMO Open 6 (1) 100024
This study evaluated the consequences in Europe of the COVID-19 outbreak on pathology laboratories orientated toward the diagnosis of thoracic diseases. A survey was sent to 71 pathology laboratories from 21 European countries. The questionnaire requested information concerning the organization of biosafety, the clinical and molecular pathology, the biobanking, the workload, the associated research into COVID-19, and the organization of education and training during the COVID-19 crisis, from 15 March to 31 May 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. Questionnaires were returned from 53/71 (75%) laboratories from 18 European countries. The biosafety procedures were heterogeneous. The workload in clinical and molecular pathology decreased dramatically by 31% (range, 3%-55%) and 26% (range, 7%-62%), respectively. According to the professional category, between 28% and 41% of the staff members were not present in the laboratories but did teleworking. A total of 70% of the laboratories developed virtual meetings for the training of residents and junior pathologists. During the period of study, none of the staff members with confirmed COVID-19 became infected as a result of handling samples. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on most of the European pathology laboratories included in this study. Urgent implementation of several changes to the organization of most of these laboratories, notably to better harmonize biosafety procedures, was noted at the onset of the pandemic and maintained in the event of a new wave of infection occurring in Europe.
2020-12-02 Available on request
Morales DR, Conover MM, You SC, Pratt N, Kostka K, [...], Suchard MA
The Lancet Digital Health 3 (2) e98-e114
2020-12-00 Data aggregated by data source
Appelberg S, Gupta S, Svensson Akusjärvi S, Ambikan AT, Mikaeloff F, [...], Neogi U
Emerg Microbes Infect 9 (1) 1748-1760
How severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections engage cellular host pathways and innate immunity in infected cells remains largely elusive. We performed an integrative proteo-transcriptomics analysis in SARS-CoV-2 infected Huh7 cells to map the cellular response to the invading virus over time. We identified four pathways, ErbB, HIF-1, mTOR and TNF signaling, among others that were markedly modulated during the course of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Western blot validation of the downstream effector molecules of these pathways revealed a dose-dependent activation of Akt, mTOR, S6K1 and 4E-BP1 at 24 hours post infection (hpi). However, we found a significant inhibition of HIF-1α through 24hpi and 48hpi of the infection, suggesting a crosstalk between the SARS-CoV-2 and the Akt/mTOR/HIF-1 signaling pathways. Inhibition of the mTOR signaling pathway using Akt inhibitor MK-2206 showed a significant reduction in virus production. Further investigations are required to better understand the molecular sequelae in order to guide potential therapy in the management of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.
Kirschenbaum D, Imbach LL, Jane Rushing E, Frauenknecht KBM, Gascho R T D, [...], Frontzek K
Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol
Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (Sars-CoV-2), has become a worldwide pandemic (1). Symptoms of COVID-19 vary widely and range from asymptomatic disease to severe pneumonia and multiorgan failure (2). A severe disease course is more likely in older patients and patients with pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions (2). Patients with severe Sars-CoV-2 infection may present with ischaemic stroke (3, 4) or even fatal intracerebral haemorrhage (5). To date, little is known about the neuropathological sequelae of COVID-19. The largest published autopsy series of COVID-19 neuropathology reported microthrombi and acute haemorrhagic infarction in a significant number of patients (6), while another more recent study found evidence of lymphocytic encephalitis and meningitis (7). Endotheliitis of the brain and extraneural organs has been shown in Sars-CoV infected patients (8). Similarly, it is a recurrent feature in the lungs and other peripheral organs of Sars-CoV-2 infected patients (9) but has not yet been reported in the central nervous system. We speculated that cerebrovascular pathology in COVID-19 patients could be a direct consequence of hitherto unidentified cerebral endotheliitis caused by Sars-CoV-2.
2020-11-29 Provided in the article: Clinical and pathological characteristics of four patients
Jonmarker S, Hollenberg J, Dahlberg M, Stackelberg O, Litorell J, [...], Cronhjort M
Crit Care 24 (1) 653
A substantial proportion of critically ill COVID-19 patients develop thromboembolic complications, but it is unclear whether higher doses of thromboprophylaxis are associated with lower mortality rates. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the association between initial dosing strategy of thromboprophylaxis in critically ill COVID-19 patients and the risk of death, thromboembolism, and bleeding. In this retrospective study, all critically ill COVID-19 patients admitted to two intensive care units in March and April 2020 were eligible. Patients were categorized into three groups according to initial daily dose of thromboprophylaxis: low (2500-4500 IU tinzaparin or 2500-5000 IU dalteparin), medium (> 4500 IU but < 175 IU/kilogram, kg, of body weight tinzaparin or > 5000 IU but < 200 IU/kg of body weight dalteparin), and high dose (≥ 175 IU/kg of body weight tinzaparin or ≥ 200 IU/kg of body weight dalteparin). Thromboprophylaxis dosage was based on local standardized recommendations, not on degree of critical illness or risk of thrombosis. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios with corresponding 95% confidence intervals of death within 28 days from ICU admission. Multivariable models were adjusted for sex, age, body mass index, Simplified Acute Physiology Score III, invasive respiratory support, and initial dosing strategy of thromboprophylaxis. A total of 152 patients were included: 67 received low-, 48 medium-, and 37 high-dose thromboprophylaxis. Baseline characteristics did not differ between groups. For patients who received high-dose prophylaxis, mortality was lower (13.5%) compared to those who received medium dose (25.0%) or low dose (38.8%), p = 0.02. The hazard ratio of death was 0.33 (95% confidence intervals 0.13-0.87) among those who received high dose, and 0.88 (95% confidence intervals 0.43-1.83) among those who received medium dose, as compared to those who received low-dose thromboprophylaxis. There were fewer thromboembolic events in the high (2.7%) vs medium (18.8%) and low-dose thromboprophylaxis (17.9%) groups, p = 0.04. Among critically ill COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure, high-dose thromboprophylaxis was associated with a lower risk of death and a lower cumulative incidence of thromboembolic events compared with lower doses. NCT04412304 June 2, 2020, retrospectively registered.
