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      COVID-19 infection among autoimmune rheumatic disease patients: Data from an observational study and literature review

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          Abstract

          The impact of COVID-19 infection in patients with autoimmune/auto-inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AARD) under immunomodulatory treatment has been a focus of interest during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In this observational study, demographic data, disease related features and comorbidities, COVID-19 manifestations and outcome, as well as antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 were recorded among 77 consecutive patients with underlying AARD infected by SARS-CoV-2. Analysis of data was performed using univariate and multivariate models. Most patients (68.8%) had a mild COVID-19 course. The predominant clinical manifestations were fatigue (58.4%), low grade fever (45.4%) and upper respiratory tract symptoms (68.8%). About a quarter of patients required hospitalization (23.3%) and the mortality rate was 1.3%. Regarding COVID-19 severity, prior treatment with corticosteroids, mycophenolate mofetil or rituximab was more common in patients who developed a more serious disease course (60.0 vs 29.9%, p = 0.003, 40.0 vs 7.5%, p = 0.003, 10.0 vs 0.0%, p = 0.009, respectively). When disease related features and comorbidities were considered in multivariate models, older age and lung disease in the context of the AARD were found to be independent predictive factors for hospitalization (OR [95%]: 1.09 [1.03–1.15] and 6.43 [1.11–37.19]). Among COVID-19 related features, patients with shortness of breath and high-grade fever were more likely to get hospitalized (OR [95%]: 7.06 [1.36–36.57], 12.04 [2.96–48.86]), while anosmia was independently associated with lower hospitalization risk (OR [95%]: 0.09 [0.01–0.99]). Though the majority of AARD patients displayed a mild COVID-19 course, certain underlying disease features and COVID-19 related manifestations should prompt alertness for the physician to identify patients with AARD at high risk for severe COVID-19 and need for hospitalization.

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          Most cited references 69

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          Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China

          Abstract Background Since December 2019, when coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emerged in Wuhan city and rapidly spread throughout China, data have been needed on the clinical characteristics of the affected patients. Methods We extracted data regarding 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in mainland China through January 29, 2020. The primary composite end point was admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the use of mechanical ventilation, or death. Results The median age of the patients was 47 years; 41.9% of the patients were female. The primary composite end point occurred in 67 patients (6.1%), including 5.0% who were admitted to the ICU, 2.3% who underwent invasive mechanical ventilation, and 1.4% who died. Only 1.9% of the patients had a history of direct contact with wildlife. Among nonresidents of Wuhan, 72.3% had contact with residents of Wuhan, including 31.3% who had visited the city. The most common symptoms were fever (43.8% on admission and 88.7% during hospitalization) and cough (67.8%). Diarrhea was uncommon (3.8%). The median incubation period was 4 days (interquartile range, 2 to 7). On admission, ground-glass opacity was the most common radiologic finding on chest computed tomography (CT) (56.4%). No radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9%) with nonsevere disease and in 5 of 173 patients (2.9%) with severe disease. Lymphocytopenia was present in 83.2% of the patients on admission. Conclusions During the first 2 months of the current outbreak, Covid-19 spread rapidly throughout China and caused varying degrees of illness. Patients often presented without fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings. (Funded by the National Health Commission of China and others.)
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            Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in patients with COVID-19

            We report acute antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in 285 patients with COVID-19. Within 19 days after symptom onset, 100% of patients tested positive for antiviral immunoglobulin-G (IgG). Seroconversion for IgG and IgM occurred simultaneously or sequentially. Both IgG and IgM titers plateaued within 6 days after seroconversion. Serological testing may be helpful for the diagnosis of suspected patients with negative RT-PCR results and for the identification of asymptomatic infections.
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              Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in patients of novel coronavirus disease 2019

              Abstract Background The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerging virus. The antibody response in infected patient remains largely unknown, and the clinical values of antibody testing have not been fully demonstrated. Methods A total of 173 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled. Their serial plasma samples (n=535) collected during the hospitalization were tested for total antibodies (Ab), IgM and IgG against SARS-CoV-2. The dynamics of antibodies with the disease progress was analyzed. Results Among 173 patients, the seroconversion rate for Ab, IgM and IgG was 93.1%, 82.7% and 64.7%, respectively. The reason for the negative antibody findings in 12 patients might due to the lack of blood samples at the later stage of illness. The median seroconversion time for Ab, IgM and then IgG were day-11, day-12 and day-14, separately. The presence of antibodies was <40% among patients within 1-week since onset, and rapidly increased to 100.0% (Ab), 94.3% (IgM) and 79.8% (IgG) since day-15 after onset. In contrast, RNA detectability decreased from 66.7% (58/87) in samples collected before day-7 to 45.5% (25/55) during day 15-39. Combining RNA and antibody detections significantly improved the sensitivity of pathogenic diagnosis for COVID-19 (p<0.001), even in early phase of 1-week since onset (p=0.007). Moreover, a higher titer of Ab was independently associated with a worse clinical classification (p=0.006). Conclusions The antibody detection offers vital clinical information during the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The findings provide strong empirical support for the routine application of serological testing in the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Autoimmun
                J Autoimmun
                Journal of Autoimmunity
                Elsevier Ltd.
                0896-8411
                1095-9157
                16 July 2021
                16 July 2021
                Affiliations
                [a ]Department of Pathophysiology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
                [b ]Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens Greece
                [c ]Rheumatology Unit, Sismanoglio General Hospital, Athens, Greece
                [d ]Institute for Autoimmune Systemic and Neurologic Diseases, Athens, Greece
                [e ]Department of Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics, Harokopio University of Athens, Athens, Greece
                [f ]Medical Sciences/Immunology, Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. Department of Pathophysiology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 75 Mikras Asias Street, 11527, Athens, Greece.
                [1]

                These authors contributed equally.

                Article
                S0896-8411(21)00095-0 102687
                10.1016/j.jaut.2021.102687
                8282479
                © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

                Categories
                Article

                Immunology

                sars-cov-2, covid-19, rheumatic disease, immunosuppression, autoimmunity

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