2020-11-23 Available on request due to privacy restrictions
Duchene S, Featherstone L, de Blasio BF, Holmes EC, Bohlin J, [...], Pettersson JHO
Many countries have attempted to control COVID-19 through the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions. However, it remains unclear how different control strategies have impacted SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission dynamics at the local level. Using complete SARS-CoV-2 genomes, we inferred the relative frequencies of virus importation and exportation, as well as virus transmission chain dynamics in Nordic countries - Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden - during the first months of the pandemic. Our analyses revealed that Sweden experienced more numerous transmission chains, which tended to have more cases, and were of longer duration, a set of features that increased with time. Together with Denmark, Sweden was also a net exporter of SARS-CoV-2. Hence, Sweden effectively constituted an epidemiological and evolutionary ‘refugia’ that enabled the virus to maintain active transmission and spread to other geographic localities. This analysis highlights the utility of genomic surveillance where active transmission chain monitoring is a key metric.
2020-11-18 Data available on GISAID, accession numbers found here (in the Supplementary Material)
Elofsson A, Bryant P
In response to the pandemic development of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), governments worldwide have implemented strategies of suppression by non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). Such NPIs include social distancing, school closures, limiting international travel and complete lockdown. Worldwide the NPIs enforced to limit the spread of COVID-19 are now being lifted. Understanding how the risk increases when NPIs are lifted is important for decision making. Treating NPIs equally across countries and regions limits the possibility for modelling differences in epidemic response, as the response to the NPIs influences can vary between regions and this can affect the epidemic outcome, so do the strength and speed of lifting these. Our solution to this is to measure mobility changes from mobile phone data and their impacts on the basic reproductive number. We model the epidemic in all US states to compare the difference in outcome if NPIs are lifted or retained. We show that keeping NPIs just a few weeks longer has a substantial impact on the epidemic outcome.
2020-11-17 Analysis code and data
Susek KH, Gran C, Ljunggren HG, Alici E, Nahi H
Eur J Haematol. 105 (6) 751-754
COVID‐19 has emerged as a global pandemic. Cancer patients have been reported to be at higher risk for adverse outcome of COVID‐19. Studies are ongoing to decipher the risk factors and risk groups among cancer patients as well as strategies to refine treatment approaches. Here, we report eight patients with multiple myeloma that underwent immunomodulatory therapies with daratumumab or lenalidomide‐based combination treatments and one patient with smoldering multiple myeloma, all of which presented with symptomatic COVID‐19. We report that patients that succumbed to COVID‐19 presented with either progressive tumor disease under daratumumab treatment or were in remission under lenalidomide‐dexamethasone treatment.
2020-11-17 Provided in the article: Characteristics, treatments, COVID-19-related outcomes, additional laboratory and clinical data for 9 patients
Ludvigsson JF
Acta Paediatr
Persistent symptoms in adults after COVID-19 are emerging and the term long COVID is increasingly appearing in the literature. However, paediatric data are scarce . This paper contains a case report of five Swedish children and the long-term symptoms reported by their parents. It also includes a systematic literature review of the MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science databases and the medRxiv/bioRxiv preprint servers up to 2 November 2020. The five children with potential long covid had a median age of 12 years (range 9-15) and four were girls. They had symptoms for 6-8 months after their clinical diagnoses of COVID-19. None were hospitalised at diagnosis, but one was later admitted for peri-myocarditis. All five children had fatigue, dyspnoea, heart palpitations or chest pain and four had headaches, difficulties concentrating, muscle weakness, dizziness and sore throats. Some had improved after 6-8 months, but they all suffered from fatigue and none had fully returned to school. The systematic review identified 179 publications and 19 of these were deemed relevant and read in detail. None contained any information on long COVID in children. Children may experience similar long COVID symptoms to adults and females may be more affected.
2020-11-17 Provided in the article: clinical data reported by parents of five children with long-term effects of COVID-19
Stebbing J, Sánchez Nievas G, Falcone M, Youhanna S, Richardson P, [...], Lauschke VM
Sci Adv 7 (1)
Using AI we identified baricitinib as possessing anti-viral and anti-cytokine efficacy. We now show a 71% (95% CI 0.15-0.58) mortality benefit in 83 patients with moderate-severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia with few drug-induced adverse events, including a large elderly cohort (median age 81 years). A further 48 cases with mild-moderate pneumonia recovered uneventfully. Using organotypic 3D cultures of primary human liver cells, we demonstrate that interferon-alpha-2 (IFNα2) significantly increases ACE2 expression and SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in parenchymal cells by >5-fold. RNA-Seq reveals gene response signatures associated with platelet activation, fully inhibited by baricitinib. Using viral load quantifications and super-resolution microscopy, baricitinib exerts activity rapidly through the inhibition of host proteins (numb associated kinases), uniquely amongst anti-virals. This reveals mechanistic actions of a Janus kinase-1/2 inhibitor targeting viral entry, replication and the cytokine storm, and is associated with beneficial outcomes including in severely ill elderly patients, data that incentivizes further randomized controlled trials.
Saguti F, Magnil E, Enache L, Churqui MP, Johansson A, [...], Norder H
Water Res 189 116620
SARS-CoV-2 was discovered among humans in Wuhan, China in late 2019, and then spread rapidly, causing a global pandemic. The virus was found to be transmitted mainly by respiratory droplets from infected persons or by direct contact. It was also shown to be excreted in feces, why we investigated whether the virus could be detected in wastewater and if so, to which extent its levels reflects its spread in society. Samples of wastewater from the city of Gothenburg, and surrounding municipalities in Sweden were collected daily from mid-February until June 2020 at the Rya wastewater treatment plant. Flow proportional samples of wastewater were collected to ensure that comparable amounts were obtained for analysis. Daily samples were pooled into weekly samples. Virus was concentrated on a filter and analyzed by RT-qPCR. The amount of SARS-CoV-2 varied with peaks approximately every four week, preceding variations in number of newly hospitalized patients by 19-21 days. At that time virus testing for COVID-19 was limited to patients with severe symptoms. Local differences in viral spread was shown by analyzing weekly composite samples of wastewater from five sampling sites for four weeks. The highest amount of virus was found from the central, eastern, and northern parts of the city. SARS-CoV-2 was also found in the treated effluent wastewater from the WWTP discharged into the recipient, the Göta River, although with a reduction of 4-log 10. The viral peaks with regular temporal intervals indicated that SARS-CoV-2 may have a cluster spread, probably reflecting that the majority of infected persons only spread the disease during a few days. Our results are important for both the planning of hospital care and to rapidly identify and intervene against local spread of the virus.
2020-11-10 Provided in the article: amount of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater in Gothenburg per week between February and June 2020
García M, Kokkinou E, Carrasco García A, Parrot T, Palma Medina LM, [...], Group tKKCS
Clin Transl Immunol 9 (12)
Objectives The role of innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is unknown. Understanding the immune response in COVID-19 could contribute to unravel the pathogenesis and identification of treatment targets. To describe the phenotypic landscape of circulating ILCs in COVID-19 patients and to identify ILC phenotypes correlated to serum biomarkers, clinical markers, and laboratory parameters relevant in COVID-19. Methods Blood samples collected from moderately (n=11) and severely ill (n=12) COVID-19 patients as well as healthy control donors (n=16), were analyzed with 18-parameter flow cytometry. Using supervised and unsupervised approaches, we examined the ILC activation status and homing profile. Clinical and laboratory parameters were obtained from all COVID-19 patients and serum biomarkers were analyzed with multiplex immunoassays. Results ILCs were largely depleted from the circulation of COVID-19 patients compared with healthy controls. Remaining circulating ILCs from patients revealed increased frequencies of ILC2 in moderate COVID-19, with a concomitant decrease of ILC precursors (ILCp), as compared with controls. ILC2 and ILCp showed an activated phenotype with increased CD69 expression, whereas expression levels of the chemokine receptors CXCR3 and CCR4 were significantly altered in ILC2 and ILCp, and ILC1, respectively. The activated ILC profile of COVID-19 patients was associated with soluble inflammatory markers, while frequencies of ILC subsets were correlated with laboratory parameters that reflect the disease severity. Conclusion This study provides insights into the potential role of ILCs in immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, particularly linked to the severity of COVID-19.
2020-11-04 Karolinska KI/K Covid19 Immune atlas
Lundberg OHM, Lengquist M, Spångfors M, Annborn M, Bergmann D, [...], Friberg H
Crit Care 24 (1) 636
Biomarkers can be of help to understand critical illness and to identify and stratify sepsis. Adrenomedullin is a vasoactive hormone, with reported prognostic and potentially therapeutic value in sepsis. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the association of circulating bioactive adrenomedullin (bio-ADM) levels at intensive care unit (ICU) admission with mortality in sepsis patients and in a general ICU population. Secondary aims included the association of bio-ADM with organ failure and the ability of bio-ADM to identify sepsis. In this retrospective observational study, adult patients admitted to one of four ICUs during 2016 had admission bio-ADM levels analysed. Age-adjusted odds ratios (OR) with 95% CI for log-2 transformed bio-ADM, and Youden's index derived cut-offs were calculated. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality, and secondary outcomes included the need for organ support and the ability to identify sepsis. Bio-ADM in 1867 consecutive patients were analysed; 632 patients fulfilled the sepsis-3 criteria of whom 267 had septic shock. The median bio-ADM in the entire ICU population was 40 pg/mL, 74 pg/mL in sepsis patients, 107 pg/mL in septic shock and 29 pg/mL in non-septic patients. The association of elevated bio-ADM and mortality in sepsis patients and the ICU population resulted in ORs of 1.23 (95% CI 1.07-1.41) and 1.22 (95% CI 1.12-1.32), respectively. The association with mortality remained after additional adjustment for lactate in sepsis patients. Elevated bio-ADM was associated with an increased need for dialysis with ORs of 2.28 (95% CI 2.01-2.59) and 1.97 (95% CI 1.64-2.36) for the ICU population and sepsis patients, respectively, and with increased need of vasopressors, OR 1.33 (95% CI 1.23-1.42) (95% CI 1.17-1.50) for both populations. Sepsis was identified with an OR of 1.78 (95% CI 1.64-1.94) for bio-ADM, after additional adjustment for severity of disease. A bio-ADM cut-off of 70 pg/mL differentiated between survivors and non-survivors in sepsis, but a Youden's index derived threshold of 108 pg/mL performed better. Admission bio-ADM is associated with 30-day mortality and organ failure in sepsis patients as well as in a general ICU population. Bio-ADM may be a morbidity-independent sepsis biomarker.
2020-11-04 Available on request
Lane JCE, Weaver J, Kostka K, Duarte-Salles T, Abrahao MTF, [...], OHDSI-COVID-19 consortium
Lancet Rheumatol 2 (11) e698-e711
Hydroxychloroquine, a drug commonly used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, has received much negative publicity for adverse events associated with its authorisation for emergency use to treat patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. We studied the safety of hydroxychloroquine, alone and in combination with azithromycin, to determine the risk associated with its use in routine care in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In this multinational, retrospective study, new user cohort studies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis aged 18 years or older and initiating hydroxychloroquine were compared with those initiating sulfasalazine and followed up over 30 days, with 16 severe adverse events studied. Self-controlled case series were done to further establish safety in wider populations, and included all users of hydroxychloroquine regardless of rheumatoid arthritis status or indication. Separately, severe adverse events associated with hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin (compared with hydroxychloroquine plus amoxicillin) were studied. Data comprised 14 sources of claims data or electronic medical records from Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the USA. Propensity score stratification and calibration using negative control outcomes were used to address confounding. Cox models were fitted to estimate calibrated hazard ratios (HRs) according to drug use. Estimates were pooled where the I2 value was less than 0·4. The study included 956 374 users of hydroxychloroquine, 310 350 users of sulfasalazine, 323 122 users of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin, and 351 956 users of hydroxychloroquine plus amoxicillin. No excess risk of severe adverse events was identified when 30-day hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine use were compared. Self-controlled case series confirmed these findings. However, long-term use of hydroxychloroquine appeared to be associated with increased cardiovascular mortality (calibrated HR 1·65 [95% CI 1·12-2·44]). Addition of azithromycin appeared to be associated with an increased risk of 30-day cardiovascular mortality (calibrated HR 2·19 [95% CI 1·22-3·95]), chest pain or angina (1·15 [1·05-1·26]), and heart failure (1·22 [1·02-1·45]). Hydroxychloroquine treatment appears to have no increased risk in the short term among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but in the long term it appears to be associated with excess cardiovascular mortality. The addition of azithromycin increases the risk of heart failure and cardiovascular mortality even in the short term. We call for careful consideration of the benefit-risk trade-off when counselling those on hydroxychloroquine treatment. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, NIHR Senior Research Fellowship programme, US National Institutes of Health, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Janssen Research and Development, IQVIA, Korea Health Industry Development Institute through the Ministry of Health and Welfare Republic of Korea, Versus Arthritis, UK Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership, Foundation Alfonso Martin Escudero, Innovation Fund Denmark, Novo Nordisk Foundation, Singapore Ministry of Health's National Medical Research Council Open Fund Large Collaborative Grant, VINCI, Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking, EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.
2020-11-00 Data aggregated by data source
Marklund E, Leach S, Axelsson H, Nyström K, Norder H, [...], Gisslén M
PLoS One 15 (10) e0241104
To accurately interpret COVID-19 seroprevalence surveys, knowledge of serum-IgG responses to SARS-CoV-2 with a better understanding of patients who do not seroconvert, is imperative. This study aimed to describe serum-IgG responses to SARS-CoV-2 in a cohort of patients with both severe and mild COVID-19, including extended studies of patients who remained seronegative more than 90 days post symptom onset. SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibody levels were quantified using two clinically validated and widely used commercial serological assays (Architect, Abbott Laboratories and iFlash 1800, YHLO), detecting antibodies against the spike and nucleocapsid proteins. Forty-seven patients (mean age 49 years, 38% female) were included. All (15/15) patients with severe symptoms and 29/32 (90.6%) patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19 developed SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies in serum. Time to seroconversion was significantly shorter (median 11 vs. 22 days, P = 0.04) in patients with severe compared to mild symptoms. Of the three patients without detectable IgG-responses after >90 days, all had detectable virus-neutralizing antibodies and in two, spike-protein receptor binding domain-specific IgG was detected with an in-house assay. Antibody titers were preserved during follow-up and all patients who seroconverted, irrespective of the severity of symptoms, still had detectable IgG levels >75 days post symptom onset. Patients with severe COVID-19 both seroconvert earlier and develop higher concentrations of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG than patients with mild symptoms. Of those patients who not develop detectable IgG antibodies, all have detectable virus-neutralizing antibodies, suggesting immunity. Our results showing that not all COVID-19 patients develop detectable IgG using two validated commercial clinical methods, even over time, are vital for the interpretation of COVID-19 seroprevalence surveys.
Castro Dopico X, Hanke L, Sheward DJ, Muschiol S, Aleman S, [...], Karlsson Hedestam GB
Serology is critical for understanding pathogen-specific immune responses, but is fraught with difficulty, not least because the strength of antibody (Ab) response varies greatly between individuals and mild infections generally generate lower Ab titers (1-3). We used robust IgM, IgG and IgA Ab tests to evaluate anti-SARS-CoV-2 responses in individuals PCR+ for virus RNA (n=105) representing different categories of disease severity, including mild cases. All PCR+ individuals in the study became IgG-positive against pre-fusion trimers of the virus spike (S) glycoprotein, but titers varied greatly. Elevated IgA, IL-6 and neutralizing responses were present in intensive care patients. Additionally, blood donors and pregnant women (n=2,900) sampled throughout the first wave of the pandemic in Stockholm, Sweden, further demonstrated that anti-S IgG titers differed several orders of magnitude between individuals, with an increase of low titer values present in the population at later time points (4,5). To improve upon current methods to identify low titers and extend the utility of individual measures (6,7), we used our PCR+ individual data to train machine learning algorithms to assign likelihood of past infection. Using these tools that assigned probability to individual responses against S and the receptor binding domain (RBD), we report SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG in 13.7% of healthy donors five months after the peak of spring COVID-19 deaths, when mortality and ICU occupancy in the country due to the virus were at low levels. These data further our understanding of antibody responses to the virus and provide solutions to problems in serology data analysis.
2020-10-19 Inferring seroprevalence from ELISA data, without choosing a cutoff
Almskog LM, Wikman A, Svensson J, Wanecek M, Bottai M, [...], Ågren A
J Thromb Thrombolysis
High prevalence of thrombotic events in severely ill COVID-19 patients have been reported. Pulmonary embolism as well as microembolization of vital organs may in these individuals be direct causes of death. The identification of patients at high risk of developing thrombosis may lead to targeted, more effective prophylactic treatment. The primary aim of this study was to test whether rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) at admission indicates hypercoagulopathy and predicts the disease severity, assessed as care level, in COVID-19 patients. The study was designed as a prospective, observational study where COVID-19 patients over 18 years admitted to hospital were eligible for inclusion. Patients were divided into two groups depending on care level: (1) regular wards or (2) wards with specialized ventilation support. Conventional coagulation tests, blood type and ROTEM were taken at admission. 60 patients were included; age 61 (median), 67% men, many with comorbidities (e.g. hypertension, diabetes). The ROTEM variables Maximum Clot Firmness (EXTEM-/FIBTEM-MCF) were higher in COVID-19 patients compared with in healthy controls (p < 0.001) and higher in severely ill patients compared with in patients at regular wards (p < 0.05). Our results suggest that hypercoagulopathy is present early in patients with mild to moderate disease, and more pronounced in severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Non-O blood types were not overrepresented in COVID-19 positive patients. ROTEM variables showed hypercoagulopathy at admission and this pattern was more pronounced in patients with increased disease severity. If this feature is to be used to predict the risk of thromboembolic complications further studies are warranted.
2020-10-17 Raw data
Rudberg A, Havervall S, Månberg A, Jernbom Falk A, Aguilera K, [...], Thålin C
Nat Commun 11 (1) 5064
SARS-CoV-2 may pose an occupational health risk to healthcare workers. Here, we report the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, self-reported symptoms and occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 among healthcare workers at a large acute care hospital in Sweden. The seroprevalence of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 was 19.1% among the 2149 healthcare workers recruited between April 14th and May 8th 2020, which was higher than the reported regional seroprevalence during the same time period. Symptoms associated with seroprevalence were anosmia (odds ratio (OR) 28.4, 95% CI 20.6-39.5) and ageusia (OR 19.2, 95% CI 14.3-26.1). Seroprevalence was also associated with patient contact (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.9-4.5) and covid-19 patient contact (OR 3.3, 95% CI 2.2-5.3). These findings imply an occupational risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers. Continued measures are warranted to assure healthcare workers safety and reduce transmission from healthcare workers to patients and to the community.
2020-10-08 Data available upon request and collaboration inquiries welcome.
Parrot T, Gorin J, Ponzetta A, Maleki KT, Kammann T, [...], Sandberg JK
Sci Immunol 5 (51)
Severe COVID-19 is characterized by excessive inflammation of the lower airways. The balance of protective versus pathological immune responses in COVID-19 is incompletely understood. Mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are antimicrobial T cells that recognize bacterial metabolites, and can also function as innate-like sensors and mediators of antiviral responses. Here, we investigated the MAIT cell compartment in COVID-19 patients with moderate and severe disease, as well as in convalescence. We show profound and preferential decline in MAIT cells in the circulation of patients with active disease paired with strong activation. Furthermore, transcriptomic analyses indicated significant MAIT cell enrichment and pro-inflammatory IL-17A bias in the airways. Unsupervised analysis identified MAIT cell CD69 high and CXCR3low immunotypes associated with poor clinical outcome. MAIT cell levels normalized in the convalescent phase, consistent with dynamic recruitment to the tissues and later release back into the circulation when disease is resolved. These findings indicate that MAIT cells are engaged in the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 and suggest their possible involvement in COVID-19 immunopathogenesis.
Bryant P, Elofsson A
PeerJ 8 e9879
As governments across Europe have issued non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as social distancing and school closing, the mobility patterns in these countries have changed. Most states have implemented similar NPIs at similar time points. However, it is likely different countries and populations respond differently to the NPIs and that these differences cause mobility patterns and thereby the epidemic development to change. We build a Bayesian model that estimates the number of deaths on a given day dependent on changes in the basic reproductive number, R0, due to differences in mobility patterns. We utilise mobility data from Google mobility reports using five different categories: retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy, transit stations, workplace and residential. The importance of each mobility category for predicting changes in R0 is estimated through the model. The changes in mobility have a considerable overlap with the introduction of governmental NPIs, highlighting the importance of government action for population behavioural change. The shift in mobility in all categories shows high correlations with the death rates 1 month later. Reduction of movement within the grocery and pharmacy sector is estimated to account for most of the decrease in R0. Our model predicts 3-week epidemic forecasts, using real-time observations of changes in mobility patterns, which can provide governments with direct feedback on the effects of their NPIs. The model predicts the changes in a majority of the countries accurately but overestimates the impact of NPIs in Sweden and Denmark and underestimates them in France and Belgium. We also note that the exponential nature of all epidemiological models based on the basic reproductive number, R0 cause small errors to have extensive effects on the predicted outcome.
2020-09-15 Modelling code and data
Ling J, Hickman RA, Li J, Lu X, Lindahl JF, [...], Järhult JD
Viruses 12 (9)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus evolved, and we therefore aimed to provide an insight into which genetic variants were enriched, and how they spread in Sweden. We analyzed 348 Swedish SARS-CoV-2 sequences freely available from GISAID obtained from 7 February 2020 until 14 May 2020. We identified 14 variant sites ≥5% frequency in the population. Among those sites, the D936Y substitution in the viral Spike protein was under positive selection. The variant sites can distinguish 11 mutational profiles in Sweden. Nine of the profiles appeared in Stockholm in March 2020. Mutational profiles 3 (B.1.1) and 6 (B.1), which contain the D936Y mutation, became the predominant profiles over time, spreading from Stockholm to other Swedish regions during April and the beginning of May. Furthermore, Bayesian phylogenetic analysis indicated that SARS-CoV-2 could have emerged in Sweden on 27 December 2019, and community transmission started on February 1st with an evolutionary rate of 1.5425 × 10 -3 substitutions per year. Our study provides novel knowledge on the spatio-temporal dynamics of Swedish SARS-CoV-2 variants during the early pandemic. Characterization of these viral variants can provide precious insights on viral pathogenesis and can be valuable for diagnostic and drug development approaches.
2020-09-14 Spatial temporal appearance of each variant and their mutation profile and clade information; Other supplementary materials.
Bortz RH, Florez C, Laudermilch E, Wirchnianski AS, Lasso G, [...], Chandran K
mSphere 6 (2)
The COVID-19 global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to place an immense burden on societies and healthcare systems. A key component of COVID-19 control efforts is serologic testing to determine the community prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 exposure and quantify individual immune responses to prior infection or vaccination. Here, we describe a laboratory-developed antibody test that uses readily available research-grade reagents to detect SARS-CoV-2 exposure in patient blood samples with high sensitivity and specificity. We further show that this test affords the estimation of viral spike-specific IgG titers from a single sample measurement, thereby providing a simple and scalable method to measure the strength of an individual's immune response. The accuracy, adaptability, and cost-effectiveness of this test makes it an excellent option for clinical deployment in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
2020-09-11 Available on request
Virhammar J, Kumlien E, Fällmar D, Frithiof R, Jackmann S, [...], Rostami E
Neurology 95 (10) 445-449
Here, we report a case of COVID-19–related acute necrotizing encephalopathy where SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in CSF 19 days after symptom onset after testing negative twice. Although monocytes and protein levels in CSF were only marginally increased, and our patient never experienced a hyperinflammatory state, her neurologic function deteriorated into coma. MRI of the brain showed pathologic signal symmetrically in central thalami, subinsular regions, medial temporal lobes, and brain stem. Extremely high concentrations of the neuronal injury markers neurofilament light and tau, as well as an astrocytic activation marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein, were measured in CSF. Neuronal rescue proteins and other pathways were elevated in the in-depth proteomics analysis. The patient received IV immunoglobulins and plasma exchange. Her neurologic status improved, and she was extubated 4 weeks after symptom onset. This case report highlights the neurotropism of SARS-CoV-2 in selected patients and emphasizes the importance of repeated lumbar punctures and CSF analyses in patients with suspected COVID-19 and neurologic symptoms.
2020-09-08 Proteomic data
Larsson E, Brattström O, Agvald-Öhman C, Grip J, Campoccia Jalde F, [...], Karolinska Intensive Care COVID-19 Study Group
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 65 (1) 76-81
Information on characteristics and outcomes of intensive care unit (ICU) patients with COVID-19 remains limited. We examined characteristics, clinical course and early outcomes of patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICU. We included all 260 patients with COVID-19 admitted to nine ICUs at the Karolinska University Hospital (Stockholm, Sweden) between 9 March and 20 April 2020. Primary outcome was in-hospital mortality among patients with definite outcomes (discharged from ICU or death), as of 30 April 2020 (study end point). Secondary outcomes included ICU length of stay, the proportion of patients receiving mechanical ventilation and renal replacement therapy, and hospital discharge destination. Of 260 ICU patients with COVID-19, 208 (80.0%) were men, the median age was 59 (IQR 51-65) years, 154 (59.2%) had at least one comorbidity, and the median duration of symptoms preceding ICU admission was 11 (IQR 8-14) days. Sixty-two (23.8%) patients remained in ICU at study end point. Among the 198 patients with definite outcomes, ICU length of stay was 12 (IQR, 6-18) days, 163 (82.3%) received mechanical ventilation, 28 (14.1%) received renal replacement therapy, 60 (30.3%) died, 62 (31.3%) were discharged home, 47 (23.7%) were discharged to ward, and 29 (14.6%) were discharged to another health care facility. On multivariable logistic regression analysis, older age and admission from the emergency department was associated with higher mortality. This study presents detailed data on clinical characteristics and early outcomes of consecutive patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICU in a large tertiary hospital in Sweden.
2020-09-06 Available on request
Rodriguez L, Pekkarinen PT, Lakshmikanth T, Tan Z, Consiglio CR, [...], Brodin P
Cell Rep Med 1 (5) 100078
Severe disease of SARS-CoV-2 is characterized by vigorous inflammatory responses in the lung, often with a sudden onset after 5-7 days of stable disease. Efforts to modulate this hyperinflammation and the associated acute respiratory distress syndrome rely on the unraveling of the immune cell interactions and cytokines that drive such responses. Given that every patient is captured at different stages of infection, longitudinal monitoring of the immune response is critical and systems-level analyses are required to capture cellular interactions. Here, we report on a systems-level blood immunomonitoring study of 37 adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and followed with up to 14 blood samples from acute to recovery phases of the disease. We describe an IFNγ-eosinophil axis activated before lung hyperinflammation and changes in cell-cell co-regulation during different stages of the disease. We also map an immune trajectory during recovery that is shared among patients with severe COVID-19.
Maucourant C, Filipovic I, Ponzetta A, Aleman S, Cornillet M, [...], Karolinska COVID-19 Study Group
Sci Immunol 5 (50)
Understanding innate immune responses in COVID-19 is important to decipher mechanisms of host responses and interpret disease pathogenesis. Natural killer (NK) cells are innate effector lymphocytes that respond to acute viral infections but might also contribute to immunopathology. Using 28-color flow cytometry, we here reveal strong NK cell activation across distinct subsets in peripheral blood of COVID-19 patients. This pattern was mirrored in scRNA-seq signatures of NK cells in bronchoalveolar lavage from COVID-19 patients. Unsupervised high-dimensional analysis of peripheral blood NK cells furthermore identified distinct NK cell immunotypes that were linked to disease severity. Hallmarks of these immunotypes were high expression of perforin, NKG2C, and Ksp37, reflecting increased presence of adaptive NK cells in circulation of patients with severe disease. Finally, arming of CD56 bright NK cells was observed across COVID-19 disease states, driven by a defined protein-protein interaction network of inflammatory soluble factors. This study provides a detailed map of the NK cell activation landscape in COVID-19 disease.
Ying K, Zhai R, Pyrkov TV, Mariotti M, Fedichev PO, [...], Gladyshev VN
2020-08-07 Supplementary information contains information on publicly available data sources used, instruments used, data on loci associated with risk factors, and genetic correlations between lifespan-related traits and COVID-19
Lindahl JF, Hoffman T, Esmaeilzadeh M, Olsen B, Winter R, [...], Lundkvist Å
Infect Ecol Epidemiol 10 (1) 1789036
The COVID-19 pandemic is growing and spread in the Swedish elderly care system during April 2020. The increasing number of employees on sick-leave due to COVID-19 created severe logistic problems. Some elderly care homes therefore started to screen their personnel to secure the safety of the elderly and to avoid unnecessary quarantine of potentially immune employees. Secondary data from a screening with a COVID-19 rapid test for detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgM and IgG of 1,005 employees in 22 elderly care homes in Stockholm, Sweden, were analyzed. Seropositive employees were found in 21 out of the 22 care homes. In total, 23% (231/1,005) of the employees tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and 14.3% (144/1,005) were found positive for IgM (either alone or combined with IgG), indicating recent or present infection. Of those that tested seropositive, 46.5% did not report any clinical symptoms, indicating pre- or asymptomatic infections. Reported symptoms with the highest correlation with seropositivity were fever and loss of smell and taste. These results suggest that antibody testing of employees in elderly care homes is valuable for surveillance of disease development and a crucial screening tool in the effort to decrease the death toll in this pandemic.
2020-08-05 Serological responses of 1,005 employees to SARS-CoV-2 at 22 different elderly care homes in Stockholm
Böhmer MM, Buchholz U, Corman VM, Hoch M, Katz K, [...], Zapf A
Lancet Infect Dis 20 (8) 920-928
In December, 2019, the newly identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in Wuhan, China, causing COVID-19, a respiratory disease presenting with fever, cough, and often pneumonia. WHO has set the strategic objective to interrupt spread of SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. An outbreak in Bavaria, Germany, starting at the end of January, 2020, provided the opportunity to study transmission events, incubation period, and secondary attack rates. A case was defined as a person with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by RT-PCR. Case interviews were done to describe timing of onset and nature of symptoms and to identify and classify contacts as high risk (had cumulative face-to-face contact with a confirmed case for ≥15 min, direct contact with secretions or body fluids of a patient with confirmed COVID-19, or, in the case of health-care workers, had worked within 2 m of a patient with confirmed COVID-19 without personal protective equipment) or low risk (all other contacts). High-risk contacts were ordered to stay at home in quarantine for 14 days and were actively followed up and monitored for symptoms, and low-risk contacts were tested upon self-reporting of symptoms. We defined fever and cough as specific symptoms, and defined a prodromal phase as the presence of non-specific symptoms for at least 1 day before the onset of specific symptoms. Whole genome sequencing was used to confirm epidemiological links and clarify transmission events where contact histories were ambiguous; integration with epidemiological data enabled precise reconstruction of exposure events and incubation periods. Secondary attack rates were calculated as the number of cases divided by the number of contacts, using Fisher's exact test for the 95% CIs. Patient 0 was a Chinese resident who visited Germany for professional reasons. 16 subsequent cases, often with mild and non-specific symptoms, emerged in four transmission generations. Signature mutations in the viral genome occurred upon foundation of generation 2, as well as in one case pertaining to generation 4. The median incubation period was 4·0 days (IQR 2·3-4·3) and the median serial interval was 4·0 days (3·0-5·0). Transmission events were likely to have occurred presymptomatically for one case (possibly five more), at the day of symptom onset for four cases (possibly five more), and the remainder after the day of symptom onset or unknown. One or two cases resulted from contact with a case during the prodromal phase. Secondary attack rates were 75·0% (95% CI 19·0-99·0; three of four people) among members of a household cluster in common isolation, 10·0% (1·2-32·0; two of 20) among household contacts only together until isolation of the patient, and 5·1% (2·6-8·9; 11 of 217) among non-household, high-risk contacts. Although patients in our study presented with predominately mild, non-specific symptoms, infectiousness before or on the day of symptom onset was substantial. Additionally, the incubation period was often very short and false-negative tests occurred. These results suggest that although the outbreak was controlled, successful long-term and global containment of COVID-19 could be difficult to achieve. All authors are employed and all expenses covered by governmental, federal state, or other publicly funded institutions.
Qiao XM, Xu XF, Zi H, Liu GX, Li BH, [...], Wang X
Front Med (Lausanne) 7 349
Background: The frequent emergence of the re-positive patients with COVID-19 is a potential threat worldwide. This study aimed to describe data from admission to follow-up for patients with COVID-19 and analyze the possible causes for re-positive nucleic acid tests to provide more scientific basis for reducing the numbers of re-positive patients after discharge. Methods: We retrospectively recorded 15 patients with COVID-19 admitted to the Xianyang Central Hospital, China. The baseline, exposure histories, clinical syndromes, laboratory characteristics, nucleic acid, and follow-up tests were analyzed, and the radiological characteristics of re-positive patient at different periods were compared. Results: Eight (53.33%) patients had the history of travel to Wuhan, four (26.67%) patients had close contact with confirmed patients, and one (6.67%) patient had close contact with suspected patients. After treatment, all patients had two consecutively negative nucleic acid tests and were discharged from hospital. All patients were followed up for more than 14 days, and the average time from discharge to the first follow-up was 14.67 ± 3.31 days (from 9 to 22 days). Most patients showed no clinical symptoms and negative nucleic acid tests, while one patient had an itchy throat, her CT scan showed a light density shadow in the right lower lobe of the lung, and the nucleic acid was once again positive. The second follow-up of the other 14 patients (except the re-positive one) was conducted 20.80 ± 7.78 days (from 13 to 30 days) after discharge, and all of them had negative nucleic acid tests. The positive patient was immediately readmitted and received a new round of treatment. Her family members and colleagues remained healthy until now. Conclusions: The quality of nucleic acid testing reagents should be enhanced, and the training of nucleic acid sampling operators should be strengthened to reduce the false-negative results in the nucleic acid of SARS-CoV-2; the clinical specimens of throat and nasopharynx swabs can be collected at the same time; IgM- and IgG-specific antibodies of SARS-CoV-2 should be carried out for discharged patients; the radiological characteristics should be evaluated strictly; and the discharge standard can be specified according to the baseline and severity of disease of patients.
2020-06-23 All data provided in the article
Jia JS, Lu X, Yuan Y, Xu G, Jia J, [...], Christakis NA
Nature 582 (7812) 389-394
Sudden, large-scale and diffuse human migration can amplify localized outbreaks of disease into widespread epidemics 1-4. Rapid and accurate tracking of aggregate population flows may therefore be epidemiologically informative. Here we use 11,478,484 counts of mobile phone data from individuals leaving or transiting through the prefecture of Wuhan between 1 January and 24 January 2020 as they moved to 296 prefectures throughout mainland China. First, we document the efficacy of quarantine in ceasing movement. Second, we show that the distribution of population outflow from Wuhan accurately predicts the relative frequency and geographical distribution of infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) until 19 February 2020, across mainland China. Third, we develop a spatio-temporal 'risk source' model that leverages population flow data (which operationalize the risk that emanates from epidemic epicentres) not only to forecast the distribution of confirmed cases, but also to identify regions that have a high risk of transmission at an early stage. Fourth, we use this risk source model to statistically derive the geographical spread of COVID-19 and the growth pattern based on the population outflow from Wuhan; the model yields a benchmark trend and an index for assessing the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 over time for different locations. This approach can be used by policy-makers in any nation with available data to make rapid and accurate risk assessments and to plan the allocation of limited resources ahead of ongoing outbreaks.
2020-06-00 Population outflow data from Wuhan from January 1-24, 2020; COVID-19 case counts as of February 19 and other data for 296 prefectures in mainland China
Gao J, Liu JQ, Wen HJ, Liu H, Hu WD, [...], Wang XJ
Respir Res 21 (1) 96
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The CT image is used to assess the disease progress, whereas the continued two times of negative results from SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection had been considered as a criterion for ending antiviral treatment. We compared the two COVID-19 cases with similar backgrounds and CT image repeated intervals under treatment. Our report highlighted the unsynchronized expression in the changes of CT image and nucleic acid detection in COVID-19, and lasting positive nucleic acid test result in patients recovered from pneumonia. It may be contributed to recognize the disease and improve prevention.
2020-04-22 Provided in the article: CT images for 2 patients over 12 days